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New Antarctic clawed lobster species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Nephropidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of James Ross Island


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A new species of nephropid lobster, Hoploparia echinata sp. nov., from the James Ross Island in the Antarctic Peninsula is here described and illustrated. The material was collected in the Santa Marta Formation (Santonian–-Campanian), the basal unit of the Marambio Group, Larsen Basin, located in the western portion of the Antarctic Peninsula. Hoploparia echinata sp. nov. can easily be differentiated from its congeners by the presence of distinct short spines on dorsal and ventral margins on the third maxillipeds, merus of the chelipeds and pereopods; these are the characters not described in other Hoploparia species so far.
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New Antarctic clawed lobster species (Crustacea: Decapoda:
Nephropidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of James Ross Island
Allysson P. Pinheiro,1,2 Antônio Álamo Feitosa Saraiva,2,3 William Santana,1,2 Juliana Manso Sayão,4
Rodrigo Giesta Figueiredo,5 Taissa Rodrigues,6 Luiz Carlos Weinschütz,7 Luiza Corral Martins de
Oliveira Ponciano8 & Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner9
1Laboratório de Crustáceos do Semiárido, Universidade Regional do Cariri, Crato, CE, Brazil;
2Laboratory of Systematic Zoology, Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação, Universidade do Sagrado Coração, Bauru, SP, Brazil;
3Laboratório de Paleontologia, Universidade Regional do Cariri, Crato, CE, Brazil;
4Laboratório de Paleobiologia e Paleogeografia Antártica, Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil;
5Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Alegre, ES, Brazil;
6Laboratório de Paleontologia, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Centro de Ciências Humanas e Naturais, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo,
Vitória, ES, Brazil;
7Centro Paleontológico da Universidade do Contestado, Universidade do Contestado, Mafra, SC, Brazil;
8Laboratório de Tafonomia e Paleoecologia Aplicadas, Departamento de Ciências Naturais, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
9Laboratory of Systematics and Taphonomy of Fossil Vertebrates, Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia, Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Antarctica plays a very important role in understanding
faunal groups with Gondwanan origin (Crame 1989;
Clarke et al. 2004). However, on the account of the con-
tinent’s inhospitable conditions, its remoteness and the
high cost of operations, Antarctica’s fossil record is gener-
ally scarce compared to deposits in other continents (e.g.,
Kellner 1996; Feldmann & Schweitzer 2017; Kellner etal.
2019; Zhang et al. 2019). The James Ross Basin, in the
Antarctic Peninsula, has one of the best- preserved and
highly diverse fossil assemblages of the continent (Feld-
mann 1990; Feldmann et al. 1993). In the stratigraphic
context of this basin, the Santa Marta Formation (San-
tonian–Campanian) has abundant records of decapods,
especially nephropids (Feldmann & Tshudy 1989; Feld-
mann et al. 1993). Among the Nephropidae, the genus
Hoploparia McCoy, 1849 is the best-known fossil group,
with 67 species described worldwide, ranging from the
Lower Cretaceous (Valanginian) to the Miocene (Tshudy
& Sorhannus 2003; Schweitzer et al. 2010). Although
well represented in the fossil record, the genus is consid-
ered to be a “wastebasket taxon”, difcult to characterize
(Tshudy & Sorhannus 2003). Despite the high diversity
of the genus, Hoploparia stokesi (Weller, 1913), from the
Lower Cretaceous to the Paleocene, and H. gazdzickii
A new species of nephropid lobster, Hoploparia echinata sp. nov., from the
James Ross Island in the Antarctic Peninsula is here described and illus-
trated. The material was collected in the Santa Marta Formation (Santonian–
Campanian), the basal unit of the Marambio Group, Larsen Basin, located in
the western portion of the Antarctic Peninsula. Hoploparia echinata sp. nov.
can easily be differentiated from its congeners by the presence of distinct
short spines on dorsal and ventral margins on the third maxillipeds, merus of
the chelipeds and pereopods; these are the characters not described in other
Hoploparia species so far.
Astacidea; Hoploparia; Metanephrops;
Nephropoidea; Marambio Group
William Santana, Laboratory of Systematic
Zoology, Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-
Graduação, Universidade do Sagrado
Coração, Rua Irmã Arminda, 10-50, Jd. Brasil,
17011-160, Bauru, SP, Brazil.
PALEOANTAR: Paleobiology and Paleogeography of South Gondwana: Interrelationships between Antarctica and South America (research project);
PROANTAR: Programa Antártico Brasileiro (Brazilian Antarctic Programme); USNM: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington D.C.; MN: Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro); MN-I: Palaeoinvertebrate collection, Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro); P1: cheliped (the claw-bearing
pair of legs in decapod crustaceans); P2–P5: pereopods 2–5 (pairs of the walking limbs of a crustacean); UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Zoobank publication registry
Polar Research 2020. © 2020 Allysson P. Pinheiro et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial
4.0 International License (, permitting all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited. Citation: Polar Research 2020, 39, 3727,
Citation: Polar Research 2020, 39, 3727,
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New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica A.P. Pinheiro et al.
Feldmann & Crame, 1998 from the Early Miocene are
the only known species in the Antarctic region, with sev-
eral specimens collected on Seymour, Vega, King George,
Mumps and Cockburn islands (Ball 1960; Feldmann &
Tshudy 1987; Feldmann & Crame 1998; El-Shazly 2015).
PALEOANTAR eldwork at Santa Marta Cove, James
Ross Island, during the Antarctic summer of 2015/16
(supported by PROANTAR) revealed a great number
of fossil specimens, including decapods. Two specimens
collected in the horizons of the Santa Marta Formation
exhibit some characteristics previously unknown in other
Hoploparia species, and a new taxon, H. echinata sp. nov.,
is proposed.
Geological settings
The Marambio Group, Larsen Basin, is located in the
western portion of the Antarctic Peninsula, on James
Ross Island (Fig. 1). The Larsen Basin, according to
Macdonald et al. (1988), is divided into two sub-basins:
South and James Ross. The James Ross Sub-basin orig-
inated during the breakdown of Gondwana with the
deposition of a Meso-Cenozoic sedimentary sequence
in a retroarc basin (Hathway 2000). It is considered one
of the thickest and most complete volcano-sedimentary
sequences deposited in the Cretaceous–Paleogene of the
Southern Hemisphere (Crame et al. 1996) and is divided
Fig. 1 Map of fossil location and occurrence (a) Location of the Antarctic Peninsula indicating the James Ross Island. (b) Detail of the James Ross and Vega
islands; red square indicates the area where fieldwork was carried out. (c) Geological map of the prospected area, showing where fossils were found.
Citation: Polar Research 2020, 39, 3727, 3
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A.P. Pinheiro et al. New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica
lithostratigraphically into the Nodenskjöld Formation
and the Gustav and Marambio groups (Hathway 2000;
Hathway & Riding 2001; Riding & Crame 2002).
The Marambio Group crops out in portions of the James
Ross, Vega, Humps, Snow Hill, Seymour and Cockburn
islands. These deposits represent a progradant system
composed of a variety of sandstones, siltstones and mud-
stones and coquina levels, which were deposited under
storm conditions at the internal to external platform
(Crame et al. 1991; Crame et al. 2004). The Marambio
Group is divided into the Santa Marta, Snow Hill Island,
Lopez de Bertodano and Sobral formations (Fig. 2).
The Santa Marta Formation (Santonian–Campanian)
is the basal unit of the Marambio Group. It is over 900m
thick and consists of a sequence of intercalated sand-
stones, siltstones and volcanic tuffs (Olivero 2012), inter-
preted as a sequence of volcanoclastic deposits formed in
a deltaic environment (Scasso et al. 1991; Olivero 2012).
In the north-western portion of James Ross Island, the
Santa Marta Formation is divided into the Lachman Crags
and the Herbert Sound members (Crame et al. 1991).
The basal Lachman Crags Member (late Coniacian
to late Campanian) has a thickness of approximately
850m and consists of rare conglomerate clays, siltstones
and sandstones that were deposited in a shallow marine
environment (Crame et al. 1991; Carvalho et al. 2013).
The upper Herbert Sound Member (late Campanian to
the early Maastrichtian [Crame et al. 1991]) is 250 m
thick and consists of ne sandstone with cross-stratica-
tion and coquina levels (Crame et al. 1991; Olivero et al.
1986; Crame et al. 1999; Olivero & Medina 2000).
The fossil specimens studied here were collected in
layers that correspond to the upper portion of the Lach-
man Crags Member, which is the sole stratigraphic unit in
the immediate area where the specimens were collected.
They were found in concretions that were scattered on
the surface and lack any feature indicating signicant
transportation. Such preservation is rather common in
fossils found at James Ross Island (e.g., Kellner et al.
Material and methods
The descriptive terminology mostly follows that used by
Holthuis (1974) and Tshudy & Sorhannus (2003). Descrip-
tions, drawings and photographs were made using a
Nikon SMZ 745T stereomicroscope equipped with a cam-
era lucida and a Leica EZ4 W, both with digital cameras
attached. The paratype was coated with Paraloid B-72 and
ultraviolet lights were used to photograph the holotype.
Information provided for the comparative material has
been retrieved from the labels of the material examined
at the USNM, which may be divergent from what is pre-
sented in the original descriptions of H. stokesi (Weller,
1903) and Metanephrops jenkinsi Feldmann, 1989. For a
list of all the examined material, see Table 1.
Systematic palaeontology
Order Decapoda Latreille, 1802
Infraorder Astacidea Latreille, 1802
Remarks: The Astacidea are easily distinguished from
the other lobsters by the presence of a generally large,
true chelae (i.e., with the dactylus opposed to an exten-
sion of the propodus on most of its length) on the rst
pair of pereopods, this being the largest and most robust
pair (Holthuis 1991). Although not fully preserved in the
new species, the rst pereopod is the largest and more
robust, with the merus and carpus fully preserved and
the palm partially preserved proximally (Fig. 3). The palm
Fig. 2 Stratigraphic chart of James Ross Sub-basin (modified from Olivero
et al. 1986 and Marenssi et al. 2001).
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New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica A.P. Pinheiro et al.
is elongated, slightly inated and with distinct tubercles
sparsely distributed in all surfaces, common characteris-
tics of several Astacidea, including Hoploparia. We there-
fore consider the new species an Astacidea.
Family Nephropidae Dana, 1852
Remarks: According to Holthuis (1974: 732), “The pat-
tern of the grooves of the carapace is very striking” with
several grooves recognized in some or all Nephropidae.
The carapace grooves in the new species (i.e., cervical,
postcervical, branchiocardiac and inferior; Fig. 3) seem to
be a reasonable ground for the inclusion in this family.
Genus Hoploparia McCoy, 1849
Remarks: The material is considered to be a Hoploparia
species on the basis of the carapace with small tubercles
mostly in the posterior half, and the presence of the cer-
vical, postcervical, branchiocardiac and inferior grooves
and the absence of carinae common in other groups, such
as Metanephrops Jenkins, 1972, in which most species
have the carapace with supraorbital and postorbital cari-
nae. Also, some of the characters used by Tshudy (1993)
to dene Hoploparia are presence of a long and spinose
rostrum; with a postcervical groove well impressed over
most of its length; a cervical groove and a branchiocar-
diac groove usually present. As compared with Hoploparia
longimana Sowerby, 1826, the type species of the genus,
both species share a carapace posteriorly granulated
and an elongated cheliped, and a palm armed with few
tubercles. However, the new species has the pleural and
tergal regions of the pleon separated with a marked sul-
cus (smooth in H. longimana). Also, Hoploparia is mostly
known from shallow marine Cretaceous deposits (Tshudy
& Sorhannus 2000), which is the case of Lachman Crags
Member, where the material studied here was collected.
Hoploparia echinata sp. nov.
Zoobank act: LSID
Figures 3a–e, 4, 5
Etymology. From the Latin echinatus, which means spiny,
referring to the spinulose characteristic of the legs and
third maxillipeds.
Type material. The holotype and the paratype are depos-
ited in the MN, under catalogue numbers MN 10435-I
and 10436-I, respectively. The material was not lost in
the re of the MN/UFRJ in 2018 (Kellner 2019).
Type locality. Santa Marta Cove, James Ross Island,
Stratigraphic unit. Santa Marta Formation.
Type age. Upper Cretaceous (Santonian–Campanian).
Diagnosis. Carapace with small tubercles sparsely dis-
tributed, mostly on the posterior half; postcervical,
intercervical, cervical grooves visible; without branchial,
intermediate carina on posterior half of carapace. Third
maxillipeds, cheliped and pereopods 2 and 3 ornamented
with distinct, short spines on dorsal and ventral margins.
Description. Carapace poorly preserved, represented
by an imprint on the matrix, with small tubercles
sparselydistributed, mostly on the posterior half; cervical,
Table 1 List of comparative material observed in the present study.
catalogue no.
Sampling site
Hoploparia stokesi (Weller, 1903)
USNM 410841 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Non-type
USNM 410855 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Non-type
USNM 458905 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Paratype
USNM 458907 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Paratype
USNM 410891 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Non-type
USNM 458910 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Paratype
USNM 458911 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Paratype
USNM 458915 SI LBF, Unit 8 LCr Paratype
USNM 458917 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Paratype
USNM 458919 SI LBF, Unit 9 LCr Paratype
USNM 410842 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410844 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410846 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410847 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410848 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410849 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410850 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410853 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410859 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 410883 SI LBF, Unit 7 LCr Paratype
USNM 430025 SI LBF, Unit 7–9 LCr, LCa Non-type
USNM 458920 VIFIP LBF LCr Non-type
USNM 458904 VIFIP LBF LCr Non-type
USNM 458912 MI LBF, CLM LCr Non-type
USNM 458914 CI LBF, CLM LCr Paratype
Metanephrops jenkinsi Feldmann, 1989
USNM 424602 SI LBF, Unit 10 LCr Paratype
USNM 424609 SI LBF, Unit 10 Pa Paratype
USNM 424614 SI SF, Unit 3 Pa Paratype
USNM 424600 SI LBF, Unit 10 Pa Paratype
USNM 424605 SI LBF, Unit 10 Pa Paratype
aSeymour Island is abbreviated to SI; Vega Island, False Island Point to
VIFIP; Mumps Island to MI; Cockburn Island to CI. bLopez de Bertodano
Formation is abbreviated to LBF; Cape Lamb Member to CLM; Sobral
Formation to SF. cLate Cretaceous is abbreviated to LCr; Late Campanian
to LCa; Paleocene to Pa.
Citation: Polar Research 2020, 39, 3727, 5
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A.P. Pinheiro et al. New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica
Fig. 3 (a) Holotype (MN 10435-I) of H. echinata sp. nov. in lateral view under ultraviolet light, specimen dry, uncoated. The red arrow indicates the position
of the carapace; the yellow arrow indicates the position of the endophragmal skeleton. (b) Holotype in lateral view with inverted colours. (c) Line drawing of
the holotype: carapace, pereopods, pleon, telson and uropods detached. (d) Paratype (MN 10436-I) third maxilliped and rostrum, specimen dry, coated with
Paraloid B-72. (e) Line drawing of the third maxilliped and rostrum of the paratype. Abbreviations: Car, carapace; ce, cervical groove; pc, postcerv ical groove;
bc, branchiocardiac groove; i, inferior groove; R, rostrum; Che, cheliped; P2–P5, pereopods 2–5; 3mxpd, third maxilliped; 1pl to 6pl, first to sixth pleonite;
U, uropod; T, telson.
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New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica A.P. Pinheiro et al.
Fig. 4 Detailed view of the merus of the cheliped of H. echinata sp. nov. holotype (MN 10435-I). The red arrows show the ventral and a dorsal spine. The
yellow arrow shows a line of three ventrolateral tubercles.
Fig. 5 Reconstruction of H. echinata sp. nov. in its palaeoenvironment. Illustration by Maurilio Oliveira (palaeoartist, MN/UFRJ).
Citation: Polar Research 2020, 39, 3727, 7
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A.P. Pinheiro et al. New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica
postcervical, branchiocardiac and inferior grooves visible,
without branchial, intermediate carina on posterior half
of carapace. Margins of the posterior half of the cara-
pace indiscernible from the matrix. Cephalic appendages
not preserved. Rostrum fragment (paratype) possi-
ble long and at least laterally attened distally, slightly
upward and tapering distally, with, at least, four distinct
spines dorsally, smooth ventrally; rostral spines forward
directed. Third maxilliped distinctly preserved in para-
type, slightly compressed laterally, with ischium, merus
and carpus complete, propodus partially preserved, coxa
and basis not preserved; ischium with two blunt tuber-
cles ventrally; merus with four-ve short, strong spines
on ventral margin, one dorsally; carpus smooth. A frag-
ment with two segments in holotype is possibly part of
the third maxilliped. First and second maxillipeds not
preserved. Cheliped preserved; merus and carpus fully
preserved, laterally compressed; palm partially preserved
proximally, slightly inated. Merus with two spines and
three strong, blunt tubercles ventrally, one dorsal acute,
short spine; merus with additional row of blunt tubercles
ventrolaterally; carpus smooth; palm partially preserved
with distinct tubercles, sparsely distributed in all surfaces.
Pereopods laterally compressed. P2 with merus and car-
pus preserved, propodus partially preserved; merus with
line of ve, well-spaced, acute, short spines on ven-
tral margin, dorsal margin with three small projections
grouped distally. P3 merus preserved, other articles not
preserved, merus with only one acute tubercle on ventral
margin medially. P4 with only merus preserved, appar-
ently smooth. P5 with ischium partially preserved, appar-
ently smooth; merus and carpus fully preserved, smooth;
propodus partially preserved, smooth. Pleon with six ple-
onites, all preserved; pleural and tergal regions separated
with visible sulcus on second to fth pleonites; pleonites
without spines or tubercles. First pleonite reduced, sec-
ond slightly longer, third to fth pleonites of about same
size. Second and third pleonites with one posterolateral
strong spine; fourth with two distinct spines on lateral
margin; fth pleonite with one blunt tubercle anteriorly,
one strong spine posteriorly on lateral margin; sixth pleo-
nite smooth, short. Telson and uropods apparently with-
out ornamentation, uropods only partially preserved.
The holotype material of H. echinata sp. nov. consists of a
carapace disconnected from pleon and pereopods, with
the endophragmal skeleton visible under ultraviolet light.
The position of the carapace displaced from the pereon
and pleon suggests this could be an exuvia by the typi-
cal “lobster open moult” position (Daley & Drage 2016).
The paratype is represented by the third maxilliped, some
pereopod fragments and a fragment putatively identied
as the distal part of the rostrum. The new species can eas-
ily be differentiated from other Hoploparia by the orna-
mentation of the third maxilliped, merus of the cheliped
and pereopods with distinct, acute, short spines on dor-
sal and ventral margins (in contrast to other Hoploparia,
which have smooth third maxillipeds and pereopods,
chelipeds ornamented only in the palm and ngers).
Despite the great amount of Hoploparia material known,
there is no mention of spines or ornamentation in maxil-
lipeds and pereopods in any other species of the genus. In
fact, from the more than 60 known species of Hoploparia,
only two original descriptions mention the third maxilli-
peds: Hoploparia catalunica Garassino, Artal & Pasini, 2009
and Hoploparia miyamotoi Karasawa, 1998, both without
ornamentation. Also, Quayle (1987), in the designation
of a neotype to Hoploparia gammaroides McCoy, 1849, pro-
vided a detailed description and gure of its third max-
illiped ornamented with nely punctuation and spaced
pores, but no spines.
Compared with its congeners in the austral region,
H. echinata sp. nov. differs from Hoploparia antarctica
Wilckens, 1907 by the gastroorbital, antennal, buccal,
urogastric and branchiocardiac grooves apparently absent,
which are present in the carapace of H. antarctica (Agu-
irre-Urreta et al. 1991). Hoploparia gazdzickii Feldmann &
Crame, 1998 can be differentiated from the new species
by the presence of a straight antennal groove, two rows
of spines on the cephalic region and an antennal spine, all
absent in H. echinata sp. nov. The new species seems to be
morphologically more closely related to H.stokesi (Weller,
1903), from which it can be distinguished by the presence
of distinct, acute tubercles and spines on the dorsal and
ventral pereopod margins.
Hoploparia is a very speciose genus, especially in Europe,
where more than 50 species are known (El-Shazly 2015).
For Antarctica, H. echinata sp. nov. is the fourth species
described. It is unknown whether the paucity of Hoplo-
paria species found so far in Antarctica is a function of the
challenges of carrying out research there or if it reected
the small number of species that lived in this region. In
any case, the great morphological variation among species
included in the genus Hoploparia makes it a challenge to
characterize. This genus forms a paraphyletic group, con-
sidered a “wastebasket taxon”, default receptacle for taxa
excluded from other higher groupings for several authors
(e.g., Tshudy & Sorhannus 2003; Tshudy et al. 2018). Like-
wise, we observe that there is a high degree of morpho-
logical variation in the specimens attributed to H.stokesi,
indicating that a revision of the species and of the genus is
needed. This would not be an easy task given the number
of species in the genus and amount of material from dif-
ferent parts of the world attributed to Hoploparia.
Citation: Polar Research 2020, 39, 3727,
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New clawed lobster species from the Cretaceous of Antarctica A.P. Pinheiro et al.
The team of the PALEOANTAR project wants to thank the
NApOc Ary Rongel military group for the logistical sup-
port that allowed us to arrive on James Ross Island, Ant-
arctica. The pilots of the HU-1 helicopter squadron safely
delivered our personnel, scientic and camping equipment
from the ship to the island and back again, in addition to
taking the collected samples. The alpinists Edson Vandeira,
Ricardo Leizer and Renato Dias ensured the team’s phys-
ical integrity during excursions on James Ross Island, as
well as keeping the camp running during the expedition.
We thank the TERRANTAR—Permafrost, Cryosoils and
Terrestrial Ecosystems and Climatic Change Studies in
Antarctica project team (Carlos Schaeffer, Maiara Daher,
Eduardo Senra, Carsten Müller and Lars-Arne Meier) for
their partnership in the shared camp and for their collabo-
ration during the eld activities.
This study was supported by PROANTAR (CNPq no.
407670/2013-442677/2018-9 to AWAK), Conselho
Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientíco e Tecnológico
(CNPq no. 420687/2016-5-313461/2018-0 to AWAK;
no. 312360/2018-5 to TR; no. 311715/2017-6 to JMS),
Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do
Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ no. E-26/202.905/2018
to AWAK) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pes-
soal de Nível Superior, Brasil, nance code 001 (fellowship
no. 88887.169169/2018-00 to WS and grant Proequipa-
mentos no. 775705/2012 to APP).
Disclosure statement
The authors report no potential conict of interest.
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... Since 2007, the project PALEOANTAR (organized by the Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has been working in the Antarctic Peninsula to shed light on the diversification and evolutionary history of Antarctic ecosystems in the deep past (Lima et al. 2021;Kellner 2022;Santos et al. 2022), including studies on Mesozoic vertebrates (e.g., Kellner et al. 2011Kellner et al. , 2019Brum et al. 2022) and invertebrates (e.g., Pinheiro et al. 2020;Videira-Santos 2020;Piovesan et al. 2021). Here, we report on new ankylosaurian materials recovered from Antarctica during the PALEOANTAR expedition in 2015. ...
The body armor of ankylosaurians is a unique morphological feature among dinosaurs. While ankylosaurian body armor has been studied for decades, paleohistological analyses have only started to uncover the details of its function. Yet there has been an overall bias toward sampling ankylosaurian remains from the Northern Hemisphere, with limited quantitative studies on the morphological and functional evolution of the osteoderms composing their body armor. Here, we describe new ankylosaur-ian materials recovered from the Late Cretaceous of Antarctica that, in combination with data compiled from the literature, reveal new insights into the evolution of the ankylosaurian body armor. Based on histo-logical microstructure and phylogenetic results, the new Antarctic material can be assigned to Nodosaur-idae. This group shares the absence/poor development of their osteodermal basal cortex and highly ordered sets of orthogonal structural fibers in the superficial cortex. Our morphospace analyses indicate that large morphological diversity is observed among both nodosaurids and ankylosaurids, but osteo-derms became more functionally specialized in late-diverging nodosaurids. Besides acting as effective protection against predation, osteoderms also exhibit highly ordered structural fibers in nodosaurids, enabling a decrease in cortical bone thickness (as in titanosaurs), which could have been co-opted for secondary functions, such as calcium remobilization for physiological balance. The latter may have played a key role in nodosaurid colonization of high-latitude environments, such as Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.
... Compared to terrestrial and intertidal Antarctic systems, this habitat has been described as having great richness and diversity, reaching >8100 species, and some phyla represented at levels greater than global averages (Peck et al., 2006;De Broyer and Danis, 2011). Given this scenario, the number of new species recently described (López-González, 2020;Pinheiro et al., 2020;Buskowiak and Janussen, 2021;Maggioni et al., 2022) makes the impacts of PPCPs even more uncertain. This is particularly true for benthic fauna, described by De Broyer and Danis (2011), accounting for 88 % of the total species. ...
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) are emerging pollutants detected in many locations of the world including Antarctica. The main objective of this review is to discuss the influence of the human population on the concentration, distribution and biological effects of PPCPs across the Antarctic coastal marine ecosystem. We carried out a review of the scientific articles published for PPCPs in Antarctic, supported by the information of the Antarctic stations reported by Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (CONMAP), Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty (ATS). In addition, spatial data regarding the Antarctic continent was obtained from Quantarctica. Antarctic concentrations of PPCPs were more reflective of the treatment system used by research stations as opposed to the infrastructure built or the annual occupancy by station. The main problem is that most of the research stations lack tertiary treatment, resulting in elevated concentrations of PPCPs in effluents. Furthermore, the geographic distribution of Antarctic field stations in coastal areas allows for the release of PPCPs, directly into the sea, a practice that remains in compliance with the current Protocol. After their release, PPCPs can become incorporated into sea ice, which can then act as a chemical reservoir. In addition, there is no clarity on the effects on the local biota. Finally, we recommend regulating the entry and use of PPCPs in Antarctica given the difficulties of operating, and in some cases the complete absence of appropriate treatment systems. Further studies are needed on the fate, transport and biological effects of PPCPs on the Antarctic biota. It is recommended that research efforts be carried out in areas inhabited by humans to generate mitigation measures relative to potential adverse impacts. Tourism should be also considered in further studies due the temporal release of PPCPs.
... The samples presented here were collected from outcrops of the Lachman Crags Member (Santa Marta Formation) in the north-eastern part of James Ross Island. The material was collected along with other fossils that have been recently described (Kellner et al. 2019;Pinheiro et al. 2020;Piovesan et al. 2021) by the PALEOANTAR team, during the fieldwork of the XXXIV Brazilian Antarctic Operation (austral summer 2015/16). Four fragments showing macroscopic features of charcoal (≥2.0 mm, black colour and streak, silky luster [sensu Jones & Chaloner 1991;Scott 2000Scott , 2010) were mechanically extracted from the sedimentary levels for evaluation in the laboratory. ...
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The Cretaceous “high-fire” period was a global event that reached almost all continental masses during that period in Earth’s history. The extensive wildfires directly affected plant communities. Significant palaeobotanical records in the Antarctic Peninsula have been studied from the James Ross Sub-Basin, especially from the Santa Marta Formation. However, there is no described evidence for palaeo-wildfires in the area so far. Here, we present the first occurrence of fossilized macro-charcoal coming from James Ross Island, confirming that palaeo-wildfires occurred in the Campanian vegetation preserved in the Santa Marta Formation. The new charcoal material has a gymnospermous taxonomic affinity, more specifically with the Araucariaceae, which is in accordance with previous palaeobotanical records from James Ross Island. This occurrence adds new information to the construction of the palaeo-wildfire scenario for Gondwana.
The Antarctic plesiosaurian record is critical for understanding the evolution of elasmosaurids in the southern hemisphere. Elasmosaurids exhibit some of the most remarkable modifications of the vertebrate axial skeleton given their extreme elongation of the cervical region. Despite a considerable amount of information available on vertebral counts within Plesiosauria throughout the decades, we have a considerably more limited understanding of the diversity of cervical vertebral shapes in elasmosaurids and how these have changed throughout ontogeny and phylogeny. Here, we compile the largest known morphometric dataset on elasmosaurid cervical vertebrae, including data on juveniles and adults, to answer some of those long‐standing questions. This dataset also includes newly recovered materials from Antarctica, which we describe herein. Using multivariate statistical approaches, we find that the two major elasmosaurid cervical morphotypes, the elasmosaurine anteroposteriorly elongate (can‐shaped) and the aristonectine anteroposteriorly short and dorsoventrally tall (disc‐like), evolved towards opposite regions of the morphospace from the plesiomorphic ‘Cimoliasaurus’‐grade condition. We also find a marked ontogenetic shift from the disc‐like to can‐shaped morphology, which is especially pronounced in elasmosaurines but more limited in aristonectines. Furthermore, we find that juvenile aristonectines occupy a specific region of the vertebral morphospace, distinct from any other group or ontogenetic stage, thus suggesting that reversal to the ‘short‐necked’ condition in elasmosaurids is mostly characterized by ontogenetic predisplacement in aristonectines. Finally, we find that it is possible to discriminate between vertebral shapes of distinct taxonomic groups regardless of ontogenetic stage, and that the diversity of Antarctic elasmosaurids was greater than previously recognized.
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Fossil vertebrates from Antarctica are considerably rare, hampering our understanding of the evolutionary history of the biota from that continent. For several austral summers, the PALEOANTAR project has been carrying out fieldwork in the Antarctic Peninsula in search for fossils, particularly Cretaceous vertebrates. Among the specimens recovered so far are two bones referable to Pterosauria, more specifically to the Pterodacyloidea, the first volant reptiles from Antarctica to be fully described. MN 7800-V (part and counterpart) was recovered from a moraine at the Abernathy Flats (Santa Marta Formation, Lachman Crags Member, Santonian-Campanian) on James Ross Island. It is interpreted as the distal articulation of a first phalanx of the wing finger, representing an animal with an estimated wingspan between 3 and 4 m. The second specimen (MN 7801-V) comes from Vega Island (Snow Hill Island Formation, Maastrichtian) and is identified as a wing metacarpal IV of an animal with an estimated wingspan from 4 to 5 m. These occurrences show that pterodactyloids inhabited the Antarctic Peninsula at least during the Upper Cretaceous and demonstrate that large pterosaurs were widespread through all parts of the planet during that period.
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Seventeen species of decapod crustaceans have been described from Campanian through Paleocene rocks in the Santa Marta, López de Bertodano, and Sobral Formations of the James Ross Basin, Antarctica. Of these, nine are new species: Metanephrops rossensis, Glyphea australensis, Paguristes santamartaensis, Munidopsis foersteri, Retrorsichela laevis, Plagiophthalmous collinsi, Rhinopoupinia bicornis, Cristafrons praescientis , and Torynomma (Torynomma) australis. One new family, Retrorsichelidae, and three new genera, Retrorsichela, Rhinopoupinia , and Cristafrons , were also named. This assemblage includes the first notice of brachyurans from the Cretaceous of Antarctica; six species are described. The nephropid lobster Hoploparia stokesi (Weller), the most common decapod throughout the section, exhibits significant morphological change throughout its range from late Santonian or earliest Campanian to Paleocene; however, variation of key features is asynchronous. The raninid brachyuran, Cristafrons praescientis , is second in abundance to H. stokesi. The occurrence of Metanephrops rossensis and Munidopsis foersteri represents the oldest geological records for these genera and the recognition of species of Paguristes, Plagiophthalmous, Torynomma , and Necrocarcinus constitutes the first notice of these genera in Antarctica. Of those taxa that have living congenors, the species of Metanephrops, Linuparus , and Munidopsis occupied habitats at inner shelf depths in the Cretaceous whereas their extant descendants are restricted to outer shelf and bathyal depths. This diverse decapod fauna is dominated by genera that range into the Cenozoic and appears to be a pioneer assemblage.
The fossil record of the clawed lobster genus, Homarus , is appraised. The taxonomic history of Homarus and Hoploparia is summarized, and a list of species recognized for each is provided. A tabulation of all fossil species of the family Nephropidae permits assessment of nephropid species diversity through time. A new species of Homarus , H . hungaricus , is recorded from the upper Oligocene (Chattian) Mány Formation at Mány, northern Hungary. The species is known by a single specimen consisting of a partial cephalothorax, a pleon minus telson, and partial chelipeds. Homarus is now known by two extant species ( H . americanus and H . gammarus ) and six fossil taxa, one of Early Cretaceous (Albian; H . benedeni ) and five of Cenozoic age ( H . hungaricus n. sp., H . klebsi , H . lehmanni , H . morrisi , and H . percyi ). The new fossil Homarus differs from modern congeners in aspects of carapace and pleon ornamentation and, especially, cutter claw shape. This is the fourth Oligocene occurrence of a nephropid species; all are Homarus and all are from Western Europe. Homarus makes its appearance in the fossil record in the Early Cretaceous (Albian) and then is not known again until the Paleogene, despite the fact that nephropid lobsters in general are well known from the Late Cretaceous. Nephropid lobsters are better known from the Cretaceous than from the Cenozoic. Both raw species numbers and numbers corrected (normalized) for epicontinental sea coverage show that shelf-dwelling nephropid lobsters were most diverse during the Late Cretaceous.
Decapod crustaceans bearing major claws with long, slender fingers armed with pectinate (comblike) denticles have been described in six genera arrayed within three families (Polychelidae, Nephropidae, and Ctenochelidae) in three infraorders (Palinura, Astacidea, and Anomura, respectively). Only one or a few genera in each infraorder exhibit this claw form. The pectinate claw form is confidently interpreted as having evolved independently in four lineages: once in the Polychelidae, once in the Ctenochelidae, and twice in the Nephropidae. Three of the lineages are known from both the fossil record and modern seas; the polychelid form is known only from Jurassic rocks. Convergence in this claw form developed to the extent that isolated fossil claws (i.e., claws without associated bodies) have commonly been misidentified at high taxonomic levels. The fossil record confirms what seems intuitively reasonable: that claw morphology is prone to convergence and should not, by itself, be given a high degree of taxonomic importance.
Twenty-eight specimens of well-preserved macrurous decapod crustaceans, collected from the Lopez de Bertodano and Sobral Formations on Seymour Island, Antarctic peninsula, form the basis for description of Metanephrops jenkinsi n.sp. Based upon associated cephalopods, foraminiferans, and palynomorphs, the age of the occurrences ranges from Maastrichtian to Paleocene. The discovery extends the range of the genus from the Pliocene into the Cretaceous and extends the southern limit of the geographic extent of the genus from New Zealand to Antarctica. -Author
The nephropid lobster, Hoploparia gazdzicki sp. nov., is described from Early Miocene glaciomarine sedimentary rocks of King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Such an occurrence considerably extends the stratigraphical range of a widespread lobster genus that reached its acme in the Late Cretaceous. The previous youngest records were from the Eocene of western Europe, and it would appear that, by the Early Miocene, the genus may have become a relict in relatively cold and deep waters in Antarctica. Although the full phylogenetic implications of this extension to the stratigraphical range are not yet apparent, there are some important palaeoecological ones. This occurrence can be taken as a further indication that certain benthic decapods were able to survive the onset of glacio-marine conditions in Antarctica. Perhaps other factors, such as the availability of food, habitat space, or decline in seasonal temperature fluctuation, ultimately controlled the decline of this major benthic group in the Southern Ocean.