Adamussium jonkersi sp. nov. is described from the Late Oligocene Destruction Bay Formation, Wrona Buttress area, King George Island (South Shetlands), West Antarctica. The unit, characterized by volcanic sandstone, is a shallow marine succession deposited in a moderate- to high-energy environment. The thin-shelled pectinids, collected from the lower part of the unit, are preserved mostly as complete valves. Shell thickness, sculpture pattern and umbonal angle suggest a free-living, inactive swimming life habit.
Planktonie foraminifera of the genera Chiloguembelina Loeblich and Tappan. Globigerina d'Orbigny and Globorolalia Cushman are reported from glacio-marine sediments of the Low Head Member (Polonez Cove Formation, Oligocene) of King George Island (South Shetland Islands). West Antarctica. The foraminifer assemblage comprises two stratigraphically important species: Globigerina angiporoides Hornibrook and Chiloguembelina cubensis (Palmer), which indicate the Upper Eocene — Lower Oligocene age. Taking into account specific composition, this planktonie assemblage may tentatively be correlated with the Globigerina angiporoides Zone of New Zealand. Australia. South Pacific and South Atlantic, which belongs to the Lower Oligocene (see Jenkins 1985).
The algal microfossil Bolboforma reticulata Daniels and Spiegler is recorded from the Oligocene-Miocene glacio-marine sediments of King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The record extends the geographic extent of the species to Antarctica.
Przedstawiono wykaz nowych nazw geograficznych wprowadzonych na obszarze Wyspy Seymour (Marambio), Półwysep Antarktyczny (fig. 1, pl. 1—2) w czasie prac terenowych argentyńsko-polskiej grupy geologicznej w sezonie 1993-1994.
Trace fossils Phymatoderma melvillensis isp. nov., Thalassinoides isp., ?Nereites isp. and Planolites isp. are reported from the glacio−marine sediments of the Cape Melville Formation (Lower Miocene) of King George Island, West Antarctica. Their occurrence and strong bioturbation of sediments point to an offshore or deeper (outer shelf or upper slope) en− vironment. Deep marine crab Antarctidromia inflata Förster, 1985, has been found in Thalassinoides isp. The tracemaker (?crustacean) of Phymatodermamelvillensis re−reworked pelletal sediments probably during times of food deficiency.
Solitary corals of the genus Flabellum are described from the Lower Oligocene glaciomarine strata of the Polonez Cove Formation of King George Island, West Antarctica. This is the oldest record of the genus from Antarctica.
Upper Cretaceous calcareous nannoplankton recycled into the Pliocene Pecten Conglomerate of Cockburn Island (Antarctic Peninsula) provide a paleontological record of Upper Cretaceous sedimentary sequences in the James Ross Basin. The calcareous nannofossil assemblage comprises nearly 40 taxa and is dominated by Campanian-Maestrichtian species. The investigated assemblage shares some features with the southern high-latitude contemporaneous calcareous nannofossil assemblages from outcrops on adjacent Seymour (Marambio) Island and many with deep-sea drilling sites in the circum-Antarctic region.
Trace fossils Lockeia siliquaria James, Ophiomorpha nodosa Lundgren, Parataenidium seymourensis isp. n., Protovirgularia rugosa (Miller and Dyer) and Rhizocorallium jenense Zenker have been described for the first time from the Eocene La Meseta Formation of Seymour (Marambio) Island, Antarctic Peninsula . Determinations of some trace fossils formerly described from this formation have been revised. The whole trace fossils association from the La Meseta Formation points to foreshore-offshore environment as indicated by presence of the Skolithos and Cruziana ichnofacies, and to at least temporal normal salinity.
Recent foraminifera represented by 24 species belonging to 20 genera are recognized in marine and/or glacio-marine sediment samples collected at water depths of up to 75 m in Goulden Cove (Admiralty Bay) on King George Island, West Antarctica. The foraminifer assemblages are dominated by benthic taxa, such as Globocassidulina biora and Miliammina arenacea, the two most abundant species in the studied biocenosis.
Brachiopods from the Chlamys Ledge Member, uppermost part of the Polonez Cove Formation (Oligocene), of King George Island, West Antarctica are represented by the undeterminable Rhynchonellida, one short-looped terebratulide Liothyrella Thomson, and two long-looped terebratellidines: Rhizothyris Thomson and Terebratelloidea gen. et sp. indet. Liothyrella is a well known genus in the Cenozoic strata and Recent waters of the Southern Hemisphere, while Rhizothyris is noted for the second time in the Antarctic region. This is the first record of brachiopods from the Chlamys Ledge Member.
A sequence of glacial deposits up to 4 m thick unconformably overlies the Eocene La Meseta Formation on the Seymour Island plateau (meseta) and forms a lithostratigraphically distinct unit in the succession of the James Ross Basin, which is formally named here as the Weddell Sea Formation. The formation is thus far known only from Seymour Island. This is a terrestrial melt-out till which contains abundant erratics and also reworked Cretaceous–Tertiary micro- and macrofossils within a silty clay matrix. The terrestrial origin of this till is shown by glacial striations at the base of the unit. The largest erratics (up to 3 m in diameter) are composed of plutonic (granitoids) and metamorphic (gneiss and crystalline schist) rocks of the Antarctic Peninsula provenance. Smaller in size and much more numerous are erratics of volcanic rocks, represented by andesite, basalt and corresponding pyroclastics of the James Ross Island Volcanic Group. Less common are erratics of sedimentary rocks, sometimes bearing fossils derived from the underlying Tertiary and Cretaceous strata. A few erratics from the top of the studied sequence are conglomerates of the Cockburn Island Formation with a foraminifer fauna. These are the youngest clasts within the Weddell Sea Formation. The presence of the Pliocene index fossil Ammoelphidiella antarctica Conato et Segre, 1974 indicates a lower age limit of latest Pliocene or earliest Pleistocene age. The upper age limit of the formation has not been established. An encrusting, unilamellar, colony of the bryozoan Escharella Gray, 1848 has been found on the one of erratics from the Weddell Sea Formation. This is the first fossil record of this genus in Antarctica.
One of the most significant global climatic events in the Cenozoic was the transition from greenhouse to icehouse conditions in Antarctica. Tectonic evolution of the region and gradual cooling at the end of Eocene led to the first appearance of ice sheets at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary (ca. 34 Ma). Here we report geological record of mountain glaciers that preceded major ice sheet formation in Antarctica. A terrestrial, valley-type tillite up to 65 metres thick was revealed between two basaltic lava sequences in the Eocene– Oligocene Point Thomas Formation at Hervé Cove – Breccia Crag in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetland Islands. K-Ar dating of the lavas suggests the age of the glaciation at 45–41 Ma (Middle Eocene). It is the oldest Cenozoic record of alpine glaciers in West Antarctica, providing insight into the onset of glaciation of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
Fossil bird remains assignable to ratites (palaeognathous birds) are described from the Paleogene strata of the La Meseta Formation of Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula. This record sheds new light on Gondwana's avian history.
Eocene penguin remains from Seymour Island (Antarctica) are so far the oldest−known record of extinct Sphenisciformes. Rich Argentineand Polish collections of penguin bones from the La Meseta Formation are taxonomically revised on tarsometatarsal morphology. Two genera and four species are erected: Mesetaornis polarisgen. et sp. n., Marambiornis exilisgen. et sp. n., Delphinornis arctowskiisp. n. and D. gracilissp. n. Moreover, the diagnoses of already described species: Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi, A. grandis, Palaeeudyptes klekowskii, P. gunnari, Archaeospheniscus wimani and Delphinornis larseniare revised as well. Gradual cooling of climate, changes of environment andtrophic relationships, that lasted several millions years, were most probably responsible forthe intense speciation and taxonomic diversification of the Middle–Late Eocene La Meseta penguins.
This report describes aims and preliminary results of geological fieldwork carried out by a joint Argentine-Polish party on Seymour (Marambio) and Cockburn islands. Antarctic Peninsula, during austral summer of 1987 88. Seymour Island exposes chiefly shallow-marine, fossiliferous siliciclastic sediments that form an upper, 2000 m thick part in the Mesozoic-Tertiary backarc basin-infill of the Antarctic Peninsula. The fieldwork centered on paleontology and sedimentology of the La Meseta Formation (upper Eocene- ?lower Oligocene), although some observations of older deposits were carried out also. Clupeoid fishes were discovered in the La Meseta Formation. This is the first record of such fish fossils on the Antarctic continent.