Eocene relatives of cod icefishes (Perciformes: Notothenioidei) from Seymour Island, Antarctica

Małgorzata Bieńkowska-Wasiluk, Niels Bonde, Peter Rask Møller, Andrzej Gaździcki

Abstract


Fragmentary skull bones and vertebra from the Upper Eocene La Meseta Formation on Seymour (Marambio) Island, Antarctic Peninsula have been described as gadiform fishes, informally named “Mesetaichthys”. Here we describe jaws as Mesetaichthys jerzmanskae n. g. and n. sp., and refer this taxon to the perciform suborder Notothenioidei. This group is almost unknown as fossils. Similarities to the living, ‘primitive’ nototheniid Dissostichus eleginoides are indicated in the dentition. Gadiform evolution in the Paleocene-Eocene, and the possibility of a correlation between the origin and evolution of notothenioids in connection with the deterioration of the climate in Antarctica during the Late Eocene-Oligocene is discussed.


Keywords


Notothenioids; cod icefishes; Eocene; Seymour Island; Antarctica

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