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Geology / Messinian



  • Miocene
    • Messinian


Harzhauser et al., 2002, p. 117:

  • "A second Impact on Proto-Mediterranean-Atlantic mollusc faunas was the Messinian salinity crisis in the Late Miocene, when the marine Fauna of the Mediterranean basins was strongly impoverished (Hsü et al., 1978). The gastropod Fauna of the Mediterranean basins probably vanished completely - except for some supposed shelters such as the ´Andalusian sanctuary´ (see Demarcq, 1987) - due to desiccation throughout the Mediterranean. The Fauna of the Eastern Atlantic coasts was less affected. After the salinity crisis the deep-water Fauna was distinctly impoverished (Raffi and Taviani, 1984), but it had not such a catastrophic effect on shallow marine molluscs (Sabelli and Taviani, 1984), which recolonised the Mediterranean basins from the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the Messinian salinity crisis caused a turnover in composition of the nearshore Fauna. Post-Messinian gastropod faunas lack characteristic Miocene taxa, such as Terebralia bidentata (Defrance), Melongena cornuta (Agassiz), Polinices redempta (Michelotti) or Perrona jouanetti (Desmoulins). In fact, many of the conids, turrids and turritellids of the Proto-Mediterranean-Atlantic Region became extinct (cf. Dermitzakis and Georgiades-Dikeoulia, 1987). Hence, the post-Messinian gastropod fauna represents rather the ancestral, warm-water stock of the modern Mediterranean-Atlantic Region."


  • Demarcq, G., 1987. Palaeothermic Evolution during the Neogene in Mediterranea through the marine megafauna. Ann. Inst. Geol. Publ. Hung. 70, 371-375.
  • Dermitzakis, M. & Georgiades-Dikeoulia, E., 1987. Biozonation of the Neogene invertebrate megafauna of the Hellenic area; Ann. Inst. Geol. Publ. Hung. 70, 125-136.
  • Harzhauser, M., Piller, W.E. & Steininger, F.F. 2002
  • Hsü, K.J., Montadert, L., Bernoulli, D., Cita, M.B., Erickson, A., Garrison, R.E., Kidd, R.B., Mélières, F., Müller, C. & Wright, R., 1978. History of the Mediterranean salinity crisis; Init. Rep. DSDP 42, 1953-1078.
  • Raffi, S. & Taviani, M., 1984. An outline of the Tertiary to Recent history of the Mediterranean deeo-sea mollusk faunas; Ann. Geol. Pays Hellen. 32, 257-261.
  • Sabelli, B. & Taviani, M. 1984. The Paleobiogeographic Distribution of the Mediterranean benthic mollusks and the Messinian salinity crisis or where did the mollusks go? Ann. Geol. Pays Hellen. 32, 263-269.


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