A Serravallian (Middle Miocene) shark fauna from Southeastern Spain and its palaeoenvironment significance

Carlos Martínez-Pérez*, Jorge D. Carrillo-Briceño, Cristina Esparza, Humberto G. Ferrón, Esther Manzanares, Carlos Hammann, Héctor Botella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The study of a new Serravallian (Middle Miocene) locality from the Southeastern Spain has yielded a shark assemblage characterized by microremains of at least seven taxa (Deania calcea, †Isistius triangulus, †Squaliolus cf. S. schaubi, †Paraetmopterus sp., Pristiophorus sp., Scyliorhinus sp. and a cf. Squaliformes indet) of three different orders (Squaliformes, Pristiophoriformes and Carcharhiniformes). In addition, associated macroremains have also been found, including teeth of †Cosmopolitodus hastalis, Isurus sp., Hemipristis serra, Odontaspis sp., Carcharhinus spp. and †Otodus (Megaselachus) megalodon. The assemblage contains taxa with disparate environmental preferences including not only neritic and epipelagic sharks but also an important number of meso and bathypelagic representatives. The migration of deep water taxa to shallower waters through submarine canyons/coastal upwelling is proposed as the most plausible cause for explaining the origin of such assemblage. Interestingly, the composition of the deep-water taxa here reported contrast with the chondrichthyans assemblages from the Pliocene and extant Mediterranean communities. This entails a complex biogeographic history, where the Messinian salinity crisis strongly affected the posterior evolution of the Mediterranean ecosystems but some other factors, such us the existence of anoxic events during the Quaternary, could have also played an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalHistorical Biology
Early online date12 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2017


  • deep-water fauna
  • elasmobranchs
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Neogene

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