A comparison of the ammonite faunas of the Antarctic Peninsula and Magallanes Basin
Ammonite-bearing Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary successions are well developed in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Magallanes Basin of Patagonia. Faunas of middle Jurassic-late Cretaceous age are present in Antarctica but those of Patagonia range no earlier than late Jurassic. Although the late Jurassic perisphinctid-dominated faunas of the Antarctic Peninsula show wide-ranging Gondwana affinities, it is not yet possible to effect a close comparison with faunas of similar age in Patagonia because of the latter’s poor preservation and our scant knowledge of them. In both regions the Neocomian is not well represented in the ammonite record, although uninterrupted sedimentary successions appear to be present. Lack of correspondence between the Aptian and Albian faunas of Alexander I. and Patagonia may be due to major differences in palaeogeographical setting. Cenomanian-Coniacian ammonite faunas are known only from Patagonia, although bivalve faunas indicate that rocks of this age are present in Antarctica. Kossmaticeratid faunas mark the late Cretaceous in both regions. In Antarctica these have been classified as Campanian, whereas in Patagonia it is generally accepted, perhaps incorrectly, that these also range into the Maestrichtian.