McNabb intro - diversity preserved on Vieques After the...

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INTRODUCTION Cenozoic marine fossils have been collected and documented from numerous formations throughout the Caribbean region; however, the Tertiary fauna of Vieques remain largely unexplored. Within the past 3-5 million years there has been a noticeable decline in the biodiversity in the Caribbean region. Looking at fossil deposits on Vieques could improve our understanding of past Caribbean ecosystems and help place the Vieques fauna within the context of an extinction event. The identification of species preserved on Vieques could also help identify a timeframe for when sea level was elevated in relation to the island, as well as a timeframe for the deposition of its limestone formations. The following report presents a systematic analysis of marine fossils collected from the “South Beach” and “Explosive Beach” outcrops, in an attempt to constrain the age of the formations and shed light on the geologic history and marine
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Unformatted text preview: diversity preserved on Vieques. After the collection of fossils they were compared with slides from previous systematic analyses in the Caribbean region, with species such as Diodora cayenensis (Lamarck 1822) and Placocyathus costatus (Duncan 1848). These two species helped to give a relative age for the rocks that were examined. The importance of the description of these fossils was that they help delineate the age of rocks that have received very little attention or study. They can also help point toward an observation of how the environment of the Caribbean has changed since the end of the Miocene and what may have caused the decrease in the biodiversity of the region. Sediment analysis will allow for a more accurate analysis on the paleo-ecology of the region. In order to determine the absolute age of the fossils a radionuclide test on the fossils would be needed but is not completely necessary for this analysis....
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