A recent sponge, Pleroma aotea Kelly (Order Lithistida: Family Pleromidae), in the late Eocene Ototara Limestone of Otago, New Zealand

Kelly, M, Lee, D, Kelly, S and Buckeridge, J 2003, 'A recent sponge, Pleroma aotea Kelly (Order Lithistida: Family Pleromidae), in the late Eocene Ototara Limestone of Otago, New Zealand', New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, vol. 37, pp. 129-138.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A recent sponge, Pleroma aotea Kelly (Order Lithistida: Family Pleromidae), in the late Eocene Ototara Limestone of Otago, New Zealand
Author(s) Kelly, M
Lee, D
Kelly, S
Buckeridge, J
Year 2003
Journal name New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
Volume number 37
Start page 129
End page 138
Total pages 9
Publisher The Royal Society of New Zealand
Abstract Numerous remarkably well-preserved lithistid sponges recovered from the late Eocene-early Oligocene Ototara Limestone at Kakanui, North Otago, represent the first sponge body fossils to be described from the New Zealand Cainozoic. The sponges are scattered throughout a 1-3-m-thick volcaniclastic limestone horizon immediately overlying the Kakanui Mineral Breccia. The fossils are now solid calcite, the former siliceous skeleton having been replaced during diagenesis. The Kakanui sponges are the only known body fossils remaining from an extremely diverse sponge fauna which formed a major component of the benthos in the Kakanui-Oamaru region in late Eocene-early Oligocene times (c. 35-33 Ma). The sponge body fossils are described and compared with living sponges that have a similar flattened globose morphology. The fossils are morphologically indistinguishable from the living lithistid sponge Pleroma aotea Kelly ("Order" Lithistida: Family Pleromidae) from deep-water seamounts and banks off north-eastern New Zealand, and are significant in that they represent a stratigraphic range for the species of more than 35 million years. The present-day distribution of P. aotea, limited to silica-rich deeper waters, is in marked contrast to the relatively shallow warm water volcanic environments occupied during the Palaeogene. This restriction, and that of related lithistid sponges to silica-rich deeper waters off northern New Zealand, is paralleled in other demosponges and several calcareous invertebrate groups such as barnacles, bryozoans, and crinoids.
Subject Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
Keyword(s) fossil Porifera
Demospongiae
Lithistida
Pleroma aotea
Ototara limestone
Kakanui
Oamaru
Eocene
Oligocene
New Zealand
Copyright notice © 2003 The Royal Society of New Zealand
ISSN 0028-8330
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