New evidence for late Eocene-early Oligocene uplift of Aves Ridge and paleogeography of GAARlandia
Keywords:GAARlandia, Aves Ridge, Eocene-Oligocene, Paleogeography, Biogeography, Caribbean
The GAARlandia hypothesis has produced vigorous debate among biologists regarding whether now-submerged landforms that existed in the Caribbean region during the late Paleogene might have acted as a barrier for marine organisms and as a bridge for terrestrial biotas migrating from South America into the Greater Antilles. This concept derived from the hypothesized emergence history of the Aves Ridge. In the quarter century since GAARlandia was first proposed, new paleontological, geological and geophysical information has greatly extended the database available. Here we reaffirm that GAARlandia was a positive topographic feature from middle Eocene, and was exposed above sea level between late Eocene and early Oligocene when it facilitated biotic colonization of the northern Greater Antilles and their satellite islands, whether as a series of closely spaced islands or as a continuous peninsula projecting from northeastern South America along the crown of the rise.
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