New evidence for late Eocene-early Oligocene uplift of Aves Ridge and paleogeography of GAARlandia


  • Manuel Antonio Iturralde Vinent Academia de Ciencias de Cuba
  • Ross MacPhee American Museum of Natural History



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.

Author Biographies

Manuel Antonio Iturralde Vinent, Academia de Ciencias de Cuba

PhD, Academician Emeritus, Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, Calle Cuba 460, Habana Vieja, Cuba.

Retired senior curator at Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de La Habana, Senior Advisor at Empresa de Tecnologías de la Información y Servicios Telemáticos & Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. 

Ross MacPhee, American Museum of Natural History

Ross MacPhee, PhD, Senior Curator in Residence & Professor Emeritus
Mammalogy/Vertebrate Zoology & AMNH Gilder Graduate School
American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024
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