Article: First occurrence of the brachiopod family Erymnariidae Cooper in the Upper Cretaceous of southern Italy
The rhynchonellid family Erymnariidae Cooper includes the new genus Costerymnaria together with Erymnaria Cooper, which comprises all the known erymnariids, and Erymnaria matensis (Capasso) from the Cenomanian of the Matese Mountains in southern Italy, which is revised herein. Costerymnaria includes three new forms: Costerymnaria italica sp. nov. and Costerymnaria sp. from the Cenomanian of the Matese Mountains, and Costerymnaria apula sp. nov. from the uppermost Campanian of the Salentine Peninsula, also in southern Italy. The shell ultrastructure and mode of life together with the taphonomy of these taxa are discussed. The occurrence of these rhynchonellids extends the stratigraphical range of the family Erymnariidae, its first appearance being in the Cenomanian, and also its geographical distribution to include the southernmost part of Italy. The erymnariids are, therefore, typical Tethyan forms. Erymnaria is one of the few brachiopods to have survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary events. Along with Costerymnaria it probably developed in parallel from a common ancestral stock during the Late Cretaceous.