Article: Lower Jurassic foraminifera and calcified microflora from Gibraltar, western Mediterranean
Benthic foraminifera are described for the first time from the Gibraltar Limestone Formation of the Rock of Gibraltar. The new species Siphovalvulina colomiS. gibraltarensisRiyadhella praeregularis occur with Duotaxis metula Kristan, Everticyclammina praevirguliana Fugagnoli, Siphovalvulina sp.,an atypically early example of Textulariopsis sp., and Nodosaria sp. Microflora are present as the probable cyanobacterium Cayeuxia ?piae Frollo, the alga Palaeodasycladus ?mediterraneus (Pia), and the disputed alga Thaumatoporella ?parvovesiculifera (Raineri). The foraminifera compare most closely with poorly-known taxa from Italy, Spain and Morocco, and are consistent with an Early Jurassic (Sinemurian) age for the upper part of the ~460-m-thick Gibraltar Limestone. Most are textulariids and more primitive than species well known from the later Early Jurassic (Pliensbachian) of the Mediterranean region, especially Morocco and Italy. The biota as a whole is characteristic of inner carbonate platform environments widespread along the rifted western margins of the Early Jurassic Tethys, notably those recorded from Morocco, Italy and Greece as well as southern Spain.