Palaeobiogeographic relationships of the Haţeg biota - Between isolation and innovation

David B. Weishampel, Zoltán Csiki, Michael J. Benton, Dan Grigorescu, Vlad Codrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biogeographic significance of the Late Cretaceous Haţeg fauna is assessed using both faunal and phylogenetic analyses. Although extremely endemic at the species level, the Haţeg fauna is part of a larger European palaeobioprovince compared to roughly contemporary (Campanian-Maastrichtian) terrestrial faunas elsewhere in Europe. Phylogenetic analyses of five Haţeg taxa, calibrated by biostratigraphic occurrences provide evidence of long ghost lineages. The geographic distributions of kogaionids, Kallokibotion, Allodaposuchus, and Zalmoxes (together with their European sister taxa) may have arisen from vicariant events between western Europe and North America, while the distribution of Telmatosaurus is an example of European endemism of Asiamerican origin.While Haţeg seems to have acted as a dead-end refugium for Kallokibotion and Telmatosaurus, other faunal members (and their immediate sister taxa) are not restricted to Transylvania, but known otherwise from localities across southern Europe. In addition, Transylvania may have acted as an evolutionary cradle for kogaionids.Transylvania and the other southern faunas of Europe may represent a distinct division of the Late Cretaceous European palaeobioprovince. A boundary between this Tethyan Europe and the more western and northern cratonic Europe suggests something like the Wallace Line in the Malay Archipelago, in which two distinct faunal provinces with separate histories within a much larger, seemingly uniform geographic region are separated by a narrow boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-437
Number of pages19
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Evolution
  • Haţeg Basin
  • Late Cretaceous
  • Palaeobiogeography
  • Vertebrate fauna

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


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