Les sélaciens du Miocène de la région de Montpellier
Ichtyofauna; Miocene; Montpellier
The utilization of screen-washing and attack by dilute acetic acid has permitted the collecting, in the Miocene of the department of Hérault (France), of a very rich ichthyofauna. This fauna is presently comprised of about 60 studied species, of which 11 are new, and represents, in the present state of knowledge, the most varied Miocene selachian fauna described in the world.
The abondance of material has allowed an overall revision to be made; it has thus been possible to complete the description and the ﬁguration of species that were poorly known until now, and to synonymize species that were established on simple morphotypes. Paleo-ecologic study of the ichthyofauna has permitted conclusions to be drawn relative to climate and bathymetry; it was thus possible to show that the Miocene fauna of Hérault was a fauna of a subtropical sea, essentially neritic with rare pelagic contributions.
Knowing the stratigraphic position of the localities, it has been possible to distinguish three faunal assemblages based on associations of species. Some hypotheses on the evolution of certain lineages have been expressed.
The comparison of this fauna with that of other regions permitted the relationships of two diﬂerent faunal provinces to be speciﬁed: the ﬁrst belongs to the northern domain, characterized by a fauna still subtropical but with numerous temperate water elements; the leoond belongs to the Mesogean domain characterized by warm water forms. It has also lhovm that contemporary faunas could be very different according to the bathymetric zone in which they lived, which furnishes valuable information for the paleogeographic reconstruction of sedimentary basins.