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Geological strategy for the study of the aptian freshwater molluscs of the Santana Group, Araripe Basin, Brazil: paleoenvironmental, paleogeographic and biostratigraphic significances

Grant number: 20/15609-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences - Geology
Principal Investigator:Marcello Guimarães Simões
Grantee:Victor Ribeiro da Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Mollusk bivalves of the Brazilian Cretaceous were, generally, widely studied since the second half of the 19th century. However, even if this assertion is true for the bivalves of the Sergipe and Paraná sedimentary basins, the same cannot be said about the Araripe Basin, Northeastern Brazil. Likewise, when compared with other South American localities, such as Argentina, there are remarkably large gaps in the knowledge of the Brazilian Cretaceous paleontological record of mollusks and other co-occurring invertebrate groups. Along with that, an almost complete absence of references concerning freshwater bivalves from this period is noticeable. The present research project fits in this context, aiming to: (I) increase fundamental knowledge on the taxonomy of freshwater bivalve assemblages of the Aptian Santana Group, Araripe Basin, thus improving data on faunal composition and evolution; (ii) establish the basic taphonomic aspects of the Aptian freshwater bivalve assemblages which, in the future, may serve to interpret the formation of other mollusk-rich fossil concentrations on Mesozoic sedimentary settings; (iii) improve basic knowledge on the Paleoecology of freshwater bivalves, thus adding valuable data on sedimentary environments interpretations, and (iv) precisely constrain the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of the Aptian freshwater bivalve species in the Santana Group, in order to improve intra- and interbasinal biocorrelations. The hypothesis to be verified is that of a non-Gondwanan origin of the freshwater mollusk fauna of the Early Cretaceous in Northeastern Brazil, as well as the possible establishment of a link with Eurasian faunas. This has profound paleogeographic implications related to the geological history of Gondwana, as well as the dispersion patterns of the detected taxa. Finally, this data can also decisively contribute to establish biocorrelation schemes with Northern Africa Cretaceous terrains. (AU)

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