Supplement to: Dailey, Donald H (1983): Late Cretaceous and Paleocene benthic foraminifers from Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 516, Rio Grande Rise, western South Atlantic Ocean. In: Barker, PF; Carlson, RL; Johnson, DA; et al. (eds.), Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (U.S. Govt. Printing Office), 72, 757-782, https://doi.org/10.2973/dsdp.proc.72.134.1983
Benthic foraminifers of the Coniacian-Santonian through the Paleocene were recovered from a continuous pelagic carbonate section from Hole 516F on the Rio Grande Rise. Sixty-five genera and 153 species have been identified, most of which have been reported from other localities. Bathyal depths are reflected in the benthic assemblages dominated by gavelinellids (Gavelinella beccariiformis, G. velascoensis), Nuttallides truempyi, and various gyroidinids and buliminids. Rapid subsidence during the Coniacian-Santonian from nearshore to upper to middle bathyal depths was followed by much reduced subsidence, with the Campanian-Paleocene interval accumulating at middle bathyal to lower bathyal depths.
A census study based on detailed sampling reveals major changes in benthic faunal composition at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary transition. It was a time of rapid turnover, with the extinctions of numerous species and the introduction of many new species. Overall, species diversity decreases about 20%, and approximately one-third of latest Maestrichtian species do not survive to the end of the Cretaceous. This shift indicates a significant environmental change in the deep sea, the precise nature of which is not apparent from the foraminifers or their enclosing sediments.
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