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Santana Formation

Fossils
By John McIntosh

Copyright Ancient Artifacts & Treasures, Inc., 2015

Santana Formation Fossils


The Santana Formation is a geologic
Lagerstatte (undisturbed fossil accumulation) in
northeastern Brazils Araripe Basin where the
states of Pernambuco, Piaui and Ceara come
together.
The geological formation, named after the
village of Santana do Cariri, lies at the base of
the Araripe Plateau.
It was discovered by Johann Babtist von Spix in
1819.

Santana Formation Fossils

Santana Formation Fossils

Santana Formation Fossils

Araripe Valley

Santana Formation Fossils

Santana Formation Fossils


The strata were laid down during the early
Cretaceous, specifically during the early
Cenomanian, about 115 - 92 million years ago,
in a shallow inland sea. At that time, the South
Atlantic was opening up in a long narrow
shallow sea.

Santana Formation Fossils


Cretaceous Period
Epoch
Maastrichtian
Campanian
Santonian
Coniacian
Turonian
Cenomanian
Albian
Aptian
Barremian
Hauterivian
Valanginian

Millions of
Years
72.1 0.2*
83.6 0.2
86.3 0.5*
89.8 0.3
93.9*
100.5*
~113
~125
~129.4
~132.9
~139.8

Berriasian

~145

Flowering plants proliferate, along with


new types of insects. More modern
teleost fish begin to appear.
Ammonoidea, belemnites, rudist
bivalves, echinoids and sponges all
common. Many new types of dinosaurs
(e.g. Tyrannosaurs, Titanosaurs, duck
bills, and horned dinosaurs) evolve on
land, as do Eusuchia (modern
crocodilians); and mosasaurs and
modern sharks appear in the sea.
Primitive birds gradually replace
pterosaurs. Monotremes, marsupials and
placental mammals appear. The
atmospheric CO2 are close to presentday levels.

Santana Formation Fossils

The Santana Formation earns the designation of Lagersttte due to


an exceedingly well preserved and diverse fossil faunal assemblage.
Some 25 species of fossil fishes are often found with stomach
contents preserved. There are also fine examples of pterosaurs,
reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates (particularly insects), and
plants. Even dinosaurs are represented: a new maniraptor was
described in 1996.

Santana Formation Fossils


Some
Examples

A pteradactyl fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Fish
Examples

A display from the 2010 Munich Mineral Show

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Fish
Examples

A Neoproscinetes fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Fish
Examples

A Cladocyclus gardneri fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Fish
Examples

A Rhacolepis Buccaulis fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Insect
Examples

A Protoischnurus Scorpion fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Insect
Examples

A Araripegomphus andreneli fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Insect
Examples

A Orthopteraneli fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Insect
Examples

A Thysanura indet fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Plant
Examples

A Ruffordia fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Plant
Examples

An unidentified plant fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some Plant
Examples

An unidentified plant fossil

Santana Formation Fossils


Some
References
Santana Fossils: An Illustrated Atlas, John Maisey, 1991

The Crato Fossil Beds of Brazil, David M. Martill 2007

Evolution Of Fossil Ecosystems, Paul Selden, John R Nudds, 2007

Fossils of the Santana and Crato Formations, Brazil, David M. Martill 1996

Santana Formation Fossils

Questions?