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Keywords:

  • Limopsis;
  • Antarctica;
  • biogeography;
  • systematics;
  • evolutionary origins

Abstract: Limopsis is one of the most speciose and widespread bivalve genera in the Southern Ocean at the present day. However, the fossil record of the genus is poorly known from the southern high latitudes. Here, we review the fossil record in this region to help understand the evolutionary origins of the genus. Limopsis infericola sp. nov. and additional specimens of a previously described species are added to the fossil record of Antarctica. The globally distributed limopsid clade had its earliest occurrences in the Early Cretaceous of Europe and New Zealand, then radiated during the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian, 70.6–65.5 Ma). Fossil evidence shows that the genus underwent a second, Cenozoic, radiation related to the isolation of Antarctica and the onset of cooling in the southern hemisphere. The genus has persisted in Antarctica for the last 50 myr, adapting to extreme changes in the environmental conditions, including surviving the last glacial maximum in marine refugia.