Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Late Oligocene sharks and rays from the Chandler Bridge Formation, Dorchester County, South Carolina, USA

David J. Cicimurri and James L. Knight

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 54 (4), 2009: 627-647 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2008.0077

A diverse vertebrate fauna, dominated by elasmobranch taxa, was collected from the upper Oligocene (Chattian) Chandler Bridge Formation in Summerville, Dorchester County, South Carolina. Nearly 3,500 teeth and dermal denticles are assigned to 29 species of sharks and rays, and our sample includes the oldest known occurrence of the whale shark, Rhincodon, as well as a new skate, Raja mccollumi sp. nov. The Chandler Bridge elasmobranch assemblage is comparable in species diversity to Chattian assemblages of Virginia and North Carolina, USA, and Germany. Notable absences from Germany include Rhincodon, Hemipristis, and Sphyrna zygaena, likely reflecting the influence of colder water on the North Sea Basin during the Chattian. Squaloids, pristiophoroids, and hexanchoids are known from Chattian deposits of the Albemarle Embayment (North Carolina), Salisbury Embayment (Virginia), and North Sea Basin, but these taxa are absent from the Chandler Bridge assemblage, perhaps because of shallow, warm water (20 to 25oC) conditions within the more southerly Charleston Embayment

Key words: Chondrichthyes, Neoselachii, Oligocene, Chandler Bridge Formation, South Carolina.

David J. Cicimurri [dcheech@clemson.edu], Campbell Geology Museum, 140 Discovery Lane, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA; James L. Knight [jim.knight@scmuseum.org], South Carolina State Museum, P.O. Box 100107, Columbia, South Carolina, 29202, USA.