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Antillean Land Bridge

Antillean Land Bridge

Chapter:
(p.135) Four Antillean Land Bridge
Source:
Land Bridges
Author(s):
Alan Graham
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226544328.003.0005

The possibility of the Antilles being continuous during the Eocene-Oligocene transition rather than discontinuous throughout their entire existence is being decided in favor of discontinuity. The meager paleobotanical evidence from the Greater Antilles suggest about the same affinities between northern South America and the far northern (western) Greater Antilles before the proposed landspan as after. Sustained and emergent but separated land dates primarily from the Eocene. Study of the modern vegetation and its origin is complicated by a long history of introduction, escape, and naturalization of cultivars and associated plants within the Caribbean and adjacent regions beginning with the earliest inhabitants (Archaic people) in the mid-Holocene (5000 to 6000 years ago) and from more distant by European traders in the late 1700s and afterwards. Paleoclimates have been warm-temperate throughout the Antilles' history with fluctuations muted by the southerly location and island environment. During the warm intervals of the Paleogene Pelliceria grew in the Greater Antilles. Both the plant macrofossils last studied comprehensively in the early 1900s and the microfossils in the late 1960s would benefit from modern studies if the biological affinities of the specimens are established (as opposed to using an artificial stratigraphic nomenclature).

Keywords:   discontinuous, geography, climates, geology, Puerto Rican Trench, Aves Ridge, vegetation, people, utilization

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