The Last Global Extinction in the
deep sea - Late Pliocene to mid-Pleistocene extinctions (Stilostomella
Collaborator: Ellen Thomas (Yale University, USA)
Post-Doctoral Fellows: Shungo Kawagata, Katie Johnson; PhD student: Liesbeth van Kerckhoven
MSc students: Tanya O'Neill (Massey University, Palmerston North), Francie Geiger
(University of Canterbury, Christchurch)
The last major extinction period in the deep sea occurred during the Late
Pliocene to the mid-Pleistocene climate transition (MPT), just 3 million to
600,000 years ago, as the Ice Age climate cycles rapidly increased in severity
and amplitude. This episode was first noted in the Atlantic Ocean 35 years ago,
and has subsequently been recognised world-wide, although it has received
little specific attention prior to our recent studies (since 2001). It was
named the "Stilostomella extinction" after
a prominent family of foraminifera that died out at this time. This last global
extinction episode preferentially targeted elongate cylindrical forms, often
with specialised apertural modifications (stilostomellids, pleurostomellids,
some nodosariids). Our studies have shown that
becoming extinct at this time were five complete families (Chrysalogoniidae,
and almost another (Plectofrondiculariidae),
involving 30 genera, and 104 species (c. 25% of deep-sea foraminiferal
diversity at the time).
Between 2001 and 2006, we investigating the global architecture, timing,
taxonomic impact and causes of this puzzling and poorly understood extinction
Between 2007-2011, we investigated the Cenozoic history of the Extinction Group
and the impacts of the PETM warm
event and mid Miocene cooling event on them. In 2012 we published a Monograph
documenting the architecture of the Last Global Extinction, the
Cretaceous-Cenozoic history of the Extinction Group families and a thorough
taxonomic review and atlas of the 250 species in Extinction Group families.
High-resolution studies of the late Pliocene to mid-Pleistocene record of
these extinctions was undertaken in the following study areas:
a. South-west Pacific (DSDP 593, 594, ODP
1119, 1120, 1123, 1125). - Published, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2013 (with Mancin et al.).
b. North Atlantic gateway (ODP
980, 982). - published, 2005.
c. Caribbean (ODP
1000). - published, 2006, with Andre Droxler and
d. South Atlantic-Southern Ocean
(ODP 1082, 1083, 1088). -
Published, 2007. MSc thesis of Tanya O'Neill.
e. Indian Ocean (ODP
722, 758). - Published, 2006, with Anil Gupta
f. North Pacific - South China Sea (ODP 1143, 1146). - Published, 2007, with Wolfgang Kuhnt
g. Equatorial Pacific (core KR9912PC4). Published, 2010
h. Mediterranean Sea (ODP 966,
975, 976) - published, 2009
i. North-east Pacific (ODP
1012) – published, 2010
j. West North Atlantic (ODP 1055)
– published, 2010
k. Pleistocene stratigraphy of deep-sea ostracods (ODP
1125) - MSc thesis of Francie Geiger, 2006
l. Extinct species in Brady's Challenger Report. published, 2005.
m. Global summary. Published, 2007.
Low-resolution studies of Cenozoic record of the Extinction Group benthics
in the following areas:
a. Indian Ocean (ODP
722, 738, 744, 758, 763) – published 2010, with Ritsuo
Nomura, Claudia Schroeder-Adams, Anil Gupta
b. North Atlantic (DSDP 548, ODP
608) – published 2010, with Ellen Thomas
Pacific (DSDP 317, ODP 865) –
published 2010, with Ellen Thomas
High-resolution study of Extinction Group through middle Miocene cooling
event in the following area:
a. Pacific Ocean (ODP
1143, 1236) – published 2011. Post-doc study of Katie Johnson, with Ann Holbourn.
High-resolution study of Extinction Group through PETM
hot event in the following areas:
Ocean (DSDP 589, 590) – PhD thesis by Liesbeth van Kerckhoven, completed, 2014
Pacific Ocean (ODP 865, 1211) -
PhD thesis by Liesbeth van Kerckhoven,
- Hayward, B.W., Kawagata, S., Sabaa, A.T.,
Grenfell, H., van Kerckhoven, L., Johnson, K.,
and Thomas, E., 2012. The last global extinction (Mid-Pleistocene) of
deep-sea benthic foraminifera (Chrysalogoniidae,
Stilostomellidae), their Late
Cretaceous-Cenozoic history and taxonomy. Cushman Foundation for
Foraminiferal Research Special Publication No. 43, 408 pp.
- Mancin, N., Hayward, B.W., Trattenero,
I., Cobianchi, M., Lupi,
C., 2013. Can the morphology of deep-sea benthic foraminifera reveal what
caused their extinction during the mid-Pleistocene Climate Transition? Marine
micropaleontology 104, 53-70.
K., Hayward, B.W., Holbourn,
A. 2011. Impact of the Middle Miocene Climate Transition on elongate,
cylindrical foraminifera in the subtropical Pacific. Marine
Micropaleontology 78: 50-64.
- Hayward, B.W., Johnson, K., Sabaa, A.T., Kawagata, S.,
Thomas, E., 2010: Cenozoic record of elongate, cylindrical, deep-sea
benthic foraminifera in the North Atlantic and equatorial Pacific Oceans. Marine
- Hayward, B.W., Sabaa, A.T., Thomas, E., Kawagata, S.,
Nomura, R., Schroder-Adams, C., Gupta, A. K., Johnson, K., 2010: Cenozoic
record of elongate, cylindrical, deep-sea benthic foraminifera in the
Indian Ocean (ODP Sites 722, 738, 744, 758 and 763). Journal of
Foraminiferal Research 40:
B.W., Sabaa, A.T., Kawagata, S., Grenfell, H.R. 2009: The Early Pliocene
re-colonisation of the deep Mediterranean Sea by benthic foraminifera and
their pulsed Late Pliocene-Middle Pleistocene decline. Marine
Micropaleontology 71: 97-112.
B.W., Kawagata, S., Grenfell, H.R., Sabaa, A.T., O'Neill, T., 2007. The
last global extinction in the deep sea - during the mid-Pleistocene climate
transition. Paleoceanography 22: PA3103.
T.A., Hayward, B.W., Kawagata, S., Sabaa, A.T., Grenfell, H.R., 2007. Pleistocene
extinctions of deep-sea foraminifera - the South Atlantic record. Palaeontology
S.; Hayward, B.W.; Kuhnt, W., 2007. Extinction
of deep-sea foraminifera as a result of Pliocene-Pleistocene deep-sea
circulation changes in the South China Sea (ODP Sites 1143 and 1146). Quaternary
Science Reviews 26: 808-827.
- Hayward,B.W.; Kawagata, S.;
Grenfell, H.R.; Droxler, A.W.; Shearer, M.,
2006. Mid-Pleistocene extinction of bathyal benthic foraminifera in the
Caribbean Sea. Micropaleontology, 52(3): 53-73.
B.W.; Kawagata, S. 2005: Extinct foraminifera figured in Brady's
Challenger Report. Journal of Micropalaeontology 24: 171-175.
- Kawagata, S.;
Hayward, B.W.; Grenfell, H.R.; Sabaa, A.T., 2005: Mid-Pleistocene
extinction of deep-sea foraminifera in the North Atlantic Gateway (ODP
Sites 980 and 982). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 221: 267-291.
- Hayward, B.W.; Grenfell,
H.R.; Sabaa, A.T.; Sikes, E.L., 2005: Deep-sea benthic foraminiferal
record of the mid-Pleistocene transition in the South-west Pacific. In:
M. J. Head and P. L. Gibbard (eds). Early-Middle Pleistocene transitions: the
land-ocean evidence. Geological Society (London), Special Publication,
B.W., 2002: Late Pliocene to middle Pleistocene extinctions of deep-sea
benthic foraminifera ("Stilostomella
extinction") in the South-west Pacific. Journal of
Foraminiferal Research, 32: 274-306.
B.W., 2002: Global deep-sea extinctions during the Pleistocene ice-ages:
Reply. Geology, 30(2): 191-192.
B.W., 2001: Global deep-sea extinctions during the Pleistocene ice-ages. Geology,