• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 11, 1996; 93(12): 6069–6072.

Earliest evolution associated with closure of the Tropical American Seaway.


Oceanographic changes caused by the emerging Central American isthmus, which completely severed connections between the Caribbean Sea and tropical Pacific Ocean about 3.5 million years ago, began to stimulate evolution of Caribbean reef corals and benthic foraminifera in the Late Miocene. At that time, first appearances of benthic foraminifera increased, especially those species strongly associated with carbonate-rich substrata; reef corals diversified dramatically; and the carbonate content of southern Caribbean deep-sea sediments increased. We suggest that the changes in marine environments caused by the constricting seaway and resulting in increasing carbonate content of sediments induced accelerated origination in reef corals and carbonate-associated benthic foraminifera.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (779K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Keigwin L. Isotopic paleoceanography of the Caribbean and East pacific: role of panama uplift in late neogene time. Science. 1982 Jul 23;217(4557):350–353. [PubMed]
  • Whitmore FC, Jr, Stewart RH. Miocene Mammals and Central American Seaways: Fauna of the Canal Zone indicates separation of Central and South America during most of the Tertiary. Science. 1965 Apr 9;148(3667):180–185. [PubMed]
  • Jackson JB, Jung P, Coates AG, Collins LS. Diversity and extinction of tropical american mollusks and emergence of the isthmus of panama. Science. 1993 Jun 11;260(5114):1624–1626. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...