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A Fossil Skull of the Extant Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans Lacapède, 1802) from the Late Miocene of Orange County, California
Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences
  • Harry L. Fierstine, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Publication Date
1-1-2008
Abstract

A nearly complete fossil skull, including the rostrum, of blue marlin, Makaira nigricans Lacapède, 1802 (Perciformes: Xiphioidei: Istiophoridae), was collected from the Oso Member (latest Miocene) of the Capistrano Formation, Mission Viejo, Orange County, California. The specimen is compared with extant and fossil istiophorids, and 19 of its 20 morphological variables are within the range of values observed for extant M. nigricans, whereas only 13 or less variables are within the observed range of other extant istiophorids. Because extant M. nigricans usually inhabits a water column with a height of about 200 m or more and is the most tropical of all xiphioid species, its presence supports the hypotheses that the Oso Member was deposited at upper bathyal depths or greater and that the coastal paleoclimate of southern California was warmer during the late Miocene than at present.

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Publisher statement

Published by the Southern California Academy of Sciences.

Citation Information
Harry L. Fierstine. "A Fossil Skull of the Extant Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans Lacapède, 1802) from the Late Miocene of Orange County, California" Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 Iss. 2 (2008) p. 45 - 56
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/hfiersti/19/