Taxonomical and paleoecological insights into the Maastrichtian-Paleogene benthic foraminifer Valvulineria orali (Inan) comb. nov.
Specimens here considered under Valvulineria orali (Inan) comb. nov. are widely distributed in Late Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian) to Paleogene (lower Lutetian) shallow-water carbonates in the Neo-Tethyan realm (from Spain to Pakistan). The species was previously classified as possessing a free way of life. Material from the Danian-Thanetian of the Kambühel Formation of the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria, and from the Danian-Selandian of the Şahinkaya Member of Turkey evidences an (facultative?) epibionthic life style in peri-reefal environments. The observed test plasticity is likely due to adjustments to variable substrate surfaces and supports the epibionthic life style. The systematic placing of the species is discussed herein based on synonymies and taxonomical differences with the taxa previously connected.
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