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Data from: The rise to dominance of lanternfishes (Teleostei, Myctophidae) in the oceanic ecosystems: a paleontological perspective

Citation

Schwarzhans, Werner; Carnevale, Giorgio (2020), Data from: The rise to dominance of lanternfishes (Teleostei, Myctophidae) in the oceanic ecosystems: a paleontological perspective, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cjsxksn54

Abstract

Lanternfishes currently represent one of the dominant groups of mesopelagic fishes in terms of abundance, biomass and diversity. Their otolith record dominates pelagic sediments below 200 m in dredges, especially during the entire Neogene. Here we provide an analysis of their diversity and rise to dominance primarily based on their otolith record. The earliest unambiguous fossil myctophids are known based on otoliths from the late Paleocene and early Eocene. During their early evolutionary history myctophids were likely not adapted to a high oceanic lifestyle, but occurred over shelf and upper slope regions where they were locally abundant during the middle Eocene. A distinct up-scaling in otolith size is observed in the early Oligocozoicne, which also marks their earliest occurrence in bathyal sediments. We interpret this transition to be related to the change from a halothermal deep ocean circulation (HTC) to a thermohaline regime (THC), and the associated cooling of the deep ocean and rearrangement of nutrient and silica supply. The early Oligocene myctophid size acme shows a remarkable congruence with diatom abundance, the main food resource for the zooplankton and thus for myctophids and whales. The warmer late Oligocene to early middle Miocene period was characterized by an increase in disparity of myctophids but with a reduction in their otolith sizes. A second and persisting secular pulse in myctophid diversity (particularly within the genus Diaphus) and increase in size begins with the Biogenic Bloom in late Miocene, paralleled with diatom abundance and mysticete gigantism