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Article: Review of the Caenozoic heterodont bivalve superfamily Dreissenacea

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 33
Part: 3
Publication Date: August 1990
Page(s): 707 737
Author(s): C. P. Nuttall
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How to Cite

NUTTALL, C. P. 1990. Review of the Caenozoic heterodont bivalve superfamily Dreissenacea. Palaeontology33, 3, 707–737.

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The Dreissenacea consists of one family, the Dreissenidae, with subfamilies Dreisseninae for Dreissena (with three subgenera), Congeria and Mytilopsis; and Dreissenomyinae for Dreissenomya (two subgenera). Poorly preserved Prodreissensia is provisionally placed in the Dreisseninae, but may be wrongly assigned to the superfamily. Dreissenids live in fresh and brackish water. Most are epifaunal and byssally attached but Dreissenomya was infaunal and unattached. Mytilopsis first appeared in the European Eocene and invaded the Western Hemisphere in the late Oligocene. Dreissena, Congeria and Dreissenomya arose in the late Miocene of the Paratethys. Two genera survive: Mytilopsis occurs naturally only in the Western Hemisphere and Dreissena in Europe and Western Asia. European Mio-Pliocene boundary extinctions coincide with the break up of Paratethys and the Messinian salinity crisis. Often anomalous increases in the distribution of both Recent genera are attributed to human activity, but some records from eastern Asia are due to confusion with Sinomytilus (Mytilacea).
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