First-order global climatic and oceanographic changes occurred from the middle Eocene to early Miocene (48-16 Ma), promoting the redistribution and partitioning of food resources and a consequential increase in diversity and disparity of marine vertebrates. Due to the scarcity of productive paleontological sites and the dearth of temporal
constraints, however, our knowledge of the fossil record of these epochs remains elusive. The Pisco Basin is one of the most relevant areas in the world for what concerns the evolution of marine vertebrates through the whole Cenozoic period. As on now, thousands of cetacean, fish, reptile and seabird skeletons have been discovered by
members of the present work group in the Neogene strata, and the Paleogene strata already started to produce some particularly intriguing and scientifically informative specimens. Our preliminary survey of previously unexplored areas have yielded exciting findings with a preservation quality that has far exceeded expectations.
Their paleontological significance indicates that the superb fossil record encased within these strata represents a strong candidate to become one of the most remarkable assemblages of middle Eocene – early Miocene marine vertebrates worldwide. In this context, the objectives of this project are to: 1) provide a comprehensive summary of
the Eo-Miocene marine vertebrate fauna preserved within these strata; 2) set this paleontological record within a robust, high-resolution stratigraphic and temporal framework to address a number of broader issues concerning patterns of marine vertebrates evolution and extinction events during this crucial period of their evolutionary history;
3) assess the geological and climatic factors controlling the temporal distribution and diversity of fossil assemblages; and 4) lay down the basis for operational instruments supporting the fruition, valorization and safeguard of these outstanding paleontological sites and preventing their irreplaceable loss.

FAR 2019
€ 50.897