MORPHOLOGY, TAXONOMY AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE CRETACEOUS CORAL GENUS AULASTRAEOPORA (LATE BARREMIAN-EARLY CENOMANIAN; SCLERACTINIA)
Keywords:Scleractinian corals, Aulastraeopora, Cretaceous, Systematics, Italy
The Cretaceous coral genus Aulastraeopora is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This genus of solitary growth form is characterised by medium-sized to large specimens, compact septa in a regular hexameral or tetrameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. Related genera are Preverastraea and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their cerioid-astreoid and phaceloid growth forms. There are four species of Aulastraeopora. The genus, which occurred world-wide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Forty-one samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Aulastraeopora a rare genus.