Maastrichtian Stage

also spelled  Maestrichtian Stage 

      uppermost of the six main divisions in the Upper Cretaceous Series, representing rocks deposited worldwide during the Maastrichtian Age, which occurred 70.6 to 65.5 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Rocks of the Maastrichtian Stage overlie those of the Campanian Stage and underlie rocks of the Danian Stage of the Paleogene System.

      The stage's name is derived from the city of Maastricht in the southeastern Netherlands, whose surrounding area serves as the classic type district for rocks of this age. The Maastrichtian Stage is extensively represented by chalk formations in northern Continental Europe and in England—for example, the Trimingham Chalk and part of the Norwich Chalk. The first appearance of the fossil ammonite (ammonoid) Hoploscaphites constrictus is often taken as the base of this stage. The Maastrichtian has been divided into several shorter spans of time called biozones (biozone), some of which are characterized by the calcareous microfossils of Micula mura, Lithraphidites quadratus, and Broinsonia parca. The planktonic foraminiferans (foraminiferan) Abathomphasus mayaroensis and Racemigulembelina fructicosa are also index fossils of the stage.

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Universalium. 2010.

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