Caribbean coral reef communities were restructured by episodes of accelerated biotic change during the late Oligocene/early Miocene and the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene. However, rigorous description of the effects of rapid biotic change is problematic because preservation and exposure of coral-bearing deposits is not consistent in all stratigraphic intervals. In the Caribbean, early and middle Miocene exposures are more rare than late Miocene and Pliocene exposures. One exception is the late early to early middle Miocene Tamana Formation of Trinidad, and old and new collections from this unit were studied to determine the timing of recovery after the Oligocene/Miocene transition. A total of 41 species of zooxanthellate corals were recovered from the unit, including 21 new records. Within these assemblages, species first occurrences outnumber species last occurrences by a factor of four (31 first occurrences and eight last occurrences). The extension of the stratigraphic ranges of species previously first recorded in Pliocene sediments has reduced an apparent Pliocene pulse of origination, indicating that the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition was largely a result of accelerated extinction against a background of near-constant origination. The fact that few species last occur in the Tamana fauna indicates that the Oligocene/Miocene transition was complete by the end of the early Miocene.