Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Diversity of German Middle Triassic Parareptiles

Owenettids and procolophonids from the lower Keuper shed new light on the diversity of parareptiles in the German Middle Triassic


Martinelli et al


We report three isolated humeri of small-sized parareptiles, which represent two different taxa, from the lower Keuper (Erfurt Formation) of Germany. They constitute the first definitive evidence of parareptiles in the lower Keuper. The specimens represent the first records of an owenettid procolophonian (aff. Barasaurus) from Europe and of a putative gracile-built procolophonid. This indicates the coexistence in the Middle Triassic of Germany of two procolophonian lineages that first appeared in the fossil record in the late Permian and survived the Permian–Triassic extinction. Although based on isolated limb bones, they highlight the taxonomic diversity of the still poorly known tetrapod assemblage of the lower Keuper in southwestern Germany.

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