Field of Science

A New Turtle Dominated Fossil Biota from the Late Triassic (Norian) of Poland


This paper documents a newly discovered fauna from the Norian of Poland that is important because it is dominated by fossils of what is most likely a new taxon of turtle. Of course Late Triassic terrestrial turtles are very rare so we will watch further research from this site with interest. The locality also includes other vertebrate taxa including a coelophysoid dinosaur and an aetosaur.  The aetosaur is of interest because the dorsal vertebra possesses a distinct hyposphene, a character previously only found in Desmatosuchus from North America and Aetobarbakinoides from Brazil.  This new site is also significant because it preserves micro and macrofloral fossils, which are generally uncommonly associated with vertebrate remains. Large temnospondyls are also rare in the Norian, but this site has one as well.

Sulej, T., Niedźwiedzki, G., and R. Bronowicz. 2012. A new Late Triassic vertebrate fauna from Poland with turtles, aetosaurs, and coelophysoid dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23: 1033-1041. DOI:10.1080/02724634.2012.694384

Abstract - We report a new site with an occurrence of isolated bones of a Palaeochersis-like turtle in Norian-Rhaetian fluvial sediments from southern Poland. The turtle remains are associated with bones of a medium-sized aetosaur, a coelophysoid dinosaur, and a larger carnivorous archosaur, as well as a hybodontid shark, ganoid and dipnoan fishes, and a large temnospondyl.

1 comment:

  1. in the Polish September issue of National Geographic is a note about this fauna and the author writes about two species of turtles, one smaller and one bigger (Palaeochersis-like) which is known for complete carapace

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