Friday, September 3, 2010

Jurassic Phytosaur

Many of you have probably already heard, especially if you read Chinleana, that there is a paper out suggesting that at least one phytosaur - a marine phytosaur - survived into the Jurassic. I am extremely skeptical about this, but I'm aso not dismissing the idea altogether. Currently, the Jurassic (in the marine record) i defined by the first appearance of the ammonoid Psiloceras. The phytosaur discussed in this paper was found in the horizon just below the first appearance of Psiloceras, which I think makes it quite easy to conclude that the phytosaur was Late Triassic in age. But you should certainly have a read for yourself. And as we know, extinction events aren't always the most clean, abrupt events in the geologic record, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Maisch, M. W. & Kapitzke, M. 2010. A presumably marine phytosaur (Reptilia: Archosauria) from the pre-planorbis beds (Hettangian) of England. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 257: 373–379. DOI: 10.1127/0077-7749/2010/0076

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