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Mesozoic and Cenozoic squamates of Europe.



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A recent non-dino paper that may be of interest:

Jean-Claude Rage (2013)
Mesozoic and Cenozoic squamates of Europe.
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1007/s12549-013-0124-x
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12549-013-0124-x

Squamates first appeared in Europe in the Middle Jurassic. They were
lizards that already included some crown-group members. Faunas of the
Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous were more or less a continuation of
the Middle Jurassic assemblage. The early Late Cretaceous was
characterised by a peculiar fauna of marine pythonomorphs, while
terrestrial forms were rare. In the subsequent levels of the Late
Cretaceous, marine forms were mainly mosasaurids; terrestrial
assemblages heralding modern ones began to take form during the
Campanian–Maastrichtian. The Cretaceous–Tertiary event did not
strongly affect squamates in Europe. After poor Paleocene faunas, a
big wave of dispersals reached Europe during a marked rise in
temperature at the beginning of the Eocene (MP 7). The Eocene fauna
was rich, diverse and of tropical type. In western Europe, a sharp
extinction event (‘Grande Coupure’) eliminated most squamates at the
end of the Eocene, but its impact in central and eastern Europe is
unknown. The Oligocene fauna was transitional between the ‘old’ Eocene
and the modern Miocene faunas. By the late early Miocene (MN 3–MN 4),
the fauna markedly changed when an important wave of dispersals
entered Europe during a climatic optimum. From the late middle Miocene
onward, the temperature has dropped. As a consequence, faunas became
less rich and regionalisation occurred. Numerous extinctions and
withdrawals took place during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene,
leaving an impoverished fauna in Europe.