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Triassic bonebed in Germany and other non-dino papers

From: Ben Creisler

Here are a few recent non-dino papers that may be of interest:

Havlik, Philipe; Aiglstorfer, Manuela; Atfy, Haytham El; Uhl, Dieter (2013)
A peculiar bonebed from the Norian Stubensandstein (Löwenstein
Formation, Late Triassic) of southern Germany and its
palaeoenvironmental interpretation.
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen 269(3) :  321-337
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2013/0354

Despite the abundance of Triassic outcrops in S Germany knowledge
about continental ecosystems from the Norian is rather scarce so far
for this region. A new fossil-bearing site from the Lower Löwenstein
Formation (Unterer Stubensandstein; Norian) of north-eastern
Baden-Württemberg (SW Germany), discovered in 2011, yielded
disarticulated vertebrate remains together with a moderately diverse
palynoflora, ichnofossils and gymnospermous charcoal. These remains
are accumulated in a bonebed layer. Palynomorphs support a Late
Triassic age of the source sediment, showing a high diversity of
conifers. The new site provides the second conclusive evidence for
wildfires in the Norian of Europe and the first record of phytosaurs
from Schwäbisch Gmünd. Based on sedimentological evidence and
taphonomical interpretations of the charcoal remains, it seems
possible that the bonebed can be regarded as the result of increased
erosion following catastrophic wildfire.


Hellmund, Meinolf (2013)
Reappraisal of the bone inventory of Gastornis geiselensis (Fischer,
1978) from the Eocene “Geiseltal Fossillagerstätte“ (Saxony-Anhalt,
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen, Volume
269 (2): 203-220
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2013/0345

A comprehensive bone inventory list of the giant flightless bird
Gastornis geiselensis from the Eocene “Geiseltal Fossillagerstätte“
(Saxony-Anhalt, Central Germany) is presented. The fossils can be
attributed to five different vertebrate sites, excavated in the
Geiseltal mining area in the 1950s and late 1960s. The finds come from
the “Unterkohle“, the “untere Mittelkohle“ and from the “obere
Mittelkohle“ representing a duration of at least 3.5 million years. In
the terrestrial Tertiary mammalian stratigraphy the “Geiseltal -
Unterkohle“ is the reference locality for the Lower Middle Eocene (MP
11), whereas the “Geiseltal - untere Mittelkohle“ (MP 12) and the
“Geiseltal - obere Mittelkohle“ (MP 13) are the reference localities
for the Middle Middle Eocene and the Upper Middle Eocene. A
reappraisal carried out for all relevant bones identified a total
number of nine individuals from the former Geiseltal mining area
within a time span of 5-6 million years, covering in total MP 11 - MP
14, the latter representing the lowermost Upper Eocene. A slight
increase in size of a femur and in a tibiotarsus from different
stratigraphical sites (MP 11, MP 13) came to light, possibly
indicating an evolutionary trend in Gastornis geiselensis. However,
the observed size differences could also be explained by intraspecific
variation or sexual dimorphism. Considering the small samples, this
evolutionary trend is a tentative assumption. A review of the
tarsometatarsus bones, represented by two lesser preserved specimens,
clearly points to a comparatively short, wide and strong bone,
supporting the more or less clumsy bearing of Gastornis geiselensis
and a ponderous mode of locomotion, because of its primitive
tetradactyl feet. Therefore, it seems rather unlikely that Gastornis
geiselensis was capable of active predation and hunting, but rather
was a scavenger than a bone crusher. Other authors suppose it was a
plant eater, but the discussion is still ongoing.


Pelsochamops, new Cretaceous lizard from Hungary

László Makádi (2013)
The first known chamopsiid lizard (Squamata) from the Upper Cretaceous
of Europe (Csehbánya Formation; Hungary, Bakony Mts).
Annales de Paléontologie (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annpal.2013.07.002, How to Cite or Link Using DOI

The Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) Iharkút terrestrial vertebrate
locality, in Hungary, has yielded several lacertilian taxa since its
discovery in 2000. One of these is represented by a left mandible
fragment and two dentary fragments. The characters observed on these
remains support assignment to the family Chamopsiidae (Scincomorpha).
Moreover, the remains belong to a new genus and species, Pelsochamops
infrequens n. g. n. sp. Pelsochamops is the first known occurrence of
chamopsiids outside North America and adds another scincomorphan
lizard to the Iharkút fauna. It represents an additional evidence for
dispersal routes between North America and Europe.


Kirstin S. Brink, Nicolás E. Campione &  Jessica R. Hawthorn (2013)
Amniote faunal revision of the Pictou Group (Permo-Carboniferous),
Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)

The amniote faunal assemblages from the Pictou Group (Prince Edward
Island, Canada) are re-evaluated for the first time in 50 years.
Fossils recovered from formations within this group (Orby Head,
Hillsborough River, and Kildare Capes) indicate the presence of a
parareptile, representing the first occurrence of a non-synapsid
amniote from the PEI redbeds. The amniote taxa from PEI are
re-described within the context of current research, providing the
basis for an updated faunal list for the vertebrate-bearing formations
within the Pictou Group. The presence of a parareptile, diadectid, and
possibly two synapsids (caseid and/or varanopid), together with the
absence of edaphosaurids and definitive ophiacodontids, suggests
similarities with the upland Bromacker and Richards Spur localities of
Germany and Oklahoma, respectively. However, more research and new
fossil discoveries are needed to confidently resolve the systematics
and palaeoecology of amniotes from the Lower Permian of Atlantic