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Fwd: Phytosaurs from Greenland (news)

For some reason, this item does not want to post to the DML despite
multiple tries...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Subject: Phytosaurs from Greenland (news)
To: dinosaur@usc.edu

Ben Creisler

>From a blocked earlier posting to the DML.

Phytosaurs (two adults, a juvenile and a baby) from Triassic of
Greenland with video  (in Portuguese)


>From SVP meeting:

MATEUS, Octávio ; CLEMMENSEN, Lars ; KLEIN, Nicole ; WINGS, Oliver ;
FROBØSE, Nicolaij; MILÀN, Jesper ; ADOLFSSEN, Jan Schulz ; ESTRUP,

SVP Poster 2014

An expedition to Jameson Land (East Greenland) was conducted in July
of 2012, involving twelve researchers and technicians from Denmark,
Germany, and Portugal. The fieldwork focused on two sites:
Lepidopteris Elv and Macknight Bjerg, both within the Norian-Rhaetian
Malmros Klint and Ørsted Dal Members of the Fleming Fjord Formation.
One of the main findings include partial phytosaur skeletons at
Lepidopteris Elv (middle Malmros Klint Mb, ~211-210 Ma, Norian),
including well preserved cranial and postcranial elements.
Disarticulated skull material includes the mandible, jugals,
postorbital, angular and quadrate. Many axial and appendicular bones
were collected. Considering size ranges and duplication of bones, the
phytosaur material pertains to at least to four individuals and three
size ranges. Most bones are adult size with an estimated body length
of about 3.8 m, including three identical humeri of the same size (two
left and one right side, between 255 and 264 mm) that provide evidence
for at least two individuals. Three complete dorsal neural arches and
one centrum, all with unfused open neurocentral sutures, and an
anterior part of a dentary about 63 mm long show the additional
presence of an animal with 1-2 m body length. The third and smallest
body size is deduced from a complete left scapula only 34 mm in
length, corresponding to a body length of 45 to 55 cm. This totals
four individuals. These are the first well documented phytosaurs in
Greenland because bones of previous expeditions belong to

The prosauropod Plateosaurus site found in the 1990s at Macknight
Bjerg (top of Malmros Klint Mb) was excavated. The number of bones and
their relative size indicate that more than one individual and body
size is present. A new basal Testudinata specimen, very fragmented due
to solifluction, was also collected at Macknight Bjerg (Ørsted Dal
Mb). The suture pattern of the carapace shows a basal condition and
cf. Proganochelys was previously documented to the area.

Numerous theropod tracks were revisited and additional tracks were
found: cheirotherid tracks at Lepidopteris Elv (Ørsted Dal Mb)and
large sauropod and prosauropod tracks in outcrops near Macknight
Bjerg. A new locality, ″Burned Paper-Shale site″, at the base of the
Rhaetian Kap Stewart Fm yielded numerous coprolites, shark remains,
and temnospondyls. The faunal list is similar to fossil localities in
Central Europe and may indicate the typical vertebrate assemblage in a
stable Late Triassic terrestrial ecosystem.


Tetrapod Zoology blog also has a new 2-part series on phytosaurs: