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Marine vertebrate fauna from Late Triassic of Somerset in England (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Klara K. Nordén, Christopher J. Duffin & Michael J. Benton (2015)
A marine vertebrate fauna from the Late Triassic of Somerset, and a
review of British placodonts.
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association (advance online publication)

Free pdf:

The British Rhaetian (latest Triassic) is famous for its bone beds
containing abundant remains of fishes and reptiles. Most Rhaetian bone
beds are assumed to have been similar in faunal composition,
representing long-distance mixing of transported remains, and
deposition some distance from shore. In the Mendip Hills of southwest
England, some Rhaetian bone beds lie unconformably on Carboniferous
Limestone, where the marine sediments of the Rhaetian Transgression
lapped onto the shorelines of the palaeo-islands. The fauna from the
Marston Road site, near Holwell, Shepton Mallet, in Somerset, shows a
remarkable association of some coastal and terrestrial reptile remains
mixed with the usual teeth and scales of sharks and bony fishes. We
report unequivocal fossils of a small lepidosaur, probably a
sphenodontian, a terrestrial wash-in, as well as marine reptiles, the
possible thalattosaur Pachystropheus and placodonts. Sphenodontian
remains are abundant in Late Triassic red bed fissure fills from
nearby, and the Marston Road site provides a
palaeoecological/topographic link between terrestrial and marine
deposits, hinting also that the development of some of the
vertebrate-bearing fissures may have been coeval with the Rhaetian



Ancient British shores teemed with life – shows study by Bristol undergraduate