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Marine Reptiles from Luoping Biota of Middle Triassic of China

Ben Creisler

A recent paper not yet mentioned.

I have not been able to get the pdf to download successfully, however.

WEN Wen, ZHANG Qi-yue, LIU Jun, HU Shi-xue, ZHOU Chang-yong, HUANG
Jin-yuan and XIE Tao (2015)
New Progress in the Study of Marine Reptiles from the Luoping Biota of
Middle Triassic Anisian Period.
Acta Geoscientica Sinica 36(4):385-393



The Luoping Biota was discovered in 2007 by the Chengdu Center of
China Geological Survey during 1:50000 regional mapping works at
Dawazi Village, Luoxiong Town, 15 km southeast of Luoping City, Yunnan
Province. The interval containing the Luoping biota is the middle to
upper part of Member II of the Guanling Formation. The fossil
assemblage of the Luoping biota is a mixture of marine animals,
terrestrial plants and a few terrestrial animals. To date, more than
ten fossil groups have been recovered, which include marine reptiles,
fishes, arthropods, echinoderms, ammonites, bivalves, gastropods,
lingulid brachiopods, foraminifers, and plants. The Luoping Biota is
one of the most diverse Triassic marine fossil Lagerstatten records in
the world. The age of the Luoping biota is assigned to the Pelsonian
Substage of the Middle Triassic Anisian Stage based on the index
conodont Nicoraella Kockeli. Well-preserved, diverse marine reptiles
are one of the highlights of the Luoping biota, including
ichthyosaurs, sauropterygians, protorosaurs and archosauromorphs.
Mesozoic is remarkable for marine reptiles, whose swimming modes,
however, remain a topic of much controversy because of the absence of
their tracks. Hundreds of seabed tracks found in Luoping Biota, which
were assigned to Dikoposichnus luopingensis, provide new materials for
the study of their locomotive mode. Besides, the macropredator
Nothosaurus zhangi reported from Luoping Biota also supports the
existence of the makers of Dikoposichnus luopingensis. The skull of
Nothosaurus zhangi is the largest sauropterygian ever reported in
Triassic. The occurrence of a different assemblage of marine reptiles
as top predators in the food web indicates a well developed marine
ecosystem, showing full rebuilding of the marine ecosystem after the
mass extinction that happened about 250 million years ago.


Earlier description of tracks from Nature Communications: