Late Triassic capitosaurian remains from Svalbard and the palaeobiogeographical context of Scandinavian Arctic temnospondyls
Benjamin P. Kear, Stephen F. Poropat, Mohamad Bazzi, 2016. "Late Triassic capitosaurian remains from Svalbard and the palaeobiogeographical context of Scandinavian Arctic temnospondyls", Mesozoic Biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic Territories, B. P. Kear, J. Lindgren, J. H. Hurum, J. Milàn, V. Vajda
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The Norwegian Arctic Svalbard archipelago is famous for its prolific record of Early–Middle Triassic vertebrate fossils. These represent mainly marine amniotes, together with sharks, bony fishes and temnospondyl amphibians, the latter providing an important faunal correlate with coeval assemblages from the Danish autonomous region of Greenland. However, substantial biostratigraphical gaps exist in the Upper Triassic strata of Svalbard, which are marked by pronounced facies shifts from marine to deltaic systems and intermittent depositional hiatuses. These are accompanied by a dearth of documented vertebrate remains, a notable exception being the partial skull of the capitosaurian Capitosaurus polaris and a few isolated stereospondylian intercentra probably from the middle–late Carnian De Geerdalen Formation of Spitsbergen. Reassessment of this material, which incorporates the only undisputed capitosaurian fossil from Svalbard, indicates affinity with Cyclotosaurus, known elsewhere from the late Norian–early Rhaetian Fleming Fjord Formation of Greenland. The Scandinavian Arctic temnospondyls constituted components of sympatric assemblages that inhabited the Boreal margin of Pangaea throughout the Triassic.
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Mesozoic Biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic Territories
Scandinavia and its Arctic territories of Svalbard and Greenland represent geographical regions with a long history of Mesozoic palaeontology. However, the last few decades have witnessed a surge of new discoveries. Especially famous are the Triassic and Late Jurassic Lagerstätten of East Greenland and Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, together with the Late Cretaceous strata of southern Sweden and the UNESCO World Heritage locality at Stevns Klint in Denmark. The latter records one of the most complete terminal Mesozoic rock successions known globally. Collectively, these deposits encompass the spectrum of Mesozoic biotic evolution, including the explosive radiation of marine faunas after the Permian–Triassic extinction, seminal specialization of amniotes for life in the sea, Late Triassic–Jurassic domination of the land by dinosaurs and the Cretaceous development of modern terrestrial floras and marine ecosystems. This volume, authored by leading experts in the field, encapsulates key aspects of the latest research and will provide a benchmark for future investigations into the Scandinavian Mesozoic world.
- Arctic region
- East Greenland
- fossil localities
- Spitsbergen Island
- Upper Triassic
- Western Europe
- Capitosaurus polaris