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Abstract

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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