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Abstract

The Late Jurassic Slottsmøya Member Lagerstätte on Spitsbergen offers a unique opportunity to study the relationships between vertebrate fossil preservation, invertebrate occurrences and depositional environment. In this study, 21 plesiosaurian and 17 ichthyosaur specimens are described with respect to articulation, landing mode, preservation, and possible predation and scavenging. The stratigraphic distribution of marine reptiles in the Slottsmøya Member is analysed, and a correlation between high total organic content, low oxygen levels, few benthic invertebrates and optimal reptile preservation is observed. A new model for 3D preservation of vertebrates in highly compacted organic shales is explained.

Supplementary material:

A taphonomic description of each marine reptile specimen is available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.2133549

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