Abstract

Despite being known for over 155 years, the Late Cretaceous marine amniotes of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin in the Czech Republic have received little recent attention. These fossils are however significant because they record a diverse range of taxa from an incompletely known geological interval: the Turonian. The presently identifiable remains include isolated bones and teeth, together with a few disarticulated skeletons. The most productive stratigraphical unit is the Lower–Middle Turonian Bílá Hora Formation, which has yielded small dermochelyoid sea turtles, a possible polycotylid plesiosaur and elements compatible with the giant predatory pliosauromorph Polyptychodon. A huge protostegid, together with an enigmatic cheloniid-like turtle, Polyptychodon-like dentigerous components, an elasmosaurid and a tethysaurine mosasauroid have also been found in strata corresponding to the Middle–Upper Turonian Jizera Formation and Upper Turonian – Coniacian Teplice Formation. The compositional character of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin fauna is compatible with coeval assemblages from elsewhere along the peri-Tethyan shelf of Europe, and incorporates the globally terminal Middle–Upper Turonian occurrence of pliosauromorph megacarnivores, which were seemingly replaced by mosasauroids later in the Cretaceous.

You do not currently have access to this article.