Abstract

The Scalenodontoides Assemblage Zone (SAZ) is the oldest fossil tetrapod biozone of the Stormberg Group (Karoo Supergroup) and preserves the oldest dinosaur bearing deposits in the Karoo Basin. The SAZ represents a revision of the ‘Euskelosaurus’ Range Zone, whose taxonomic basis has been undermined because ‘Euskelosaurus’ is well demonstrated to be a nomen dubium. Recent qualitative and quantitative investigations into the biostratigraphy of the Elliot and Clarens formations have resulted in the first biostratigraphic review of all lower Elliot Formation (lEF) taxa in nearly 40 years. Thus, we replace the ‘Euskelosaurus’ Range Zone with a new biostratigraphic assemblage zone, the Scalenodontoides Assemblage Zone (SAZ). Named after the traversodontid cynodont Scalenodontoides macrodontes, which co-occurs with the sauropodomorphs Blikanasaurus cromptoni and Melanorosaurus readi. The SAZ is currently accepted to range in age between the upper Norian and Rhaetian. Our new biozone, which reaches a maximum thickness of ~200 m, is wholly contained within the lower Elliot Formation (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup).

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