Abstract

In the main Karoo Basin (southern Africa), the “Stormberg Group” can be divided into at least two faunal zones on the basis of its palaeontological content. The upper one encompasses the Upper Elliot and Clarens formations (“Upper Stormberg Group”). It is well known for its prosauropod and cynodont fauna, but it has also yielded some ste-reospondyl remains, a turtle, at least one lepidosaur, a small variety of crocodylomorphs, rare theropod elements, and an assortment of ornithischians. The presence of pterosaurs is put forward on ichnological grounds, but aetosaur and rauisuchian representatives do not appear to be present. The age of the “Upper Stormberg Group” has been the subject of much speculation. Strong analogies with the skeletal and ichnological record of Lower Jurassic North American formations provide evidence that the Upper Elliot Formation is fundamentally Hettangian in age. The lower part of the Clarens Formation would essentially correspond to the Sinemurian whereas its upper part, which is poor in fossils, would be Pliensbachian in age.

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