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The Late Triassic lepidosaur fauna from Hallau, North-Eastern Switzerland, and a new ‘basal’ rhynchocephalian deltadectes elvetica gen. et sp. nov.


Whiteside, David I; Duffin, Christopher J; Furrer, Heinz (2017). The Late Triassic lepidosaur fauna from Hallau, North-Eastern Switzerland, and a new ‘basal’ rhynchocephalian deltadectes elvetica gen. et sp. nov. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, 285(1):53-74.

Abstract

The Late Triassic vertebrate assemblages from Hallau, Switzerland, have been collected since 1915 and include sharks, bony fish (actinopterygians and lungfish), amphibians and archosau- riformes (a phytosaur and the dinosaur Plateosaurus). Many of the microtetrapods, including the haramyid and morganucodontid mammaliamorphs, are well known but the lepidosaurian reptiles have not been figured or described in any detail. We address that gap here reporting four distinct taxa in the 20th century collections made by Bernhard Peyer and emil Schutz. We describe a new basal rhynchocephalian, Deltadectes elvetica gen. et. sp. nov., which is of Gephyrosaurus-type grade rather than a sphenodontian. All the lepidosaurs in the fauna have teeth showing little or no replacement including a suppressed pleurodont and/or pleuracrodont dentition or acrodonty. A Diphydontosaurus- like sphenodontian is present and we record Paleollanosaurus,previously only known from the type locality in Texas U. S. A., together with an acrodont rhynchocephalian of uncertain affinities. The Hal- lau basal rhynchocephalians add further insight into the Norian-Rhaetian lepidosaur faunas found in Europe and North America by providing important new information, particularly to our knowledge of non-sphenodontian rhynchocephalians.

Abstract

The Late Triassic vertebrate assemblages from Hallau, Switzerland, have been collected since 1915 and include sharks, bony fish (actinopterygians and lungfish), amphibians and archosau- riformes (a phytosaur and the dinosaur Plateosaurus). Many of the microtetrapods, including the haramyid and morganucodontid mammaliamorphs, are well known but the lepidosaurian reptiles have not been figured or described in any detail. We address that gap here reporting four distinct taxa in the 20th century collections made by Bernhard Peyer and emil Schutz. We describe a new basal rhynchocephalian, Deltadectes elvetica gen. et. sp. nov., which is of Gephyrosaurus-type grade rather than a sphenodontian. All the lepidosaurs in the fauna have teeth showing little or no replacement including a suppressed pleurodont and/or pleuracrodont dentition or acrodonty. A Diphydontosaurus- like sphenodontian is present and we record Paleollanosaurus,previously only known from the type locality in Texas U. S. A., together with an acrodont rhynchocephalian of uncertain affinities. The Hal- lau basal rhynchocephalians add further insight into the Norian-Rhaetian lepidosaur faunas found in Europe and North America by providing important new information, particularly to our knowledge of non-sphenodontian rhynchocephalians.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:1 July 2017
Deposited On:12 Jul 2017 15:11
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 08:15
Publisher:Schweizerbart
ISSN:0077-7749
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1127/njgpa/2017/0669

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