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Lower tetrapods from the early oligocene of Transylvania

AuthorsCodrea, Vlad; Venczel, Márton
Faunal links
Issue DateJun-2018
CitationXVI Annual Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (2018)
AbstractKnowledge on lower tetrapods from the Palaeogene of Romania is rather scanty even if some of the fossil vertebrate localities were known for more than a century. Here we report a diverse fossil assemblage of lower tetrapods (salamanders, frogs, lizards, snakes and crocodylians) from the early Oligocene localities of Suceag and Cluj-Napoca (Rupelian, MP 23/24; Dâncu Formation, Romania). Among salamanders, the proteid Mioproteus sp., may represent a new taxon and the first fossil record of a proteid from the Cenozoic of Europe. Rare remains of the alytid frog Latonia and the ranid frog Pelophylax may correspond to one of the earliest fossil records from the European Palaeogene, while the palaeobatrachid Albionbatrachus oligocenicus may be considered a survivor of the Eocene/Oligocene extinction event. The amphibian assemblage probably preferred fluvial and/or marshy-lacustrine paleoenvironments. In the studied localities, the taxa inhabiting terrestrial ecosystems are relatively rare [the anguid lizard Ophisaurus sp., the small-sized snakes Eoanilius sp. (Aniliidae) and “Tropidophiidae” indet (Boidea)] and probably these forms inhabited the areas with azonal vegetation surrounding the rivers and wetlands. The palaeoclimate was relatively temperate, as it is suggested by the presence of Diplocynodon (mean annual temperature at least of 14.50 C, or even higher). The assemblage as a whole documents the existence of terrestrial corridors and suggest important zoogeographic connections (e.g. link with N-America is suggested by the presence of proteids, whereas that with former Gondwana by the ranid frogs).
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en la XVI Annual Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (EAVP), celebrada en Caparica del 29 de junio al 1 de julio de 2018.
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