Early cretaceous polar tetrapods from the great southern rift valley, souhteastern Australia

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Early Cretaceous deposits from southeastern Australia record a cold, extensively forested environment. Tetrapod fossils in channel fills, gravity flows, lag and point bar deposits in the Aptian Wonthaggi and Albian Middle Eumeralla formations. The fossils occur mainly in horizontally-stratified, clast-supported conglomerates and massive, matrix-supported conglomerates. Leaf mats indicate that several species of deciduous plants shed their leaves together, presumably in winter. Taphonomy of the lake beds at Koonwarra indicate seasonal freezing. A variety of dinosaurs - including hypsilophodonts, ankylosaurs, neoceratopsians, allosaurs, dromaeosaurs, oviraptorosaurs and ornithomimosaurs - were present as well as pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, temnospondyls and crocodilians. The latter two groups did not occur together and the temnospondyls lived under either cooler or higher-energy conditions than the crocodilians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-723
Number of pages5
JournalMemoirs of the Queensland Museum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 1996


  • Australia
  • Cretaceous
  • Dinosaur
  • Environment of deposition
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Temnospondyl

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