Projektbeschreibung Saurischian dinosaurs from the - Gepris



Projektbeschreibung Saurischian dinosaurs from the - Gepris
Saurischian dinosaurs from the Elliot Formation of South Africa: Anatomy, ecology,
and evolution
Professor Dr. Oliver Rauhut
Staatliche Naturwissenschaftliche Sammlungen Bayerns (SNSB)
Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie
Richard-Wagner-Straße 10
80333 München
Telefon: +49 89 2180-6645
Telefax: +49 89 2180-6601
E-Mail: o.rauhut
Fachliche Zuordnung
Geologie, Ingenieurgeologie, Paläontologie
Förderung von 2007 bis 2014
Saurischian dinosaurs originated in the Triassic and experienced their initial radiation in the Upper Triassic / Lower
Jurassic. However, although the appearance of coelophysoids in the Upper Triassic indicates that their sister group,
which includes all later theropods, must have been around since then as well, they are virtually absent from the fossil
record until the Middle Jurassic. Sauropodomorphs are common representatives of many vertebrate faunas of the
Upper Triassic / Lower Jurassic, but, due to often incomplete preservation, neither their alpha taxonomy, nor their
phylogenetic relationships are resolved, including the question of the origin and early evolution of sauropods. New
material of early saurischians is therefore essential for a better understanding of the initial radiation of saurischians
and the origin of major groups. The Upper Triassic Lower Elliot and Lower Jurassic Upper Elliot Formation of South
Africa and Lesotho offer a unique opportunity to study saurischian faunas and their environmental context of that time.
The Elliot Formation is renowned for its saurischian record, which, among others, includes the oldest known
sauropods Antetonitrus and Blikanasaurus, but most taxa known are based on fragmentary material, making an
evaluation of their taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic importance difficult. Thus, in the current project, intensive
fieldwork in both parts of the Elliot Formation is planned in order to improve our knowledge of Late Triassic / Lower
Jurassic saurischians.
Internationaler Bezug
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