vendredi 15 novembre 2013

Searching for the Cretaceous Fauna (with appendix on Karoo, Beaufort)

Three Meanings of Chronological Labels

In detail:1) How do Fossils Superpose?, 2) Searching for the Cretaceous Fauna (with appendix on Karoo, Beaufort), 3) What I think I have refuted, 4) Glenn Morton caught abusing words other people were taught as very small children

In debate or otherwise on Assorted Retorts: 1) ... on How Fossils Matter , 2) ... on Steno and Lifespan and Fossil Finds, 3) Geological Column NOT Palaeontolical [Censored by CMI-Creation-Station? Or just by the Library I am in?], 4) Same Debate Uncensored, One Step Further, 5) Continuing debate with Howard F on Geology / Palaeontology, 6) Howard F tries twice again ...

The Geological Column ... a General Sequence with Many Exceptions?

Some people are not ready to believe in the virtues of wikipedia, even if they lack staff to check up in field work. I am not into geological field work anyway, so why not take on the wikipedia research?

I did.

First there was a general impression after looking at Lagerstätten and List of fossil sites. Then there was what seems to me to be a near complete confirmation. Nearly all are from one period or epoch. Those that span two usually span two neighbouring. Those that span two neighbouring usually do not bridge the larger boundaries, between Precambrian and Paleozoic, between Paleozoic and Mesozoic, between Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

The very little list where they do - a tiny minority from the whole list - is crucial. I have taken a special look at Yacoraite, Hilda and Karoo so far.

I have first already looked up Yacoraite which is both Cretaceous and Tertiary or more precisly both Maastrichtian ("late" Cretaceous) and Danian ("early" Paleocene). Between the two parts there is an iridium layer which is supposed to be a remnant of the world wide K/T boundary. But I have found no mention of Dinosaurs in the Cretaceous part, nor any mention of Large land Mammals in the Paleocene part. It seems to me the fauna "above boundary" and "below boundary" is pretty much the same fauna. It includes fish, I think birds too, and gastropods. I mean gastropods are so divisive between Cretaceous and Paleocene faunas! Not!

There are two other spots on earth where we have Maastrichtian and Danian, plus one where we have Cretaceous going on even up to Eocene.

And if we go to the "lower" boundary of Mesozoic, there is one place in South Africa where it is kind of bridged. Karoo Supergroup. But this divides into other places most of which are firmly on one or the other side. And if we go to Beaufort formation, it further subdivides ... into assemblage zones with fossiles from what has been called "mammalian like reptiles" ... nothing like very Dinosaurian things in the Triassic part of Beaufort, nothing like the amphibians or archosaurs. Just the kind of animal that recent evolutionists call ancestors of mammals but not yet mammalian. Both the assemblage zones called Triassic and those called Permian. See Appendix A. The fauna for Triassic assemblage zones is if not identical at least clearly close to that of Permian ones. One of the animals was compared to an otter, another to a wolf, but obviously evolutionist dogmatism cannot allow assigning remains from the Permian to modern animals. I am not good enough at zoology or paleozoology to clearly affirm or deny they are an otter and a wolf.

Other animals are very well described as dragons. One had once been named - very appropriately - Dracocephalus, it looked very much like the dragon heads on the drakkar ships. And the number of skulls without all the rest could indicate some munching on torsos and legs had been going on before - according to what a Christian might assume - the Flood struck the area. When you find so many skulls together, with so little other bones, the Flood of Noah would hardly be the only disaster.

But Beaufort is clearly not the area where you find typically Permian and not Triassic fauna or clearly Triassic and not Permian fauna - unless you go along evolutionist lines and say "Dinocephalians went extinct before Triassic." You find Biarmosuchians - whatever that is - all along the assemblage zones. Precisely as Yacoraite is clearly not the place to find first clearly Cretaceous and then clearly Paleocene fauna. Now finding Dinocephalians in only two of them might mean these were scary for the rest of the animals and so only peopled two out of eight areas.

Again, Hilda is a very clearly Cretaceous fauna. It is typical. So are lots of other fossil finds. They give you dinosaurs. And those are displayed in museums. They give you ducks and those are usually not displayed in museums. The rock is usually limestone or sandstone.

Here is the duck reference:
Creation Ministries International : Modern birds found with dinosaurs
Are museums misleading the public?
by Don Batten

I propose that the Cretaceous typical fauna represents not a certain stage of past evolution, but a certain pre-flood biotope.

Like a beach.

Sand from beach would form Cretaceous sandstone. Shellfish from sea at beach would form Cretaceous liemstone.

I propose that a beach of the immediately pre-flood could well have a cretaceous biotope, and another beach from exactly the same time another biotope. And inland biotopes could be different from those too. And get labelled as "other stages" by those evolution believing paleontologists.

But as for "a general sequence with many exceptions", I do not find clear evidence of the sequence being there at all temporally or strictly vertically where I have been looking.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Albert of Cologne
who had been teaching
St Thomas d'Aquin at Sorbonne

Appendix A



Supposedly some of these could be "ancestry" ... they count as ancestors of Mammals. The other synapsids are supposedly cousins that died out.

  • Cynognathus crateronotus
  • Procynosuchus delaharpeae Remains Holotype (RC 5): skull Referred specimens: UMZC T.819 (partial skull, holotype of Parathrinaxodon proops); BP/1/226 (Aelurodracro microps); BP/1/591; RC 12 (holotype of Procynosuchus rubidgei); RC 72 (Galeophrys kitchingi); RC 92,(Leavachia duvenhagei); BP/1/650 (Protocynodon pricei); TSK 34 (complete skeleton).["Perhaps the most unusual characteristic of Procynosuchus was that it may have lived a semi-aquatic lifestyle like modern otters, most other cynodonts were terrestrial (lived on land). It was around 60 cm in length, and probably fed on a diet of fish." = A Permian otter, perhaps?]

    [As to Permian Otter, I had to give that idea up, attractive though it is: Procynosuchus delaharpeae - on my back up blog - now has a disclaimer linking to the discussion which changed my mind thereon: [Assorted retorts] ... or Preliminary Answers on AronRa's Phylogeny Challenge (with a correction on the "Permian Otter" or "Teckel")]

  • Charassognathus gracilis Remains Holotype (SAM-PK-K10369): complete skull and postcranial elements (cervicals, ribs and limbs elements).


  • Lystrosaurus
  • Dicynodon
  • Cistecephalus microrhinus
  • Tropidostoma microtrema*
  • Eodicynodon oosthuizeni
  • Patranomodon nyaphulii Remains Holotype (NMQR 3000): Skull with lower jaw and postcranial elements
  • Anomocephalus africanus Remains Holotype (BP/1/5582): partial right side of the skull and some poorly preserved postcranial elements "This small therapsid from South Africa is the most primitive anomodont known. The jaws was equipped with peg-like teeth."


  • Burnetia mirabilis Remains Holotype (BMNH R5397): Compressed partial skull.
  • Ictidorhinus martinsi Remains Hypodigm (AMNH 5526): skull lacking lower jaws.
  • Herpetoskylax hopsoni Remains Holotype (CGP/1/67): nearly complete skull and lower jaws. Referred materials: BP/1/3294 (distorted skull and lower jaws).
  • Lemurosaurus pricei [It was originally described based on a poorly preserved skull and thought to be related to Ictidorhinus. A second better preserved specimen showed that it is a Burnetiamorph.] Remains Holotype (BP/1/816): poorly preserved skull with lower jaws Referred Material: NMQR 1702 (skull with lower jaws)
  • Paraburnetia sneeubergensis Remains Holotype (SAM-PK-K10037): complete skull with lower jaw.
  • Lobalopex mordax Remains Holotype (CGP/1/61): skull and lower jaws with parts of the first four cervical vertebrae in articulation.
  • Lophorhinus willodenensis Remains Holotype (SAM-PK-K6655): anterior half of skull lacking lower jaws and most of palate.
  • Bullacephalus jacksoni Remains Holotype (BP/1/5387): Nearly complete skull and lower jaw.
  • Hipposaurus boonstrai Remains Holotype (SAM 8950): Complete skeleton. Referred materials: SAM 9081 (distorted skull and postcranial elements, type of H. major); CGP/1/66 (Skull). Hipposaurus is a small primitive biarmosuchian therapsid from the Middle Permian of South Africa which was originally thought to be a gorgonopsid. [name means as noted horse lizard, but looks more like a miniature hippopotamus than a horse in reconstruction ]
  • Pachydectes elsi Remains Holotype (BP/1/5735): transversely compressed partial skull without lower jaws.

Gorgonopsids and Gorgonopsians

Phylogony and Evolution of Gorgonopsia etc., by Eva Gebauer,
Dissertation before University of Tübingen

In it she mentions that one of these had teeth like the Smilodon. Can we be sure it was not a Smilodon? Evolutionists saying "there were no Smilodons in Permian times" have that for a reason, what is ours?

  • Aelurognathus tigriceps Meaning of the generic name Cat Jaw Remains Holotype (SAM 2343): [details left out]
  • Aelurosaurus felinus Meaning of the generic name Cat Lizard RemainsHolotype: partial skull
  • Aloposaurus gracilis This small gorgonopsid had a slender narrow skull. It is known from a single weathered skull from a probable immature individual. Remains Holotype (AMNH 5317): weathered laterally compressed skull
  • Arctognathus curvimola Remains Holotype (BMNH 47339): badly preserved skull Referred specimens: SAM 3329 (skull, holotype of Lycaenodontoides bathyrhinus); BPI 174 (skull, holotype of Lycaenops pricei)
  • Arctognathus breviceps Remains Holotype (SAM 9345): skull
  • Arctops willistoni (synonym of one below!)
  • Broomicephalus laticeps Holotype (RC 101): skull Referred specimens: RC 33 (large weathered and crushed skull: 32 cm, type of Rubidgea laticeps)
  • Clelandina rubidgei
  • Clelandina scheepersi C. scheepersi (BRINK & KITCHING, 1953) = Dracocephalus scheepersi BRINK & KITCHING, 1953
  • Cyonosaurus longiceps Skull of Cyonosaurus longiceps in the Field Museum of Natural History.
  • Dinogorgon rubidgei Remains Holotype (RC 1): snout
  • Gorgonops torvus The type species. The holotype is an incomplete and flattened skull found at Mildenhalls, Fort Beaufort, South Africa.
  • Gorgonops whaitsi Originally the type species of Scymnognathus. Despite being known from a large number of specimens from the Karoo Basin, Beaufort West (Tropidostoma/Cistecephalus Assemblage Zone), the species remains poorly known.
  • Gorgonops longifrons A large specimen known from an incomplete and flattened skull about 35 cm long.
  • Lycaenops ornatus skeleton, Buffalo Museum of Science
  • Lycaenops angusticeps Skull of ... at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
  • Rubidgea atrox Holotype (RC 13): skull Referred specimens: BPI 248 (Type of R. platyrhina); BPI 246 (Type of R. majora)
  • Scylacognathus parvus Holotype (AMG 3751): Referred specimens: BPI 399, TMP 245, TMP 246, BMNH 4099, BPI 263
  • Sycosaurus laticeps Holotype (SAM 4022): Referred specimens: BPI 126
  • Eoarctops vanderbyli Remains Holotype (SAM 5598): skull
  • Galesuchus gracilis


  • Pristerognathus baini**
  • Pristerognathus peyeri
  • Pristerognathus polyodon
  • Pristerognathus vanderbyli
  • Glanosuchus macrops Remains Holotype (GS M 796): partial skull Referred specimen: NM QR 2908 (snout) "This predator had a wolf-like appearance." - A Permian wolf, perhaps?


  • Agnosaurus, Avenantia, Delphinognathus, Moschognathus, Moschoides, Pnigalion = Moschops*** Remains Several skulls and postcranial elements
  • Anteosaurus magnificus Remains Holotype: Skull Referred specimens: known from skulls and poscranial elements of more than 30 individuals.
  • Criocephalosaurus vanderbyli
  • Jonkeria° remains acc to wiki: Jonkeria ingens skull, Amer. Mus. No. 5608; Skull of Jonkeria sp. in the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (no photos of whole skeletons in wiki, no article in paleocritti)
  • Mormosaurus, Pelosuchus = Keratocephalus moloch Remains Several skulls and postcranial remains.
  • Moschosaurus, Struthiocephalellus, Struthiocephaloides, Struthionops, Taurocephalus = Struthiocephalus whaitsi Remains Several skulls and postcranial elements
  • Phocosaurus, Taurops = Tapinocephalus atherstonei Remains Several skulls and postcranial elements
  • Riebeeckosaurus longirostris Remains Two skulls. This medium size Tapinocephalid differs from the others by its extremely elongated snout.
  • Titanosuchus ferox Remains Large amount of skull fragments and postcranial elements.
  • Australosyodon nyaphuli Remains Holotype (NMQR 3152): Skull and mandible, left side well preserved, right side crushed. "Australosyodon is the South African version of the Russian Syodon. This medium size carnivore was one of the most primitive dinocephalians."
  • Tapinocaninus pamelae Remains Holotype (NMQR 2987): Skull and mandible. Paratypes: NMQR 2985 (skull and mandible); NMQR 2986 (skull and mandible), ROZ K95 (skull and mandible).


Not classified:

  • Saurorictus australis Remains Holotype (SAM PK-8666): skull and few postcranial fragments


  • Procolophon trigoniceps
  • Sauropareion anoplus


(Wiki: The order has almost been treated as a dustbin for diapsids that are not obviously lepidosaurian or archosaurian.)

  • Galesphyrus capensis
  • Youngina capensis


  • Milleretta rubidgei Remains Complete skeletons
  • Eunotosaurus africanus Remains Partial skeleton "Eunotosaurus africanus was a small turtle-like reptile from the Middle Permian of South Africa. It is known from incomplete skeletons characterized by plate-like ribs."


  • Anthodon serrarius Remains Holotype (BP/1/548): Partial skull and vertebrae
  • Owenetta rubidgei Remains Several skulls
  • Pareiasuchus nasicornis Remains Several specimens including complete skull and postcranial elements. Osteoderms.
  • Pareiasuchus peringueyi Remains Nearly complete skeleton
  • Pumiliopareia pricei Remains Complete skeleton with osteoderms.
  • Bradysaurus baini Remains Several skeletons.
  • Bradysaurus seeleyi Remains Skulls.
  • Embrithosaurus schwarzi Remains Skeletons.
  • Embrithosaurus strubeni
  • Nochelesaurus angustus = Nochelesaurus alexanderi = Embrithosaurus angustus Remains Skulls.


The lists are conflated after genus from the different assemblage zones in Beaufort as given per wikipedia for Karoo supergroup. Every species has, when possible, been assigned what the remains are, either from wiki or - usually - from paleocritti. Exceptions from those are noted.

General comment:

Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone is very rich in big ones. That and Eodicynodon Assemblage Zone, thought to be the two oldest from Mid Permian are the ones where you find Dinocephalians.

Notes to Appendix A:

*[Tropidostoma microtrema] Abstract: The dicynodonts Oudenodon bainii and Tropidostoma microtrema are remarkably similar in most aspects of their morphology. The most obvious distinguishing feature is the presence of tusks and/or postcanine teeth in T. microtrema and their absence in O. bainii. However, some specimens of T. microtrema lack tusks or postcanine teeth. This variability raises the possibility that O. bainii and T. microtrema are not distinct species, but rather endpoints on a morphological continuum. Resolution of this uncertainty is necessary because both species play important roles in Upper Permian terrestrial biostratigraphy. Here we address this issue using several types of data. Our results show that the bone histology of T. microtrema is comparable with that of O. bainii, emphasizing their similarity. However, a geometric morphometric analysis of snout shape and a traditional morphometric analysis of skull dimensions can reliably differentiate tuskless specimens from those with tusks and/or postcanine teeth. We examine several scenarios (e.g. anagenesis, sexual dimorphism) that could explain the observed distinction, but multiple lines of evidence, including stratigraphic range data, suggest that the two morphotypes are regarded best as distinct species. Because O. bainii specimens have been collected at Tropidostoma Assemblage Zone localities in the Karoo Basin of South Africa, the first appearance of O. bainii can no longer be used to define the base of the Cistecephalus Assemblage Zone and Oudenodon-based correlations with other basins should be made with caution.

Article first published online: 14 SEP 2007;jsessionid=15B476BDBA5CA29B77E52E0E0E27E5A1.f03t01

**The search in Paleocritti gives only a work referenced in another article. Glanosuchus macrops - (see above) Getting back to Pristerognathus I find it was discovered in 1904: Pristerognathus baini was named by Broom (1904). It is a 3D body fossil.

Paleobiology Database Pristerognathus baini

***Wikipedia: Moschops was a roughly 2.7-metre-long (9 ft), massively built dinocephalian. It has a short, thick and massive head, which is broad across the orbits. The occupit is broad and deep, but the skull is more narrow in the dorsal border. Furthermore, the pterygoid arches and the angular region of the jaw were quite heavy, allowing the insertion of strong jaw muscles. Due to that and because it possessed long-crowned, stout teeth, it is believed that Moschops was a herbivore feeding on nutrient-poor and tough vegetation, like eycad stems. Due to the presumably nutrient-poor food, it very likely had to feed for a very long time. Its anatomy allowed Moschops to open its elbow joint more widely, enabling it to move in a more mammal-like way than the other crawlers in its time. That might have helped it to carry its massive body more easily while feeding.[1] Very likely, most dinocephalians were rather slow-moving animals, but capable of raising themselves, for short bursts.[2] It is also possible that Moschops and other dinocephalians were semiaquatic, given the heavy build and the limbs with their spreading hands and feet. The heavy head could have been useful for diving after food.

M. capensis M. koupensis M. oweni? M. whaitsi?

°I found info on Jonkeria at :

J. truculenta [a skeleton is shown, but I do not know what was there and what ws reconstructed]

J. boonstrai Janensch, 1959: According to Boonstra, Janensch has given a convincing diagnosis of the specific features of the holotype skull. He also stresses the herbivorous nature of the dentition. MAK000809.

J. haughtoni Broom, 1929: The type is a fairly good skull, with some limb-bones, which can be placed in the genus Jonkeria. It can be distinguished from the other species of the genus. Synonym: Dinosphageus haughtoni Broom, 1929 - original name J. crassus Broom, 1929. According to Boonstra, in the holotype consisting of dentaries and postcranial bones, the humerus cannot be distinguished from that of J. haughtoni, and as there are no other distinctive features it should be considered a synonym of J. haughtoni.

J. ingens Broom 1929. The holotype, originally Dinophoneus ingens, together with its synonym, J. pugnax Broom, 1929, and three other known skulls constitute a distinct species of Jonkeria.

J. koupensis Boonstra, 1955: The holotype is a good pelvis readily distinguishable from that of any other known species of Jonkeria.

J. parva Boonstra, 1955: A small humerus is quite distinct from that of the other known species of Jonkeria. I think it is not unlikely this may turn out to a distorted or otherwise modified specimen.

J. rossouwi J. rossouwi Boonstra, 1955: The holotype consists of postcranial bones readily distinguishable from those of the other species of the genus. Two other specimens are known that show the same distinctive features, indicating this is a valid type (probably corresponding to one of the species name on skull characteristics).

J. vanderbyli Broom, 1929: The holotype is a good skull of Jonkeria which according to Boonstra is easily distinguishable from the other species of the genus.

Palaeos Vertebrates Therapsida Tapinocephalia

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