Implications of the Newark Supergroup-based astrochronology and geomagnetic polarity time scale (Newark-APTS) for the tempo and mode of the early diversification of the Dinosauria

Olsen, Paul E.; Kent, Dennis V.; Whiteside, Jessica H.

The Newark-APTS established a high-resolution framework for the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. Palaeomagnetic polarity correlations to marine sections show that stage-level correlations of continental sequences were off by as much as 10 million years. New U-Pb ages show the new correlations and the Newark basin astrochronology to be accurate. Correlation of Newark-APTS to the Chinle Formation/Dockum Group, Glen Canyon Group, Fleming Fjord Formation and Ischigualasto Formation led to the following conclusions: (1) there are no unequivocal Carnian-age dinosaurs; (2) the Norian Age was characterised by a slowly increasing saurischian diversity but no unequivocal ornithischians; (3) there was profound Norian and Rhaetian continental provinciality; (4) the classic Chinle-, Germanic- and Los Colorados-type assemblages may have persisted to the close of the Rhaetian; (5) the distinct genus-level biotic transition traditionally correlated with the marine Carnian-Norian is in fact mid-Norian in age and within published error of the Manicouagan impact; (6) the end-Triassic marine and continental extinctions as seen in eastern North America were contemporaneous; and (7) compared to Triassic communities, Hettangian and Sinemurian age terrestrial communities were nearly globally homogenous and of low diversity. Consequently, the complex emerging picture of dinosaur diversification demands biostratigraphically-independent geochronologies in each of the faunally-important regions.


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Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
January 30, 2012