LATE TRIASSIC CONTINENTAL TETRAPODS FROM THE
NEWARK SUPERGROUP OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA
SUES, Hans-Dieter, Department of Palaeobiology, Royal
Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2C6, and Department of Zoology, University of
Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G5, Canada.
The early Mesozoic synrift basins of the Newark Supergroup in
eastern North America contain several thousand meters of Triassic
fluvial and lacustrine sedimentary rocks. These strata have
traditionally been considered rather unfossiliferous except for locally
abundant, mainly reptilian tracks and trackways. However, more
recent field-work has yielded skeletal remains of a series of
assemblages of Late Triassic continental tetrapods.
A taxonomically diverse assemblage from the Richmond basin
of Virginia is dominated by non-mammalian synapsids and may be
slightly older stratigraphically than other Late Triassic occurrences of
continental vertebrates in North America. Assemblages of continental
tetrapods are known from the Wolfville Formation of the Fundy basin
of Nova Scotia, the Cumnock and Pekin formations of the Deep River
basin in North Carolina, and the New Oxford Formation of the
Gettysburg basin in Pennsylvania and represent a variety of
depositional environments. They share taxa with those from the
richly fossiliferous Chinle-Dockum strata of the American Southwest
and are considered late Carnian in age. At present there exists only a
rather poor record (in terms of both taxonomic diversity and number
of skeletal remains) of Norian-age tetrapods from the Hartford and
Newark basins of the northeastern United States and the Fundy basin
of eastern Canada.
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