Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 


They had a long, narrow snout and narrow skull roof. The nostrils are situated midway along the snout and the eyes a places towards the back of the head.

Erythrobatrachus noonkanbahensis  from the Lower Triassic Blina Shale, Noonkanbah Station about 180 km east-southeast of Derby Western Australia.

The long pointed snout of this species make it the easiest Australian amphibian to recognise. With a skull length of about 35 cm long, it is one of the largest known fossil amphibians from Western Australia. The animal is estimated to have been up to 2 m long. Like all trematosaurs, it was a long-snouted fish-eater living in rivers and near-shore marine habitats. It probably occupied a similar niche to that of the present day saltwater crocodile of north Australia.

The genus had small interpterygoid vacuities, the proportions of the short, broad skull roof bounded by the orbits, nares and lateral margins, compared with the trematosaurids Alphanerama and Wantzosaurus. A unique characteristic of the skull is the lateral margins of the skull bulge out around the large orbits.

Indeterminate sp. from the Lower Triassic site at The Crater, the Arcadia Formation, Rewan Group, 72 km SW of Rolleston, south central Queensland & from the Glenidal Formation, Clematis Group, near Moolayember Dip on the northeastern side of the Carnarvon Range.

Sources & Further reading

John A Long, Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand, University of New South Wales Press

Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated  01/10/2011
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