Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Triassic Lizard-like Reptiles of Australia

There was a variety of lizard-like reptiles in Australia during the Triassic. Procolophonids was one of these groups. They had simple teeth like pegs fused to the jawbone. Through much of the Permian and Triassic they had a global distribution, including some incomplete specimens of Induan-Olenekian age in the Arcadia Formation, southern Queensland. There are similarities between the Australian material and remains found in Africa, South America and Antarctica, though the Australian material had not been documented in detail. Kadimakara australiensis from the Arcadia Formation is a small lizard-like reptile displaying a strong resemblance to prolacertids based on an incomplete skull that was 35 mm long. Prolacertids were a group of primitive archosauromorphs that included aquatic taxa related to crocodiles and dinosaurs. With a body length that is believed to have reached about 350 mm they are suggested by the authors1 to have probably been insectivorous.

Kudnu mackinlayi  is suggested to have possibly been a true lizard or lepidosaur, based on a skull that was less than 20 mm long at most, from an animal that was probably about 200 mm long. In the Blackstone Formation in the Rhondda Colliery near Dinmore, southeastern Queensland there are foot prints suggested to have been made by a lepidosaur or an archosauromorph. The tracks, about 200mm long, are believed to have been made by a tetrapod about 1 m long have been attributed to Plectroperna known from North America.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Kear, B.P. & Hamilton-Bruce, R.J., 2011, Dinosaurs in Australia, Mesozoic life from the southern continent, CSIRO Publishing.

Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated 12/12/2011 


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