The vertebrate assemblage of the lower Fremouw Formation has been studied for nearly 50 years, but many components remain poorly known. We describe a partial presacral vertebra and the distal end of a left humerus collected just above the Permian—Triassic boundary in the Shackleton Glacier region of the central Transantarctic Mountains. Our identification of these specimens as archosauromorphs that represent at least one taxon of large-bodied archosauriform increases the known reptile diversity of the Fremouw Formation considerably, and provides the first definitive evidence for the presence of Archosauriformes in the Early Triassic of Antarctica. These records increase faunal similarities between the lower Fremouw Formation and other Early Triassic assemblages. Although the lower Fremouw assemblage is typically considered a subset of the coeval Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone (LAZ) of South Africa, the discrepancy in inferred body size between the Antarctic specimens and Proterosuchus fergusi, coupled with the fact that the LAZ of the Karoo Basin has been sampled much more thoroughly, suggests a real disparity in the maximum body size of apex carnivores between the lower Fremouw assemblage and the LAZ. The lower Fremouw specimens also demonstrate that one or more lineages of archosauriform had attained the large body size characteristic of later members of the clade very soon after the end-Permian mass extinction. This offers a point of contrast with the global pattern of post-extinction terrestrial communities, which are typified by a marked reduction in body size (the ‘Lilliput effect’).
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 31 • No. 4