New Triassic Papers in Rivista Italiana di Palaeontolgia e Stratigrafia.

There are a trio of Triassic papers in the new issue of Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia.

Renesto, S. 2010. A new specimen of Nothosaurus from the latest Anisian (Middle Triassic) Besano Formation (Grenzbitumenzone) of Italy. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia 116(2).

Abstract - A nearly complete but disarticulated skeleton of a small sized nothosaur is described. The specimen was collected in 2003 from an outcrop of the Besano Formation (Grenzbitumenzone of Swiss authors) of latest Anisian (Middle Triassic) age, in the Monte San Giorgio Area, northern Italy. The osteology of the postcranial skeleton supports the assignment to the genus Nothosaurus, and also excludes its belonging to Nothosaurus giganteus/Paranothosaurus amsleri already known from coeval localities of the Besano Formation in the Swiss part of the Monte San Giorgio area. Despite the lack of most of the skull, which contains diagnostic characters at the species level for Nothosaurus, the few preserved cranial elements suggest similarities with N. juvenilis which skull, and only known part, is also of comparable size. This specimen is particularly significant because it improves the knowledge of the osteology of N. juvenilis and because the second Nothosaurus species, smaller than N. giganteus/P. amsleri, suggests coexistence of sympatric species characterized by size and, probably, trophic differentiation within the genus Nothosaurus in the Monte San Giorgio area as occurred in the coeval Germanic Basin.

Tintori, A., Sun, Z.-Y., Lombardo, C., Jiang, D.-Y., Sun, Y.-L., and Hao, W.-C., 2010. A new basal neopterygian from the Middle Triassic of Luoping County (South China). Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia 116 (2).

Abstract - A new taxon belonging to Neopterygians is described, based on very nicely preserved specimens from the rich vertebrate levels recently discovered in Luoping County, Yunnan Province, South China. This new assemblage dates to Pelsonian (Anisian, Middle Triassic), about the same age of the Panxian Fauna from the nearby Guizhou Province. The Luoping Fauna, yielding this new taxon, is turning out to be one of the most important fish faunas of the whole Middle Triassic and the oldest evidence of the fish radiation of this time span. This new genus of basal neopterygian shows unique derived characters, especially for the almost naked body, with a single row of urodermals covering the body lobe in the tail and a row of very small and thin scales bearing the lateral line canal along the flank. Also in the axial skeleton the new taxon shows peculiar characters such as the neural spines perfectly aligned to each paired neural arches and abdominal ribs well developed. Concerning skull bones, no suborbitals have been detected.
Stockar, R., and Kustatscher, E. 2010. The Ladinian flora from the Cassina Beds (Meride Limestone, Monte San Giorgio, Switzerland): preliminary results. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia 116 (2).

Abstract - A newly opened excavation in the Cassina beds of the Lower Meride Limestone (Monte San Giorgio UNESCO WHL, Canton Ticino, Southern Alps) has yielded a small collection of Ladinian plant fossils, together with vertebrate (mostly fish) and invertebrate remains. The flora contains at least five species; conifer remains assignable to the genera Elatocladus, Voltzia and ?Pelourdea are the most common elements. A new species, Elatocladus cassinae n. sp., is formally described. Co-occurring with the conifers are seed ferns (Ptilozamites) and a few putative cycadalean remains (?Taeniopteris). Among the identified genera, only Voltzia has previously been reported from Monte San Giorgio. The fossils presented in this paper indicate that a diversified flora thrived in the region during the Ladinian. Floral composition and preservation patterns are suggestive of a taphonomically-biased record and a relatively far-away source area.

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