Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 50, Issue 11, pp 1601-1605

First online:

A new species of Macrocnemus (Reptilia: Protorosauria) from the Middle Triassic of southwestern China and its palaeogeographical implication

  • Li Chun Affiliated withInstitute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , Zhao LiJun Affiliated withZhejiang Museum of Nature History
  • , Wang LiTing Affiliated withGeological Survey of Guizhou Province

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A new species of the terrestrial protorosaur Macrocnemus is briefly described and named Macrocne-mus fuyuanensis sp. nov. The specimen was found from the marine Triassic of Yunnan Province, southwestern China. It differs from the type species M. bassanii in having the following characters: (1) 17 or 18 dorsal vertebrae; (2) relatively long humerus; and (3) femur longer than tibia. M. fuyuanensis is the only record of the genus outside Monte San Giorgio area and the first definite terrestrial reptile found from the marine Triassic of China. The age of the fossil-bearing Zhuganpo Member of the Falang Formation is believed to be the Ladinian based on associated vertebrate fauna. The existence of Mac-rocnemus in the limestone suggests the presence of a terrestrial ecosystem which probably originated from the Anisian and well developed in the Ladinian in this region. The island system along the north-coast of Tethyan during the Triassic was probably an important route for the exchanges of rep-tiles, especially the terrestrial reptiles between the west and east.


Protorosauria Middle Triassic Ladinian Yunnan terrestrial reptile