Advertisement

Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 441–457 | Cite as

Mesozoic salamanders and albanerpetontids of Middle Asia, Kazakhstan, and Siberia

  • Pavel P. Skutschas
Review

Abstract

Mesozoic terrestrial deposits containing diverse vertebrate assemblages are widely distributed in Siberia (central and eastern part of Russia), Middle Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), and Kazakhstan. Twelve formations of Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) to Late Cretaceous (Campanian) age in the region contain salamanders (six in Middle Asia, two in Siberia and four in Kazakhstan). In contrast to the situation in Euramerica, albanerpetontids are extremely rare in the Mesozoic of Asia, where their fossil record is limited to the Khodzhakul (Cenomanian) and Bissekty (Turonian) formations, both in Uzbekistan. Salamanders in Siberia are known from the Bathonian Itat Formation in the Krasnoyarsk Region (the stem salamander Urupia monstrosa and two undescribed taxa—a new stem salamander and a possible crown-group salamander) and from the Aptian–Albian Ilek Formation in Kemerovo Province and the Krasnoyarsk Region (the crown-group salamander Kiyatriton leshchinskiyi and Caudata indet.). In the Jurassic of Middle Asia, the stem salamanders Kokartus honorarius and Karauridae indet. are known from the Bathonian–Callovian Balabansai Formation in Kyrgyzstan. Younger records in Middle Asia are restricted to only two Late Cretaceous genera of crown-group salamanders: the possible cryptobranchoid Nesovtriton in the Bissekty Formation (Turonian) and the cryptobranchid Eoscapherpeton in the Khodzhakul, Dzharakuduk, Bissekty, and Aitym formations (collectively Cenomanian–Campanian) in Uzbekistan and the Yalovach Formation (Santonian) in Tajikistan. In Kazakhstan, salamanders are known from the Kimmeridgian Karabastau Formation (the stem salamander Karaurus sharovi), the Turonian Zhirkindek Formation (Caudata indet.), the Santonian–Campanian Bostobe Formation (the cryptobranchid Eoscapherpeton, the possible proteid “Bishara backa” and Caudata indet.) and the Campanian Darbasa Formation (the cryptobranchid Eoscapherpeton). Cenomanian–Campanian vertebrate assemblages in Middle Asia and Kazakhstan are characterised by dominance of the cryptobranchid Eoscapherpeton.

Keywords

Mesozoic Caudata Albanerpetontidae Middle Asia Kazakhstan Siberia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I thank all the members of expeditions in Middle Asia, Kazakhstan and Siberia for their help. I am grateful to: J. D. Gardner (Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Canada) for organising the symposium “Insights from the Fossil Record into the Evolution of Extant Amphibians and Reptiles” at the Seventh World Congress of Herpetology in Vancouver, Canada, and for his invitations to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum and to contribute this issue; to the Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society (Drumheller, Canada) for providing financial support for my visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum; to A. O. Averianov (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia) for reading and providing helpful comments on an early version of this paper; and to J. D. Gardner (Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Canada) and A. R. Milner (Natural History Museum, London, UK) for reviewing the submitted version of this paper. My studies of Mesozoic salamanders have been funded by the following agencies and grants: the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) grant MA 1643/14-1 and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project 11-04-91331-NNIO) for studies of Siberian Middle Jurassic salamanders; a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and a Return Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (Germany) for study of Kokartus; a Return Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation(Germany) and the Paleontological Society International Research Program (Sepkoski Grants 2010) (USA) for studies of Middle Asian Late Cretaceous salamanders.

References

  1. Anderson JS, Reisz RR, Scott D, Fröbisch NB, Sumida SS (2008) A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders. Nature 453:515–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Astibia H, Buffetaut E, Buscalioni AD, Cappetta H, Corral C, Estes R, Garcia-Garmilla F, Jaeger JJ, Jimenez-Fuentes E, Le Loeuff J, Mazin JM, Orue-Etxebarria X, Pereda-Suberbiola J, Powell JE, Rage J-C, Rodriguez-Lazaro J, Sanz JL, Tong H (1990) The fossil vertebrates from Laño (Basque Country, Spain); new evidence on the composition and affinities of the Late Cretaceous continental faunas of Europe. Terra Nova 2:460–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Averianov AO (1999) Annotated list of taxa described by L. A. Nesov (in Russian). Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta RAN 277:7–37Google Scholar
  4. Averianov AO, Nessov LA (1995) A new Cretaceous mammal from the Campanian of Kazakhstan. N Jb Geol Paläont, Mh 1995:65–74Google Scholar
  5. Averianov AO, Sues H-D (2007) A new troodontid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Cenomanian of Uzbekistan, with a review of troodontid records from the territories of the former Soviet Union. J Vertebr Paleontol 27:87–98Google Scholar
  6. Averianov AO, Sues H-D (2012) Correlation of Late Cretaceous continental vertebrate assemblages in Middle and Central Asia. J Stratigr 36:462–485Google Scholar
  7. Averianov AO, Voronkevich AV (2002) A new crown-group salamander from the Early Cretaceous of Western Siberia. Russ J Herpetol 9:209–214Google Scholar
  8. Averianov AO, Lopatin AV, Skutschas PP, Martynovich NV, Leshchinskiy SV, Rezvyi AS, Krasnolutskii SA, Fayngerts AV (2005) Discovery of middle Jurassic mammals from Siberia. Acta Palaeontol Pol 50:789–797Google Scholar
  9. Averianov AO, Martin T, Skutschas PP, Rezvyi AS, Bakirov A (2008) Amphibians from the Middle Jurassic Balabansai Svita in the Fergana Depression, Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia). Palaeontology 51:471–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Benton MJ (2000) Conventions in Russian and Mongolian palaeontological literature. In: Benton MJ, Shishkin MA, Unwin DM, Kurochkin EN (eds) The age of dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp xvi–xxxixGoogle Scholar
  11. Delfino M, Sala B (2007) Late Pliocene Albanerpetontidae (Lissamphibia) from Italy. J Vertebr Paleontol 27:716–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeMar D (2013) A new fossil salamander (Caudata: Proteidae) from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation, Montana. J Vertebr Paleontol 33:588–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Duellman WE, Trueb L (1986) Biology of amphibians. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Duffaud S (1995) A Batrachosauroididae (Amphibia, Caudata) from the late Cretaceous of Champ-Garimond (Southern France). First European Workshop on Vertebrate Paleontology, Geological Society of Denmark, DGF On Line Series 1. Available at: http://2dgf.dk/publikationer/dgf_on_line/vol_1/duffaud.html. Accessed 6 Aug 2010
  15. Edwards J (1976) Spinal nerves and their bearing on salamander phylogeny. J Morphol 148:305–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Estes R (1981) Encyclopedia of paleoherpetology. Part 2A, Gymnophiona, Caudata. Gustav Fischer Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  17. Estes R, Sanchiz B (1982) Early Cretaceous lower vertebrate from Galve (Teruel), Spain. J Vertebr Paleontol 2:21–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Evans SE, McGowan GJ (2002) An amphibian assemblage from the Purbeck Limestone Group. Spec Pap Palaeontol 68:103–119Google Scholar
  19. Evans SE, Milner AR (1994) Microvertebrate faunas from the Middle Jurassic of Britain. In: Fraser N, Sues HD (eds) In the shadow of the dinosaurs: early Mesozoic tetrapods. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 303–321Google Scholar
  20. Evans SE, Milner AR (1996) A metamorphosed salamander from the Early Cretaceous of Las Hoyas, Spain. Phil Trans Roy Soc Lond B 351:627–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Evans SE, Waldman M (1996) Small reptiles and amphibians from the Middle Jurassic of Skye, Scotland. Mus North Ariz Bull 60:219–226Google Scholar
  22. Evans SE, Milner AR, Mussett F (1988) The earliest known salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata): a record from the Middle Jurassic of England. Geobios 21:539–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Evans SE, Milner AR, Werner C (1996) Sirenid salamanders and a gymnophionan amphibian from the Cretaceous of the Sudan. Palaeontology 39:77–95Google Scholar
  24. Evans SE, Lally C, Chure DC, Maisano JA (2005) A Late Jurassic salamander (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Morrison Formation of North America. Zool J Linn Soc 143:599–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gao K-Q, Shubin NH (2003) Earliest known crown-group salamanders. Nature 422:424–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gao K-Q, Shubin NH (2012) Late Jurassic salamandroid from western Liaoning, China. Proc Natl Acad Sci. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1009828109 Google Scholar
  27. Gao K-Q, Chen J, Jia J (2013) Taxonomic diversity, stratigraphic range, and exceptional preservation of Juro-Cretaceous salamanders from northern China. Can J Earth Sci 50:255–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gardner JD (2001) Monophyly and affinities of albanerpetontid amphibians (Temnospondyli; Lissamphibia). Zool J Linn Soc 131:309–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gardner JD (2012) Revision of Piceoerpeton Meszoely (Caudata: Scapherpetontidae) and description of a new species from the late Maastrichtian and ?early Paleocene of western North America. Bull Soc Géol France 183:611–620Google Scholar
  30. Gardner JD, Averianov AO (1998) Albanerpetontid amphibians from Middle Asia. Acta Palaeontol Pol 43:453–467Google Scholar
  31. Gardner JD, Böhme M (2008) Review of the Albanerpetontidae (Lissamphibia), with comments on the paleoecological preferences of European Tertiary albanerpetontids. In: Sankey JT, Baszio S (eds) Vertebrate microfossil assemblages: their role in paleoecology and paleobiogeography. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp 178–218Google Scholar
  32. Gardner JD, DeMar DG Jr (2013) Mesozoic and Paleocene lissamphibian assemblages of North America: a comprehensive review. In: Gardner J, Nydam RL (eds) Mesozoic and Cenozoic lissamphibian and squamate assemblages of Laurasia. Palaeobio Palaeoenv 93(4). doi: 10.1007/s12549-013-0130-z
  33. Goin CJ, Auffenberg W (1958) New salamanders of the family Sirenidae from the Cretaceous of North America. Fieldiana: Geology 10:449–459Google Scholar
  34. Holman JA (2006) Fossil salamanders of North America. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  35. Ivakhnenko M (1978) Urodeles from the Triassic and Jurassic of Soviet Central Asia. Palaeontol Zhur 1978:84–89 (in Russian) and Paleontol J 1978:362–368 (in English)Google Scholar
  36. Marjanović D, Laurin M (2008) A reevaluation of the evidence supporting an unorthodox hypothesis on the origin of extant amphibians. Contrib Zool 77:149–199Google Scholar
  37. Milner AR (1983) The biogeography of salamanders in the Mesozoic and Early Caenozoic: a cladistic–vicariance model. In: Sims RW, Price JH, Whalley PES (eds) Evolution, time and space: the emergence of the biosphere, Systematics Assoc Spec 23:431–468Google Scholar
  38. Milner AR (2000) Mesozoic and tertiary Caudata and Albanerpetontidae. In: Heatwole H, Carroll RL (eds) Amphibian biology, vol. 4. Palaeontology. Surrey Beaty, Chipping Norton, pp 1413–1444Google Scholar
  39. Nesov LA (1981) Cretaceous salamanders and frogs of Kizylkum Desert (in Russian). Proc Zool Inst AS USSR 101:57–88Google Scholar
  40. Nesov LA (1988) Late Mesozoic amphibians and lizards of Soviet Middle Asia. Act Zool Cracovienska 31:475–486Google Scholar
  41. Nesov LA (1997) Cretaceous nonmarine vertebrates of Northern Eurasia (in Russian). Posthumous edition by Golovneva LB, Averianov AO. Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Saint PetersburgGoogle Scholar
  42. Nesov LA, Fedorov PV, Potapov DO, Golovnyeva LS (1996) The structure of the skulls of caudate amphibians collected from the Jurassic of Kirgizstan and the Cretaceous of Uzbekistan (in Russian). Vestnik Sankt-Petersburgskogo Universiteta, Seriya 7, Geologiya, Geografiya 1:3–11Google Scholar
  43. Nevo E, Estes R (1969) Ramonellus longispinus, an Early Cretaceous salamander from Israel. Copeia 1969:540–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Oreska MPJ, Carrano MT, Dzikiewicz KM (2013) Vertebrate paleontology of the Cloverly Formation (Lower Cretaceous), 1: faunal composition, biogeographic relationships, and sampling. J Vertebr Paleontol 33:264–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rage J-C, Dutheil D (2008) Amphibians and squamates from the Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Morocco. Palaeontographica Abt A 285:1–22Google Scholar
  46. Rage J-C, Marshall LG, Gayet M (1993) Enigmatic Caudata (Amphibia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Gondwana. Geobios 26:515–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ruta M, Coates MI (2007) Dates, nodes and character conflict: addressing the lissamphibian origin problem. J Syst Palaeontol 5:67–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shishkin MA (2000) Mesozoic amphibians from Mongolia and the central Asian republics. In: Benton MJ, Shishkin MA, Unwin DM, Kurochkin EN (eds) The age of dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 297–308Google Scholar
  49. Sigurdsen T, Green DM (2011) The origin of modern amphibians: a re-evaluation. Zool J Linn Soc 162:457–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Skutschas PP (2006) Mesozoic amphibians from Siberia, Russia. In: Barrett PM, Evans SE (eds) 9th Int Symp on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biota. Abstracts and Proceedings Volume, pp 123–126Google Scholar
  51. Skutschas PP (2007) New specimens of albanerpetontid amphibians from the Upper Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. Acta Palaeontol Pol 52:819–821Google Scholar
  52. Skutschas PP (2009) Re-evaluation of Mynbulakia Nesov, 1981 (Lissamphibia: Caudata) and description of a new salamander genus from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. J Vertebr Paleontol 29:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Skutschas PP, Gubin YM (2012) A new salamander from the late Paleocene–early Eocene of Ukraine. Acta Palaeontol Pol 57:135–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Skutschas PP, Krasnolutskii SA (2011) A new genus and species of basal salamanders from the Middle Jurassic of Western Siberia, Russia. Proc Zool Inst RAS 315:167–175Google Scholar
  55. Skutschas P, Martin T (2011) Cranial anatomy of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan. Zool J Linn Soc 161:816–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sweetman SC, Gardner JD (2013) A new albanerpetontid amphibian from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight, southern England. Acta Palaeontol Pol 58:295–324Google Scholar
  57. Szentesi Z, Gardner JD, Venczel M (2013) Albanerpetontid amphibians from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian) of Iharkút, Hungary, with remarks on regional differences in Late Cretaceous Laurasian amphibian assemblages. Can J Earth Sci 50:268–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wang Y, Dong LP, Evans SE (2010) Jurassic-Cretaceous herpetofaunas from the Jehol associated strata in NE China: evolutionary and ecological implications. Bull Chin Acad Sci 24:76–79Google Scholar
  59. Wiechmann MF (2000) The albanerpetontids from the Guimarota mine. In: Martin T, Krebs B (eds) Guimarota: a Jurassic ecosystem. Verlag Dr. Friedrich. Pfeil, Munich, pp 51–54Google Scholar
  60. Zang P, Wake DB (2009) Higher-level salamander relationships and divergence dates inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes. Mol Phylogenet Evol 53(2009):492–508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zhang G, Wang Y, Jones MEH, Evans SE (2009) A new Early Cretaceous salamander (Regalerpeton weichangensis gen. et sp. nov.) from the Huajiying Formation of northeastern China. Cretaceous Res 30:551–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vertebrate Zoology Department, Biology Faculty Saint Petersburg State UniversitySaint PetersburgRussian Federation

Personalised recommendations