The age of the Tashinga Formation (Karoo Supergroup) in the mid-Zambezi basin, Zimbabwe and the first Phytosaur from mainland sub-Saharan Africa
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Colleges, School and Institutes
Correlations between continental sequences within the Karoo-aged basins of southern and eastern Africa are difficult due to the dearth of shared index fossils and a lack of radioisotopic dates for key formations. Here we describe four sites along the southeastern shoreline of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, within the Mid-Zambezi Basin, that yield material of phytosaurs (Archosauromorpha: Phytosauria) from within the informal Tashinga Formation (Upper Karoo Group). These phytosaur remains are the first to be recovered from sub-Saharan mainland Africa, representing a major geographic range extension for this group into high southern latitudes. Furthermore, an LA-ICPMS maximum depositional age of 209.2 ± 4.5 Ma (late Norian/early Rhaetian) derived from detrital zircons provides the first absolute age estimate for any of these sites. The phytosaurs are associated with lungfish and metoposaurid amphibians, forming part of a terrestrial-aquatic dominated biota, a previously undocumented biome from the Late Triassic of southern Africa.
|Number of pages||16|
|Early online date||16 Jan 2020|
|Publication status||Published - May 2020|
- Phytosauria, Gondwana, Zimbabwe, Karoo, Late Triassic