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Article: The Paleorhinus biochron and the correlation of the non-marine Upper Triassic of Pangaea

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 34
Part: 2
Publication Date: June 1991
Page(s): 487 501
Author(s): Adrian P. Hunt and Spencer G. Lucas
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How to Cite

HUNT, A. P., LUCAS, S. G. 1991. The Paleorhinus biochron and the correlation of the non-marine Upper Triassic of Pangaea. Palaeontology34, 2, 487–501.

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We describe a new skull of the phytosaur Paleorhinus bransoni from Palo Duro Canyon, Randall County, Texas. The genus Paleorhinus (synonyms, Mesorhinus, Promystriosuchus, Francosuchus, Ebrachosuchus, Mesorhinosuchus, Parasuchus) contains four valid species: P. bransoni (synonyms P. parvus, P. scurriensis), P. neukami, P. magnoculus, and P. hislopi. Other nominal species based on specimens that we assign to Paleorhinus are nomina dubia. Paleorhinus is a constituent of late Carnian faunas in the western United States (lower Dockum Group, Camp Springs Member of the Tecovas Formation, lower Chinle Formation, Popo Agie Formation), Germany (Blasensandstein), Morocco (Argana Formation), India (Maleri and Tiki Formations), and Austria (Opponitzer Beds). These faunas, together with correlative faunas which lack Paleorhinus in Scotland (Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation) and South America (upper Santa Maria and Ischigualasto Formations), encompass a Paleorhinus biochron which can be recognized across much of the Late Triassic of Pangaea. The age of this biochron is based on pollen, marine invertebrates, and radiometric dates.
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