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A peculiar bonebed from the Norian Stubensandstein (Löwenstein Formation, Late Triassic) of southern Germany and its palaeoenvironmental interpretation

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Despite the abundance of Triassic outcrops in S Germany knowledge about continental ecosystems from the Norian is rather scarce so far for this region. A new fossil-bearing site from the Lower Löwenstein Formation (Unterer Stubensandstein; Norian) of north-eastern Baden-Württemberg (SW Germany), discovered in 2011, yielded disarticulated vertebrate remains together with a moderately diverse palynoflora, ichnofossils and gymnospermous charcoal. These remains are accumulated in a bonebed layer. Palynomorphs support a Late Triassic age of the source sediment, showing a high diversity of conifers. The new site provides the second conclusive evidence for wildfires in the Norian of Europe and the first record of phytosaurs from Schwäbisch Gmünd. Based on sedimentological evidence and taphonomical interpretations of the charcoal remains, it seems possible that the bonebed can be regarded as the result of increased erosion following catastrophic wildfire.
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Keywords: CHARCOAL; LÖWENSTEIN FORMATION; PALAEO-WILDFIRE; PALYNOLOGY; PHYTOSAUR; SCHWÄBISCH GMÜND; STUBENSANDSTEIN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-09-01

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