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Cenomanian–Turonian marine amniote remains from the Saxonian Cretaceous Basin of Germany

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2016

Naturkundemuseum Bielefeld, Abteilung Geowissenschaften, Adenauerplatz 2, 33602 Bielefeld, Germany Im Hof 9, 51766 Engelskirchen, Germany
Senckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden, Museum für Mineralogie und Geologie, Sektion Paläozoologie, Königsbrücker Landstraße 156, 01109 Dresden, Germany
Idastraße 13, 49479 Ibbenbüren, Germany
Fuhlsbüttler Straße 611, 22337 Hamburg, Germany
Museum of Evolution, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 16, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
Author for correspondence:


The Saxonian Cretaceous Basin constitutes an important source of rare Late Cretaceous marine amniote fossils from Germany. It is also historically famous, having been documented in a series of monographic works published by the distinguished German palaeontologist Hanns Bruno Geinitz in the nineteenth century. The most productive rock units include the upper Cenomanian Dölzschen Formation and upper Turonian Strehlen and Weinböhla limestones (lower Strehlen Formation). A survey of curated specimens recovered from these deposits has now identified isolated teeth of probable polycotylid and elasmosaurid plesiosaurians, as well as several humeri that are referred to protostegid marine turtles. The Saxonian Cretaceous Basin formed a continuous epeiric seaway with the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin during late Cenomanian – Turonian time. A western connection to the North Sea Basin also existed via the North German and Münsterland Cretaceous basins. The Mesozoic marine amniote remains from these regions therefore record a coeval northern European fauna that was probably homogeneous across the northern peri-Tethyan margin during Late Cretaceous time.

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