Study of Late Cretaceous squamates from Iharkút

Study of the squamate fauna of Upper Cretaceous Csehbánya Formation

The Iharkút site is rich in cranial and dental remains of small to medium sized lizards. With approximately 8-9 different taxa the lizard material is among the most diverse assemblages in the Late Cretaceous of Europe.

Besides this, the bone-yielding beds of the Csehbánya Formation deposited in freshwater environments provided a great number of mosasaur fossils that, based on sedimentological evidences supported also by stable isotope studies, represent the first freshwater occurrence of this generally marine group.

Lizard lower jaw from Iharkút
Lizard lower jaw from Iharkút
Pannoniasaurus remains from Iharkút
Pannoniasaurus remains from Iharkút

László Makádi, a scientific resercher paid from the OTKA project grant is involved to accomplish the taxonomical and paleobiological studies on the squamate remains of Iharkút.

Squamates, as dominantly terrestrial components of the fauna are of great importance in a paleobiogeographical point of view. To provide a complex paleobiogeographical scenario of Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates in the western Tethyan archipelago, it is essential to accomplish the taxonomical and anatomical study of all the vertebrate groups (e.g. amphibians, squamates, archosaurs) discovered at the Iharkút locality. These elemental studies result in a precise identification of the remains of vertebrates and they form the basis of later, more complex studies. On the other hand, the examination of the remains of the mosasaur Pannoniasaurus reveal more and more detail on the evolution and adaptation of the group.

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