Montag, 13. Oktober 2008

Madygen: never heard? - for sure you did

hear about Longisquama and Sharovipteryx, the notorious "engimatic small diapsids" that are discussed every other year for their phylogenetic relevance and/or functional morphology.

Both come from a thin slice of lake sediments within the Triassic Madygen Formation, a several hundred meter thick succession of continental sedimentary rocks.

For the first time distinguished by KOCHNEV (1934) in an unpublished report and named after the village Madygen, the fossiliferous sediments came into the focus of Soviet palaeobiologists from Moscow, who carried out several excavations during the 1960s.

Madygen became a classic locality and primary source for Early Mesozoic insects. Moreover the group discovered macrofloral remains, molluscs, crustaceans, fish, an urodelan, a cynodont and two small skeletons of diapsid reptiles. The latter were described by the great Russian palaeoentomologist ALEXANDER G. SHAROV between 1966 and 1971.

Several approaches focussed on the sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Madygen Fm - a geological mapping and analysis of the flora by DOBRUSKINA (e.g. 1995) delivered a Ladinian- Carnian age.

During the last three years, palaeontological fieldwork in Madygen intensified again when the far-off realm of SW Kygrgyzstan was again headed for by a Moscovian group of palaeontologists and by a German research group.

Some refs (see also linked WP articles of Longisquama & Sharovipteryx):

Sharov, A.G. (1966): [Unique discoveries of reptiles from Mesozoic beds of Central Asia.] - Bjulleten Moskovskogo Obscestva Ispytatelej Prirody, Otdel geologiceskij, 61 (2): 145- 146 (Moscow).

Dobruskina, I.A. (1995): Keuper (Triassic) Triassic Flora from Middle Asia (Madygen, Southern Fergana). - New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 5: 1-49

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