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Fossil lizard assemblages from the Hampshire Basin (Palaeogene) of Southern England

Green, Bryony Philippa; (1998) Fossil lizard assemblages from the Hampshire Basin (Palaeogene) of Southern England. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The Hampshire Basin, Southern England, contains three geological Formations, known as the 'Solent Group' (Headon Hill Formation, Bembridge Limestone Formation, Bouldnor Formation), spanning the Upper Eocene to the early Lower Oligocene. These sites are known for their diverse mammal assemblages, permitting detailed palaeoenvironmental analyses and investigations of migration and evolution patterns of mammals across Europe in the Palaeogene. This thesis focuses on the fossil lizard assemblages from the Solent group, describing the taxa present, cataloguing changes through time, and attempting to correlate patterns of change with the changing palaeoenvironment. Information from late Middle Eocene (Creechbarrow Limestone Formation; Barton Clay Formation) lizard assemblages has also been included. The 'Grande Coupure', an event notable for an overturn in the mammal assemblage of Europe, occurs near the end of Solent Group deposition. A number of mammal families (seven), which were previously unknown in Continental Europe, appear in the Hampshire Basin. At the same time, the Continental European lizard assemblage saw a reduction in diversity, and subsequent diversity has remained low. The lizard assemblage of the Hampshire Basin is compared to those of Continental Europe in terms of diversity and structure. Many families are found in common, although differences occur at a generic level. The horizons in the Hampshire Basin vary in the quality, quantity and diversity of lizard material present. The reasons for these differences are discussed and appear to be due to a combination of characters aside from the life-assemblage, including taphonomy and preservation. These may account for the apparent fall in diversity which occurs in the lizards throughout the Hampshire Basin sequence. Despite the difficulty of observing changes linked to the 'Grande Coupure', the lizard fossils of the Hampshire Basin Solent Group provide an important addition to our knowledge of squamates at the beginning of the Tertiary.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Fossil lizard assemblages from the Hampshire Basin (Palaeogene) of Southern England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Earth sciences; Fossil lizard assemblages; Hampshire Basin; Southern England
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104678
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