Late Paleocene glyptosaur (Reptilia: Anguidae) osteoderms from South Carolina, USA

Journal of Paleontology
By: , and 



Heavily tuberculated glyptosaur osteoderms were collected in an active limestone quarry in northern Berkeley County, South Carolina. The osteoderms are part of a highly diverse late Paleocene vertebrate assemblage that consists of marine, terrestrial, fluvial, and/or brackish water taxa, including chondrichthyan and osteichthyan fish, turtles (chelonioid, trionychid, pelomedusid, emydid), crocodilians, palaeopheid snakes, and a mammal. Calcareous nannofossils indicate that the fossiliferous deposit accumulated within subzone NP9a of the Thanetian Stage (late Paleocene, upper part of Clarkforkian North American Land Mammal Age [NALMA]) and is therefore temporally equivalent to the Chicora Member of the Williamsburg Formation. The composition of the paleofauna indicates that the fossiliferous deposit accumulated in a marginal marine setting that was influenced by fluvial processes (estuarine or deltaic).

The discovery of South Carolina osteoderms is significant because they expand the late Paleocene geographic range of glyptosaurines eastward from the US midcontinent to the Atlantic Coastal Plain and provide one of the few North American records of these lizards inhabiting coastal habitats. This discovery also brings to light a possibility that post-Paleocene expansion of this group into Europe occurred via northeastward migration along the Atlantic coast of North America.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Late Paleocene glyptosaur (Reptilia: Anguidae) osteoderms from South Carolina, USA
Series title Journal of Paleontology
DOI 10.1017/jpa.2016.16
Volume 90
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 147
Last page 153
Country United States
State South Carolina
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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