Gateway to the Paleobiology Database
Victoria West District (Permian of South Africa)

Also known as ("Dwyka Formation") Karoo, Karroo

Where: Northern Cape, South Africa (31.4° S, 23.1° E: paleocoordinates 61.5° S, 44.6° W)

• coordinate based on nearby landmark

• small collection-level geographic resolution

When: Whitehill Formation (Ecca Group), Artinskian (290.1 - 279.5 Ma)

• Stratigraphic range originally entered as >>Rotliegend<<.

•The name "Dwyka", formerly applied to the Permo-Carboniferous glacial deposits als well as to the shales directly overlying them ("Upper Shales" = Prince Albert and Whitehill Formations; cf., e. g., Chapter VII "The Karroo System" in Rogers & Du Toit, 1909, An Introduction to the Geology of Cape Colony, 2nd ed.; Catuneanu et al., 2005, J. Afr. Earth Sci. 43), now is exclusively restricted to the glacial deposits and all the overlying shales are entirely included in the Ecca Group (Catuneanu et al., 2005 fig. 2). Also, Broom (1909 in Rogers & Du Toit) and later Oelofsen & Araujo (1987, S. Afr. J. Sci. 83) say that the occurrence of mesosaurs in South Africa is exclusively restricted to the Whitehill Formation ("the White Band") of the Ecca Group. Thus, the type locality of Noteosaururus africanus is tentatively assigned to the Whitehill Formation in the present collection record.

•Radiometric ages of the Collinson Fm. (overlying the Whitehill Fm.) vary between 270 and 275 Ma (Turner, 1999, J. Afr. Earth Sci. 28(1); Fildani et al., 2007 J. Sedim. Res. 77), and radiometric ages of the basal beds of the Prince Albert Fm. (underlying the Whitehill Fm.) vary between 293 and 285 Ma (Bangert et al., 1999, J. Afr. Earth Sci. 29(1)), implying an Artinskian age for the Whitehill Fm. (see time scales of Gradstein et al. (2004) and Ogg et al. (2008)). Radiometric dating within the Whitehill Fm. of southern Namibia (Werner, 2006, PhD thesis, corroborates an assigment to the Artinskian.

• bed-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: marine; lithology not reported

• There is no consensus about the true nature (lacustrine/brackish/fully marine) of the water body in which the mesosaurs lived. The environment is tentatively chosen to have been marine.
• not reported but probably a dark, whitish weathering shale

Size class: macrofossils

Preservation: mold/impression

Collection methods: SAM = South African Museum, Cape Town

Primary reference: S. P. Modesto. 1996. Noteosaurus africanus Broom is a nomen dubium. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 16(1):172-174 [J. Alroy/R. Whatley/J. Alroy] more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 13083: authorized by John Alroy, entered by Robin Whatley on 18.01.2002

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)