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District of Albania, Griqualand West (Permian of South Africa)

Also known as ? Herbert

Where: Northern Cape, South Africa (29.4° S, 24.2° E: paleocoordinates 62.1° S, 40.1° W)

• coordinate estimated from map

• hand sample-level geographic resolution

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

• No stratigraphic details are given by Seeley (1892). Given the geographic position of the former district of Albania, the fossil may have come from the older units of the Ecca Group (Prince Albert and Whitehill Formations) or possibly even from the Dwyka Group. (see fig. 24 in Catuneanu et al., 2005, Afr. J. Earth Sci. 43). Broom (1909 in Rogers & Du Toit, An Introduction to the Geology of Cape Colony, 2nd ed., p. 192/193) states that mesosaur remains have been found in the "White Band" of Herbert, the latter being a region in the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality of the Northern Cape Province which approximately matches the position of the former Albania District. Also, 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 present collection is assigned to the Whitehill Fm.

•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. (cf. 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, http://www.opus-bayern.de/uni-wuerzburg/volltexte/2007/2175/pdf/00-Complete_thesis-STD.pdf) corroborates an assigment to the Artinskian.

• bed-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: marine; white marl

• 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.
• "white fissile marl" (Seeley, 1892). This description probably refers to the originally black but white wheathering shales of the Whitehill Fm.

Size class: macrofossils

Preservation: mold/impression

Collected by D. Arnott

• SAM = South African Museum, Cape Town

Primary reference: H. G. Seeley. 1892. The Mesosauria of South Africa. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 48:586-604 [J. Mueller/T. Liebrecht] more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 90303: authorized by Johannes Mueller, entered by Torsten Liebrecht on 16.07.2009

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)