Mendips header
 Overview maps
 Locality areas
  Cheddar Gorge
 Burrington Combe
 Shipham & Rowberrow
 Crook Peak & Axbridge
 Banwell to Churchill
 Harptree & Smitham Hill
 Draycott & Westbury-sub
 Wookey Hole & Ebbor
 Great Elm & Vallis Vale
 Mells & the Wadbury Valley
 The Vobster area
 The Whatley area
 Torr Works & Asham Wood
 Beacon Hill
 Stoke St Michael & Oakhill
 Holwell & Nunney
 Shepton Mallet & Maesbury
 Gurney Slade & Emborough
 The Nettlebridge valley
 Rocks of Mendips
 Geological timescale
 Ancient environments
 Geological structure
 Minerals and mines
  Minerals and mines
 Industrial archaeology
  Stone as a resource
 Employment & the economy
 Quarrying & geodiversity
 Quarrying & the environment
 History of quarrying
 Caves and karst
 How caves form
 Dry valleys and gorges
 Dolines and sinkholes
 Mendip caves
 Going caving
  Flora and fauna
 Typical Mendip habitats
 Special Mendip habitats
 Horseshoe bats
 Appendix of names
 Biodiversity of western
 Biodiversity of eastern
 External links
 Detailed site information
  Coal mining
  Mendip quarry companies
  East Mendip quarries
 Biodiversity of eastern
  West Mendip quarries
 Biodiversity of western
 Site map
The fossils of Mendip
Silurian | Upper Devonian | Lower Carboniferous | Triassic | Lower to Middle Jurassic

Triassic fossils (251 to 200 million years ago)

Penarth Group
The terrestrial environment in which the greater part of the Triassic succession was formed was generally unfavourable for the preservation of fossils. An exception is the chance preservation of lizards, reptiles and dinosaurs in cave and fissure-infills in the Carboniferous Limestone, as demonstrated by the occurrence of the earliest flying vertebrate, Kuehneosaurus, at Emborough. However, the gradual advance of the sea across the Mendip region in the Late Triassic resulted in the deposition of the marine deposits of the Penarth Group, in which fossils are locally common. A bone bed is sometimes developed at the base of the Penarth Group (named the 'Rhaetic Bone Bed'), containing the bones and teeth of marine and freshwater fish and reptiles (including Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus). The overlying sediments represent a variety of shallow marine, lagoonal and near-shore environments, and contain a low diversity fauna that includes the bivalves Modiolus, Protocardia, Rhaetavicula contorta and Chlamys valoniensis. A bone of the dinosaur Scelidosaurus in the succession near Wells shows that land was nearby.

Kuehneosaurus latus 'Rhaetic' bone bed

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