Publication details

Squamates from the early Miocene (Aquitanian) of Weißenburg 6 (Bavaria, Germany)



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Acta Musei Moraviae, Scientiae geologicae
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Lacertidae; ‘Anilioidea’; Colubridae; Viperidae; early Miocene; Germany
Description Squamate assemblages of the earliest Miocene (Aquitanian) are extremely rare in Europe due to the lack of well-documented (or dated) localities. We describe a small collection of squamates from the early Miocene (MN 1–2?) locality of Weißenburg 6, Germany. The community consists of four squamate taxa including Lacertidae indet., cf. Eoanilius sp., ‘Colubridae’ gen. et sp. indet. and Viperidae gen. et sp. indet. The presence of Eoanilius indicates that thermophilic ‘anilioid’, whose extant relatives occur under the tropical humid climate, might have survived locally the global decrease in temperatures around the Oligocene/Miocene transition (23.03 Ma). The ‘colubrid’ snake from Weißenburg 6 differs from known late Palaeogene and earliest Miocene Colubroidea (Colubridae + Natricidae). Although colubroids were apparently common in Europe since the earliest Miocene (Aquitanian), the first significant post-Oligocene dispersal of Colubroidea from Asia and/or North Africa into Europe, accompanied by a quick dispersal of Viperidae (both ‘European’ and ‘Oriental’ vipers) and small Elapoidea, can be dated to the early Budrigalian (MN 3). The indeterminate viperid from Weißenburg 6 is among the oldest known fossil record of Viperidae.
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