The Rhaetian vertebrates of Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, UK, a comparative study

Rebecca J. Lakin, Christopher J. Duffin, Claudia Hildebrandt, Michael J. Benton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


Microvertebrates are common in the basal bone bed of the Westbury Formation of England, documenting a fauna dominated by fishes that existed at the time of the Rhaetian Transgression, some 206 Myr ago. Two sites near Chipping Sodbury, south Gloucestershire, Barnhill Quarry and Chipping Sodbury railway cutting, show differing faunas. Top predators are the large bony fish Severnichthys and the shark Hybodus cloacinus, which preyed on smaller sharks such as Lissodus and Rhomphaiodon. These fishes in turn may have fed on a mixed diet of other fishes and invertebrates, and Lissodus was a shell crusher. Comparisons of these faunas with others described recently from the Bristol region, and from Devon, indicate remarkable faunal similarities in the Rhaetian basal Westbury Formation bone bed over a wide area, based on a variety of ecological statistics that document species diversities and relative abundances. Only the fauna from the Chipping Sodbury railway cutting differs significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Actinopterygii
  • Bristol
  • Chondrichthyes
  • Late Triassic
  • Rhaetian
  • Rhaetian bone bed
  • Systematics
  • Westbury Formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Palaeontology


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