University of Cambridge > > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > A view across rifting events: Late Cretaceous continental faunas of Eastern Africa and Madagascar

A view across rifting events: Late Cretaceous continental faunas of Eastern Africa and Madagascar

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Oscar Branson.

This is a hybrid event. It will be live in the Tilley Lecture Theatre and broadcast on Zoom (

Relatively little is known about the diversity of continental biotas from vast regions of the southern hemisphere during the later stages of the Mesozoic Era, particularly by comparison with Laurasian ecosystems during this interval. Such sampling disparity limits our ability to address global phenomena impacting ecosystems approaching the K-Pg boundary, not to mention preventing a clearer understanding of clade level dynamics (e.g., diversification, extinction, etc.) in major vertebrate groups such as nonavian and avian dinosaurs, mammals, etc. Intensified recent field efforts in seldom or completely unexplored southern continent regions are beginning to address these sampling biases and allow for a basic assessment of those vertebrate clades present in different regions, while simultaneously highlighting a range of anatomical specializations not even predicted based on what is currently known from the fossil record. The seminar will provide an overview of two ongoing projects focused on sampling Late Cretaceous paleoenvironments and their vertebrate denizens from continental sequences in present day Madagascar and eastern Africa. A ‘report from the field’ approach will highlight recent discoveries of nonavian and avian dinosaurs, crocodyliforms, and other backboned animals that are helping to write the next chapter in late Mesozoic vertebrate paleontology, while setting the stage for future research in both field and laboratory settings.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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