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Crocodylian and turtle finds from the Early Miocene of the Baňa Dolina Mine in Ve ky Krtí (Slovakia)

Keywords: Crocodilia , Testudinidae , Trionychidae , Ottnangian , Paratethys , Slovakia

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Abstract:

Fossil reptile remains are described from the Lower Miocene deposits of the active mine Baňa Dolina in Ve ky Krtí (southern part of central Slovakia). The fossils come from lignite layers dated to the late Ottnangian. The sediments indicate a terrestrial, fluvial and swampy environments. The material is fragmented, and mostly disarticulated. It consists of several isolated teeth and osteoderms belonging to crocodylians. These fragmentary fossils document the presence of the group in Slovakia during the Early Miocene. The finds exhibit some general similarities with, for instance, the taxon Diplocynodon. However, lack of diagnostic features makes precise identification of such limited material impossible. The rest of the material consists of turtle shell fragments. The turtle material is represented by two families – Testudinidae and ?Trionychidae – and represent the oldest occurrence of turtles in Slovakia. The material of Testudinidae includes a partially preserved print of the external surface of the carapace and a fragmentary nuchal. The cervical scute is absent on the external surfaces of the nuchal and the anterior notch is wide but only very shallow. The features indicate that this tortoise may be closely related to the taxon Testudo (or Palaeotestudo) burgenlandica.

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