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Paläontologisches Institut

Research projects

Overview by leaders | Geographic overview

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Prof. Dr. Torsten Scheyer
Thalattosauriform reptiles in Triassic marine ecosystems: digital cranial retrodeformation, 3D reconstruction & functional anatomy
April 2018 to March 2023
Funding sources
SNF, Personen- und Projektförderung, SNF, Personen- und Projektförderung
Prof. Pat Druckenmiller, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska (Alaska, USA)
Dr. Stephan Lautenschlager, University of Birmingham, School of Geography (Birmingham, UK)
world map
After the most severe extinction event in Earth's history, the end-Permian biotic crisis, the recovery of the ecosystems became apparent in the Triassic oceans. Representatives of the thalattosaurs (Thalattosauriformes) were among the first reptiles to populate the oceanic habitats in the Triassic period, to spread and diversify globally. In addition to a general body plan, which does not vary widely within the thalattosaurs, this group of animals has large morphological differences in their skulls. The differences in the structure of the snout and the teeth, which reflect different lifestyles and feeding habits, are particularly apparent here. Thalattosaurs have the potential to provide valuable insights into general diversification processes and the emergence and occupation of ecological niches after extinction events in Earth's history.