Biostratigraphic correlation in the Karoo: The case of the Middle Permian parareptile Eunotosaurus
Author: Mike Day, Bruce Rubidge, John Almond and Sifelani Jirah
Publication: South African Journal of Science, number 3&4, volume 109
The richness of fossil tetrapods from the Beaufort Group of South Africa has enabled biostratigraphic subdivision of this Permo-Triassic succession, with global applicability. Despite being the thickest of the seven biozones recognised, attempts at further subdivision of the Middie Permian TafJinocephalus Assemblage Zone (Abrahamskraal Formation) have not been successful, largely because the exact stratigraphie ranges of fossil taxa are unknown. This gap in knowledge has limited stratigraphie eorrelation of the Abrahamskraal Formation and hindered understanding of Middle Permian Karoo basin development. Currently, the lowermost Beaufort Group is split between an eastern and a western stratigraphie scheme and, beeause of poor outerop and the reiative paueity of fossiis in the east, stratigraphie eorrelation between the two areas has been uneertain. Reeent fossil diseoveries of the parareptile Eunotosaurus africafius in the Eastern Cape and Free State provinees have extended its known geographic range in ttie east. An additional speeimen from the lower Middleton Formation in the Eastern Cape has, forthe first time, enabied the biostratigraphie eorrelation of this unit with the Poortjie Member of the Teekloof Formation in the west. These finds eonfirm the diaehroneity of the boundary between the marine Eeea Group and the terrestrial Beaufort Group.