African chelonians from the Jurassic to the present: phases of development and preliminary catalogue of the fossil record

de Lapparent de Broin, France
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Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
The five major phases in the palaeontological history of African chelonians are presented: 1) autochthonous development of the north Gondwanan pleurodires from a Pangean source group; 2) littoral expansion of a member of this group (Bothremydidae), accompanied by the arrival of Laurasian marine turtles; 3) in situ development of pleurodires and the immigration of Eurasian cryptodires (Oligo-Miocene) traversing the Tethys in several waves; 4) great diversification and endemism (Pliocene to Holocene); 5) important faunal reduction due to climatic changes at the end of Holocene times (cooling, aridification); elsewhere, great speciation and arrival during the Present of the last European immigrant in the north. Throughout the period under consideration there were several reductions in taxonomic diversity and emigrations from Africa. A preliminary catalogue of the fossil record of African chelonians is given, presented country by country followed by a taxonomic listing.
fossil chelonians, Africa, stratigraphy, taxonomy