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Andrias scheuchzeri (Caudata: Cryptobranchidae) aus der obermiozänen (MN7/8) Fundstelle Mataschen/Steiermark

Author(s): Tempfer Petra Maria

Journal: Joannea Geologie und Paläontologie
ISSN 1562-9449

Volume: 5;
Start page: 257;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: Giant Salamander | Cryptobranchidae | Andrias scheuchzeri | Upper Miocene | Uppermost MN7/8 | Lower Pannonian | Styrian Basin/Austria

Andrias scheuchzeri (Cryptobranchidae), a Giant Salamander, which closest relatives do not occur in Europe nowadays, is confirmed for the Upper Miocene (uppermost MN7/8) locality Mataschen/Styria. One maxillary and well preserved vertebrae were excavated. Beside the Upper Miocene localities Brunn-Vösendorf/NÖ and Götzendorf/Leitha/NÖ, Mataschen yields the third record of a Giant salamander for Austria. From a paleoecological point of view, the fossil Giant Salamanders seem to differ in their habitat preferences from the recent living species of the genus. Whereas these prefer clear mountain streams, A. scheuchzeri from the Upper Miocene of Austria even occurred in larger ponds or lakes. Oxygen saturated mountain streams most probably were only prefered as winter spawning places. In any case, frostfree habitats were a must.
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