Tingamarra Fauna

Last updated

The Tingamarra Fauna is associated with the early Eocene Murgon fossil site, and contains the earliest known non-flying eutherian, passerine, trionychidae turtles, mekosuchine crocodiles along with frogs, lungfish and teleost fish in Australia. [1] The Murgon fossil site is located near Kingaroy in south-east Queensland (26° 14' S, 151° 57' E).



Material that represents the fossil component is the MP1 horizon in a sequence of lacustrine clays from Boat Mountain. The geological formation of the site is not known for certain, but may be associated with the Oakdale Sandstone formation. The area was a swamp or shallow lake at the time of deposition, though the habitat has not been determined. Potassium-argon dating of illites has given a date of about 54.6 million years, which is before Australia's separation from Antarctica and South America [2]

Fish of Tingamarra
Amphibians of Tingamarra
Reptiles of Tingamarra
Patagoniophis P. australiensis (Scanlon, 2004)Many disarticulated vertebrae and fragmented ribs
Alamitophis [3] A. tingamarraFragmented dentary and rib along with disarticulated vertebrae.
Kambara K. implexidens and K. murgonensis
? Madtsoia M.spRib head and proximal shaft Costal tubercle is broken so not able to determine if it was robust as in madtsoiids or slender in proximal view as with the extent serpentes. Some other characteristics indicate a Patagoniophis affinity excluding the large size (3.9 by 2.6 mm), but is still smaller than Madtsoia , to which it is most similar. [4]
Murgonemys M. braithwaiteiAlmost complete semi-articulated carapace with vertebrae [5]
Mammals of Tingamarra
Archaeonothos A. henkgodthelpiA carnivorous metatherian of uncertain affinities.
Australonycteris A. clarkaeA single dentary bone, many disarticulated teeth, periotics and postcranial bones.Postcranial material is known but not described.
"Chulpasia"A fossil traditionally referred to the paucituberculate Chulpasia, now thought to represent an unrelated marsupial. [6]
Djarthia D. murgonensisJaw fragments with teeth. [7]
Tingamarra T. porterorumRareTwo teeth one being 3 mm, and an ankle and ear bone is all that is described of this species.
Thylacotinga ?Isolated teeth.
Birds of Tingamarra
QM specimens F20688 (carpometacarpus) and F24685 (tibiotarsus) from Murgon, Queensland, are fossil bone fragments clearly recognizable as passeriform; they represent two species of approximately some 10 and some 20 cm in overall length. [8]
Presbyornithid material similar to Presbyornis . [9]

Related Research Articles

Microbiotheria Order of marsupials

Microbiotheria is an australidelphian marsupial order that encompasses two families, Microbiotheriidae and Woodburnodontidae, and is represented by only one extant species, the monito del monte, and a number of extinct species known from fossils in South America, Western Antarctica, and northeastern Australia.

Peramelemorphia Order of mammals

The order Peramelemorphia includes the bandicoots and bilbies; it equates approximately to the mainstream of marsupial omnivores. All members of the order are endemic to the twin land masses of Australia-New Guinea and most have the characteristic bandicoot shape: a plump, arch-backed body with a long, delicately tapering snout, very large upright ears, relatively long, thin legs, and a thin tail. Their size varies from about 140 grams up to 4 kilograms, but most species are about one kilogram, or the weight of a half-grown kitten.

Microbiotheriidae Family of marsupials

Microbiotheriidae is a family of australidelphian marsupials represented by only one extant species, the monito del monte, and a number of extinct species known from fossils in South America, Western Antarctica, and northeastern Australia.

Magpie goose Species of bird

The magpie goose is the sole living representative species of the family Anseranatidae. This common waterbird is found in northern Australia and southern New Guinea. As the species is prone to wandering, especially when not breeding, it is sometimes recorded outside its core range. The species was once also widespread in southern Australia, but disappeared from there largely due to the drainage of the wetlands where the birds once bred. Due to their importance to Aboriginal people as a seasonal food source, as subjects of recreational hunting, and as a tourist attraction, their expansive and stable presence in northern Australia has been "ensured protective management".

<i>Morelia</i> (snake) Genus of large snakes

Morelia is a genus of large snakes in the family Pythonidae found in Indonesia, New Guinea, and throughout Australia. Currently, up to eight species are recognized.

Riversleigh World Heritage Area

Riversleigh World Heritage Area is Australia's most famous fossil location, recognised for the series of well preserved fossils deposited from the Late Oligocene to more recent geological periods. The fossiliferous limestone system is located near the Gregory River in the north-west of Queensland, an environment that was once a very wet rainforest that became more arid as the Gondwanan land masses separated and the Australian continent moved north. The approximately 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) area has fossil remains of ancient mammals, birds, and reptiles of the Oligocene and Miocene ages, many of which were discovered and are only known from the Riversleigh area; the species that have occurred there are known as the Riversleigh fauna.

Yurlunggur is a genus of fossil snake in the extinct family Madtsoiidae. This genus was a part of the extinct megafauna of Australia, and contains the species Yurlunggur camfieldensis.

The natural history of Australia has been shaped by the geological evolution of the Australian continent from Gondwana and the changes in global climate over geological time. The building of the Australian continent and its association with other land masses, as well as climate changes over geological time, have created the unique flora and fauna present in Australia today.

<i>Kambara</i> Extinct genus of reptiles

Kambara is an extinct genus of mekosuchine crocodylian that lived during the Eocene and Oligocene epochs in Australia.

<i>Wonambi</i> Extinct genus of snakes

Wonambi is an extinct genus of madtsoiid snakes that lived in late Neogene to late Quaternary Australia. Species of Wonambi were constrictor snakes unrelated to Australian pythons.

Madtsoiidae Extinct family of snakes

Madtsoiidae is an extinct family of mostly Gondwanan snakes with a fossil record extending from early Cenomanian to late Pleistocene strata located in South America, Africa, India, Australia and Southern Europe. Madtsoiidae include very primitive snakes, which like extant boas and pythons would likely dispatch their prey by constriction, such as Gigantophis, one of the longest snakes known at an estimated 10.7 metres (35 ft), and the Australian Wonambi and Yurlunggur. As a grouping of basal forms the composition and even the validity of Madtsoiidae is in a state of flux as new pertinent finds are described.

Meiolaniidae Extinct family of turtles

Meiolaniidae is an extinct family of large, possibly herbivorous stem group-turtles with heavily armored heads and tails known from South America and Australasia. Though once believed to be cryptodires, they are not closely related to any living species of turtle, and lie outside crown group Testudines, having diverged from them around the Middle Jurassic. They are best known from the last surviving genus, Meiolania, which lived in the rain forests of Australia from the Miocene until the Pleistocene, and insular species that lived on Lord Howe Island and New Caledonia during the Pleistocene and possibly the Holocene for the latter.

Tingamarra is an extinct genus of mammals from Australia. Its age, lifestyle, and relationships remain controversial.

Fur Formation

The Fur Formation is a marine geological formation of Ypresian age which crops out in the Limfjord region of Denmark from Silstrup via Mors and Fur to Ertebølle, and can be seen in many cliffs and quarries in the area. The Diatomite Cliffs is on the Danish list of tentative candidates for World Heritage and may become a world Heritage site.

<i>Djarthia</i> Extinct genus of marsupial

Djarthia is an extinct monotypic genus of marsupial. It is the oldest marsupial found in Australia, discovered at the Murgon fossil site in south-eastern Queensland.

Australonycteris is an extinct and monotypic genus of microchiropteran bat with the single species Australonycteris clarkae. The species is known from fragmentary remains found at the Murgon fossil site, in south-eastern Queensland, dating to the early Eocene, 54.6 million years ago. It is the oldest bat from the Southern Hemisphere and one of the oldest bats in the world, and inhabited forests and swampy areas, with a diet of insects and possibly small fish.

The Macropodidae are an extant family of marsupial with the distinction of the ability to move bipedally on the hind legs, sometimes by jumping, as well as quadrupedally. They are herbivores, but some fossil genera like Ekaltadeta are hypothesised to have been carnivores. The taxonomic affiliations within the family and with other groups of marsupials is still in flux.

Bluff Downs fossil site

The Bluff Downs fossil site is a paleontological site of Pliocene age in northern Queensland, Australia. It is one of the most significant fossil sites of Pliocene age in Australia due to its unique fauna and specific dating. The fossil site lies on the banks of the Allingham Creek on the pastoral property of Bluff Downs Station, northwest of Charters Towers on the Cape York Peninsula

The Murgon fossil site is a paleontological site of early Eocene age in south-eastern Queensland, Australia. It lies near the town of Murgon, some 270 km north-west of Brisbane. The Murgon site is important as the only site on the continent with a diverse range of vertebrate fossils dating from the early Paleogene Period, making it a crucial period in mammal evolution. It is also important in demonstrating Australia's Gondwanan links with South America in the form of similar fossils from the two continents.

San Jose Formation A geologic formation in New Mexico

The San Jose Formation is an Early Eocene geologic formation in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Colorado.


  1. Scanlon, J. D. 2005. Australia's oldest known snakes: Patagoniophis, Alamitophis, and cf. Madtsoia (Squamata: Madtsoiidae) from the Eocene of Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum (Proceedings of the Conference of Australasian Vertebrate Evolution, Palaeontology and Systematics) v. 51, p. 215–223.
  2. Godthelp, H.; Archer, M.; Cifelli, R.; Hand, S. J.; Gilkeson, C. F. 1992. "Earliest known Australian Tertiary mammal fauna". Nature 359:514-516 doi : 10.1038/356514a0
  3. "Tingamarra Alamitophis".
  4. Scanlon (2005)
  5. "Murgonemys braithwaitei".
  6. A Brief History of South American Metatherians: Evolutionary Contexts and Intercontinental Dispersals
  7. "Murgon Fossil Site".
  8. Boles, Walter E. (1997): "Fossil Songbirds (Passeriformes) from the Early Eocene of Australia". Emu 97(1): 43-50. doi : 10.1071/MU97004
  9. Vanesa L. De Pietri, R. Paul Scofield, Nikita Zelenkov, Walter E. Boles and Trevor H. Worthy (2016). "The unexpected survival of an ancient lineage of anseriform birds into the Neogene of Australia: the youngest record of Presbyornithidae". Royal Society Open Science. 3 (2): 150635. doi:10.1098/rsos.150635.

Further reading