TRANSANTARCTIC VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY PROJECT

Project Description
The Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project involves the collection and study of Triassic to Jurassic age vertebrates from the southern Transantarctic Mountains near the Beardmore and Shackleton Glaciers, Antarctica. William R. Hammer of Augustana College, currently the Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant supporting this research, has led seven vertebrate collecting expeditions to these regions since 1977. To date faunas of four different ages have been studied. Included among the taxa discovered are synapsids, prolacertids, procolophonids, a rauisuchid and a variety of temnospondyl amphibians from the Early Triassic, synapsids and large capitosaurid temnospondyls from the early Middle Triassic, a few indeterminant bone fragments and a dicynodont tusk from the Late Traissic. The theropod Cryolophosaurus ellioti, along with prosauropod, sauropod, tritylodont, and pterosaur taxa are known from the Early Jurassic.