Richard Owen's giant Triassic frogs: Archosaurs from the middle Triassic of England

MJ Benton*, David J Gower

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The first archosaurs from the Middle Triassic were described unwittingly by Sir Richard Owen in the 1840s. He combined a variety of archosaurian postcranial elements with skull material of temnospondyls, thus producing his image of giant Triassic frogs. Archosaur bones have been collected from Middle Triassic (Anisian) sediments of Warwick and Bromsgrove in the West Midlands, and more recently, from south Devon. Some of the vertebrae and pelvic elements belong to the poposaurid Bromsgroveia, and other elements and teeth to unidentified archosaurs, one perhaps a dinosaur. The English faunas help fill a gap in knowledge of archosaurs in the early part of the Middle Triassic. If Bromsgroveia is a poposaurid, it is the oldest member of a family known otherwise from the Late Triassic of North America.

Translated title of the contributionRichard Owen's giant Triassic frogs: archosaurs from the Middle Triassic of England
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 1997




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