Article: Palaeoecology, taphonomy, and dating of Permo-Triassic reptiles from Elgin, north-east Scotland
Three Permo-Triassic reptile faunas and one footprint fauna are known from the area of Elgin, north-east Scotland. The footprints are probably Permian in age and they indicate an assemblage of mammal-like reptiles. The mammal-like reptiles, pareiasaur and procolophonid from the Cutties Hillock Sandstone Formation (new name) are probably latest Permian in age. They were found at the base of an aeolian unit, just above pebbly sheet-flood deposits. The Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation is dated as Lower Norian on the basis of its varied reptile fauna. This fauna shows affinities with northern and southern hemisphere faunas of its time, and contains Britain's oldest dinosaur, the coelurosaur Saltopus. The Lossiemouth reptiles (c. 130 individual animals from four or more localities) were apparently preserved at the bases of barchan dunes and many of them just above flood plain deposits. Most of the skeletons are well preserved in articulation and only a few show disturbance, possibly by scavenging. The fauna consisted of Hyperodapedon and Stagonolepis, two moderate-sized herbivores (25 % each), a selection of small omnivores: Leptopleuron (23 %), Brachyrhinodon (9%), Scleromochlus (5%), and Erpetosuchus (2%), and a medium-large carnivore, Ornithosuchus (10%) and a small carnivore, Saltopus (1 %). Some of the smaller animals show adaptations to living on sand. The last reptile fauna, from the Rhaetic of Linksfield, consists of odd bones of marine reptiles.