Data from: Taphonomy of Isisfordia duncani specimens from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) portion of the Winton Formation, Isisford, central-west Queensland
Syme, Caitlin E.; Salisbury, Steven W. (2018), Data from: Taphonomy of Isisfordia duncani specimens from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) portion of the Winton Formation, Isisford, central-west Queensland, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7vg5fd0
Taphonomic analysis of fossil material can benefit from including the results of actualistic decay experiments. This is crucial in determining the autochthony or allochthony of fossils of juvenile and adult Isisfordia duncani, a basal eusuchian from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) distal-fluvial-deltaic lower Winton Formation near Isisford. The taphonomic characteristics of the I. duncani fossils were documented using a combination of traditional taphonomic analysis alongside already published actualistic decay data from juvenile Crocodylus porosus carcasses. We found that the I. duncani holotype, paratypes, and referred specimens show little signs of weathering and no signs of abrasion. Disarticulated skeletal elements are often found in close proximity to the rest of the otherwise articulated skeleton. The isolated and disarticulated skeletal elements identified, commonly cranial, maxillary, and mandibular elements, are typical of lag deposits. The holotype QM F36211 and paratype QMF34642 were classified as autochthonous, and the remaining I. duncani paratypes and referred specimens are parautochthonous. We propose that I. duncani inhabited upper and lower delta plains near the Eromanga Sea in life. Their carcasses were buried in sediment-laden floodwaters in delta plain overbank and distributary channel deposits. Future studies should refer to I. duncani as a brackish water tolerant species.