Tingamarra Fauna

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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
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
Amphibians of Tingamarra
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
Reptiles of Tingamarra
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
Patagoniophis P. australiensis (Scanlon, 2004) Many disarticulated vertebrae and fragmented ribs
Alamitophis[3] A. tingamarra Fragmented dentary and rib along with disarticulated vertebrae.
Kambara K. implexidens and K. murgonensis
?Madtsoia M.sp Rib 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. braithwaitei Almost complete semi-articulated carapace with vertebrae[5]
Mammals of Tingamarra
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
Archaeonothos A. henkgodthelpi A carnivorous metatherian of uncertain affinities.
Australonycteris A. clarkae A 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. murgonensis Jaw fragments with teeth.[7]
Tingamarra T. porterorum Rare Two 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
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
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]


  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. ^ http://australianmuseum.net.au/Alamitophis-tingamarra
  4. ^ Scanlon (2005)
  5. ^ http://australianmuseum.net.au/Murgonemys-braithwaitei
  6. ^ A Brief History of South American Metatherians: Evolutionary Contexts and Intercontinental Dispersals
  7. ^ http://austhrutime.com/murgon_fossil_site.htm
  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.
  • 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. 51 (1): 215–235. ISSN 0079-8835.