Reptiles: Phlyum Chordata

The Pollack Farm Site has provided the first legitimate window of Miocene reptilian life in North America east of the great plains and north of Florida. In years prior to the excavation of the Pollack site, records of particular small lizards and snakes were non-existent in locations of the mid-Atlantic and northeast, thus providing a significant value to the Miocene fossils recovered.

The fossils recovered from the lower Miocene bed, have provided considerable information to the regions past ecology and environment. The fossils of crocodiles and aquatic turtles gives evidence to a large shallow lake or a river oxbow setting; furthermore, the remaining reptiles probably preferred open brush or grassy environments with loose or sandy soil.

The lower Miocene dig was responsible for the findings of a number of different orders and families of reptiles. Below is a list of species with their fossils recovered from the Pollack Farm Site.

  • Kinosternon sp. Mud Turtle(fragmentary costals, hyoplastra, hypoplastra)
  • "Chrysemys group" turtle. Painted turtle, cooter, slider group(nuchal, costals)
  • Geochelone sp. Very large land tortoise(Entoplastron, hypoplastron)
  • cf. Crocodylus sp. Very large crocodile (Tooth)
  • Ophisaurus sp. Legless Lizard (trunk vertebra)
  • Pterygoboa delawarensis. New species of distinctive small boid genus(trunk vertebra)
  • Calamagras sp. small boid (fragmentary vertebra)
  • Ameiseophis robinsoni. Extinct genus and species of small colubrid snake (trunk vertebra)
  • Pollackophis depressus. Distinctive new genus and species of small colubrid snake (trunk vertebra)
  • cf. Crotalinae. et. sp. Viperid snake (two vertebrae)

Photographs from DGS Special Publication No. 21, 1998, R.N. Benson, ed.
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