Toolebuc Formation

The Toolebuc Formation is a geological formation that extends from Queensland across South Australia and the Northern Territory in Australia, whose strata date back to the Albian stage of the Early Cretaceous. Dinosaurs,[1] pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, protostegid turtles, sharks, chimaeroids and bony fish remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.

Toolebuc Formation
Stratigraphic range: Albian
~109–103 Ma
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofRolling Downs Group
UnderliesAllaru Formation
OverliesWallumbilla Formation
ThicknessUp to 65 m (213 ft)
PrimaryLimestone, mudstone
Coordinates20°24′S 144°24′E / 20.4°S 144.4°E / -20.4; 144.4Coordinates: 20°24′S 144°24′E / 20.4°S 144.4°E / -20.4; 144.4
Approximate paleocoordinates52°42′S 132°30′E / 52.7°S 132.5°E / -52.7; 132.5
Country Australia
ExtentEromanga Basin
Toolebuc Formation is located in Australia
Toolebuc Formation
Toolebuc Formation (Australia)


Deposition occurred in a cool to temperate inland sea setting and the present lithology is dominantly made up of limey shales with abundant Inoceramus bivalve shells. Ichthyosaurs and protostegid turtles were the most common marine reptiles at this time in the Eromanga Sea, in contrast to older Aptian deposits such as the Bulldog Shale of South Australia, which show that plesiosaurs were previously more abundant and also more diverse. The Toolebuc Formation is one of the richest known sources of Mesozoic vertebrate fossils in Australia, with notable collecting areas situated around the towns of Richmond, Julia Creek, Hughenden and Boulia.

Fossil contentEdit

Possible indeterminate ankylosaurid remains are present in Queensland, Australia.[1] Indeterminate ornithopod remains have also been found in Queensland, Australia.[1]


Dinosaurs (including birds)
Genus Species Presence Notes Images
Kunbarrasaurus K. ieversi Queensland [1]
cf. Kunbarrasaurus sp. Intermediate Queensland [2]
Muttaburrasaurus Indeterminate Queensland [1]
Nanantius N. eos Queensland "Tibiotarsi and vertebra"[1][3]
Genus Species Presence Notes Images
Aussiedraco A. molnari Queensland
Mythunga M. camara Queensland
Thapunngaka T. shawi Queensland [4]
Genus Species Presence Notes Images
Kronosaurus K. queenslandicus Queensland
Eromangasaurus E. australis Queensland
Polycotylidae indet. Undescribed polycotylid (specimen QM F18041, nicknamed Penny)[5] Queensland
Genus Species Presence Notes Images
Platypterygius P. australis Queensland
Genus Species Presence Notes Images
Bouliachelys B. suteri Queensland
Cratochelone C. berneyi Queensland
Notochelone N. costata Queensland
Genus Species Presence Notes Images
Australopachycormus A. hurleyi "QM F52641 (holotype); partial snout (lacking tip of rostrum) and mandible including dentition and associated cranial/postcranial fragments; SAM P40514 (referred specimen), partial skull with rostrum and incomplete pectoral fin"[6] Long-rostrum pachycormiform

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Weishampel et al., 2004, pp.573-574
  2. ^ Frauenfelder TG, Bell PR, Brougham T, Bevitt JJ, Bicknell RD, Kear BP, Wroe S, Campione NE (2022). "New Ankylosaurian Cranial Remains From the Lower Cretaceous (Upper Albian) Toolebuc Formation of Queensland, Australia". Frontiers in Earth Science. 10: Article 803505. doi:10.3389/feart.2022.803505.
  3. ^ "Table 11.1," in Weishampel et al., 2004, p.213
  4. ^ Richards TM, Stumkat PE, Salisbury SW (2021). "A new species of crested pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea, Anhangueridae) from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) of Richmond, North West Queensland, Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 41 (3): e1946068. doi:10.1080/02724634.2021.1946068.
  5. ^ "Kronosaurus Korner - Penny the Plesiosaur". Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  6. ^ Kear, Benjamin P. (2007-12-12). "First record of a pachycormid fish (Actinopterygii: Pachycormiformes) from the Lower Cretaceous of Australia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27 (4): 1033–1038. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2007)27[1033:FROAPF]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0272-4634.