Revisiting the world famous Lufeng Formation dinosaur fauna: new approaches to old problems

The Lufeng area is a key locality for Early and Middle Jurassic Chinese dinosaurs. This region is perhaps best known internationally for the co-occurrence of basal sauropodomorph-eusauropod dinosaurs and has therefore been an important research area since the 1930s. We review on a series of palaeoecological analyses in this paper and assess biomass, in particular, using skeletal fossils from this region and analyses of large living terrestrial vertebrates as well as new sporopollenin and sedimentary information. The results of this analysis suggest a gradual substitution of basal sauropodomorphs (e.g. Lufengosaurus) by eusauropods (e.g. Chuanjiesaurus) between the Early Jurassic and Middle Jurassic in concert with increasing biomass and decreasing overall faunal diversity.