Post–Permo-Triassic terrestrial vertebrate recovery: southwestern United States
Recovery of marine biodiversity following the Permo-Triassic extinction is thought to have been delayed relative to other mass extinctions. Terrestrial vertebrate biodiversity is said to have taken as much as 15 Myr longer to recover than the marine. The present study tests, at the scale of an individual fossil community, whether a disparity in biodiversity existed in the American Southwest, between the Moenkopi Formation, containing an early Middle Triassic (Anisian) terrestrial tetrapod fauna, and the Chinle Formation, containing a successor Late Triassic (Norian) tetrapod fauna. Taking Chinle faunal biodiversity to represent full biotic recovery, comparison of taxonomic and guild diversity of faunas from similar depositional and taphonomic environments in these two formations allowed us to assess the possibility of incipient terrestrial recovery of biodiversity in the Anisian.