In the geologic timescale the Bathonian is an age and stage of the Middle Jurassic. It lasted from approximately 168.3 Ma to around 166.1 Ma (million years ago). The Bathonian age succeeds the Bajocian age and precedes the Callovian age.[2]

Age (Ma)
Cretaceous Lower/
Berriasian younger
Jurassic Upper/
Tithonian ~145.0 152.1
Kimmeridgian 152.1 157.3
Oxfordian 157.3 163.5
Middle Callovian 163.5 166.1
Bathonian 166.1 168.3
Bajocian 168.3 170.3
Aalenian 170.3 174.1
Toarcian 174.1 182.7
Pliensbachian 182.7 190.8
Sinemurian 190.8 199.3
Hettangian 199.3 201.3
Triassic Upper/
Rhaetian older
Subdivision of the Jurassic system
according to the ICS, as of 2017.[1]

Stratigraphic definitions

The Bathonian stage takes its name from Bath, a spa town in England built on Jurassic limestone (the Latinized form of the town name is Bathonium). The name was introduced in scientific literature by Belgian geologist d'Omalius d'Halloy in 1843. The original type locality was located near Bath. The French palaeontologist Alcide d'Orbigny was in 1852 the first to define the exact length of the stage.

The base of the Bathonian is at the first appearance of ammonite species Parkinsonia (Gonolkites) convergens in the stratigraphic column. The global reference profile for the base of the Bathonian (a GSSP) was ratified as Ravin du Bès, Bas-Auran area, Alpes de Haute Provence, France in 2009.[3] The top of the Bathonian (the base of the Callovian stage) is at the first appearance of ammonite genus Kepplerites.

In the Tethys domain, the Bathonian contains eight ammonite biozones:

Rocks of Bathonian age are well developed in Europe: in the northwest and southwest oolite limestones are characteristically associated with coral-bearing, crinoidal and other varieties, and with certain beds of clay. In the north and northeast, Russia, etc., clays, sandstones and ferruginous oolites prevail, some of the last being exploited for iron. They occur also in the extreme north of North America and in the Arctic regions, Greenland, Franz Josef Land, etc.; in Africa, Algeria, Tanzania, Madagascar and near the Cape of Good Hope (Enon Beds); in India, Rajputana and Gulf of Kutch, and in South America.[4]

The well-known Caen stone of Normandy and "Hauptrogenstein" of Swabia, as well as the "Eisenkalk" of northwest Germany, and "Klaus-Schichten" of the Austrian Alps, are of Bathonian age.



Ankylosaurs of the Bathonian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images
A Chinese ankylosaur which lacked a club at the end of its tail. it could possibly be a nodosaur.



Megalo and Cetio
Cetiosaurus with Megalosaurus



Restoration of S. vorax




Douvilleiceras Hoplites
Life restorations of two different ammonite genera.


Belemnite fossils



  1. ^
  2. ^ For a detailed geologic timescale, see Gradstein et al. (2004)
  3. ^ López, Fernández; Rafael, Sixto; Pavia, Giulio; Erba, Elisabetta; Guiomar, Myette; Paiva Henriques, María Helena; Lanza, Roberto; Mangold, Charles; Morton, Nicol; Olivero, Davide; Tiraboschi, Daniele (2009). "The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for base of the Bathonian Stage (Middle Jurassic), Ravin du Bès Section, SE France" (PDF). Episodes. 32: 222–248. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  4. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bathonian Series". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 513. That article further references A. de Lapparent, Traité de géologie (5th ed., 1906), vol ii.
  5. ^ "Type specimen: BMNH 4860, a partial skull. Its type locality is Minchinhampton reservoir (BMNH R4860), which is in a Bathonian marine limestone in the White Limestone Formation of the United Kingdom".
  6. ^ "Cranial osteology and phylogenetic position of the theropod dinosaur Proceratosaurus bradleyi (Woodward, 1910) from the Middle Jurassic of England".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (entry on cephalopoda)". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Archived from the original on 7 May 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2008.


External links


Ankylosauria is a group of mainly herbivorous dinosaurs of the order Ornithischia. It includes the great majority of dinosaurs with armor in the form of bony osteoderms. Ankylosaurs were bulky quadrupeds, with short, powerful limbs. They are known to have first appeared in the early Jurassic Period, and persisted until the end of the Cretaceous Period. They have been found on every continent. The first dinosaur discovered in Antarctica was the ankylosaurian Antarctopelta, fossils of which were recovered from Ross Island in 1986.

Ankylosauria was first named by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1923. In the Linnaean classification system, the group is usually considered either a suborder or an infraorder. It is contained within the group Thyreophora, which also includes the stegosaurs, armored dinosaurs known for their combination of plates and spikes.


Atlasaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaurs from Middle Jurassic (Bathonian to Callovian stages) beds in North Africa.


In the geologic timescale, the Bajocian is an age and stage in the Middle Jurassic. It lasted from approximately 170.3 Ma to around 168.3 Ma (million years ago). The Bajocian age succeeds the Aalenian age and precedes the Bathonian age.


Brachyphyllum is a form genus of fossil coniferous plant foliage. Plants of the genus have been variously assigned to several different conifer groups including Araucariaceae and Cheirolepidiaceae. They are known from around the globe from the Late Carboniferous to the Late Cretaceous periods.


In the geologic timescale, the Callovian is an age and stage in the Middle Jurassic, lasting between 166.1 ± 4.0 Ma (million years ago) and 163.5 ± 4.0 Ma. It is the last stage of the Middle Jurassic, following the Bathonian and preceding the Oxfordian.


The Caudata are a group of amphibians containing the salamanders (Urodela) and all extinct species of salamander-like amphibians more closely related to salamanders than to frogs. They are typically characterized by a superficially lizard-like appearance, with slender bodies, blunt snouts, short limbs projecting at right angles to the body, and the presence of a tail in both larvae and adults.

Disagreement exists between different authorities as to the definition of the terms "Caudata" and "Urodela". Some maintain that Urodela should be restricted to the crown group, with Caudata being used for the total group. Others restrict the name Caudata to the crown group and use Urodela for the total group. The former approach seems to be most widely adopted and is used in this article.


Chigutisauridae is an extinct family of large temnospondyl amphibians. The only genera recognized as belonging to Chigutisauridae at the current time are all from Gondwana (Australia, Argentina, India and South Africa) and include Koolasuchus and Siderops.


Eophis is an early genus of stem-snake (clade Ophidia) containing one species, Eophis underwoodi, from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) from the Forest Marble Formation of United Kingdom. Eophis is the earliest known member of the ophidia group. It was found in the mammal bed in Kirtlington Quarry.


Goniopholididae is an extinct family of moderate-sized semi-aquatic crocodyliforms superficially similar to living crocodiles (but see below). They lived between the Early Jurassic and the Late Cretaceous.

Great Estuarine Group

The Great Estuarine Group is a sequence of rocks which outcrop around the coast of the West Highlands of Scotland. Laid down in the Hebrides Basin during the middle Jurassic, they are the rough time equivalent of the Inferior and Great Oolite Groups found in southern England.

This sequence of rocks was originally named as the ‘Great Estuarine Series’ by the geologist, John Wesley Judd in 1878. There are outcrops on the islands of Skye, Raasay, Eigg, Muck and Mull and on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. It comprises a series of shales, clays and sandstones of non-marine origin.

The Group overlies the Garantiana Mudstone of the 'Bearreraig Sandstone Formation' and is itself overlain by rocks of the 'Skye Lava Group', erupted during the Palaeocene.The lowermost (and hence oldest) unit of the Great Estuarine Group is the ‘Cullaidh Shale Formation’. Overlying this is the 'Elgol Sandstone Formation', the type locality of which is to be found at the village of Elgol on Skye. These sandstones are interpreted as being deltaic in origin. Above the sandstone is the 'Lealt Shale Formation', a unit in which fossils of creatures which lived in brackish lagoons abound. These include mussels, sharks and plesiosaurs. The discovery of the first plesiosaur was made in 1844 by the geologist Hugh Miller. The ‘Kildonnan Member’ of the Lealt Shale Formation contains stromatolites and various microfossils such as dinoflagellates and acritarchs. The succeeding ‘Lonfearn Member’ consist of shales and thin shelly and oolitic limestones with conchostracan fossils. It has also yielded dinosaur footprints.

At the next stratigraphic level the ‘Valtos Sandstone Formation’ represents a further series of deltaic sandstones. Large calcareous concretions commonly occur within this formation. They are post-depositional in origin with individual nodules reaching more than a metre in diameter and cutting across the bedding. The ‘Duntulm Formation' succeeds the Valtos Formation and is in turn succeeded by the ‘Kilmaluag Formation’, and then by the youngest unit of the Great Estuarine Group, the ‘Skudiburgh Formation’.


Jobaria is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Niger during the middle Jurassic Period, between 164–161 million years ago.


The Monofenestrata are an unranked group of pterosaurs that includes the family Wukongopteridae and the suborder Pterodactyloidea.The clade Monofenestrata was in 2009/2010 defined as the group consisting of Pterodactylus and all species sharing with Pterodactylus the synapomorphy, shared derived trait, of an external nostril confluent with the antorbital fenestra, the major skull opening on the side of the snout. The name is derived from Greek monos, "single", and Latin fenestra, "window". The concept was inspired by the discovery of Darwinopterus, a species combining a pterodactyloid-type skull with a more basal build of the remainder of the body. The Darwinoptera, a primitive subgroup of monofenestratans showing this transitional anatomy, was also named for Darwinopterus and defined as all descendants of its common ancestor with Pterorhynchus.The earliest known monofenestrate fossils have been found in the Stonesfield Slate formation of the United Kingdom, which dates to the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic, dated to about 166 million years ago. Identified elements include cervical vertebrae, fourth metacarpals and a possible pterodactyloid synsacrum. Below is a cladogram showing the results of a phylogenetic analysis presented by Andres, Clark & Xu, 2014. This study found the two traditional groupings of ctenochasmatoids and kin as an early branching group, with all other pterodactyloids grouped into the Eupterodactyloidea.


Notosuchia is a suborder of primarily Gondwanan mesoeucrocodylian crocodylomorphs that lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. Some phylogenies recover Sebecosuchia as a clade within Notosuchia, others as a sister group (see below); if Sebecosuchia is included within Notosuchia its existence is pushed into the Middle Miocene, about 11 million years ago. Fossils have been found from South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Notosuchia was a clade of terrestrial crocodilians that evolved a range of feeding behaviours, including herbivory (Chimaerasuchus), omnivory (Simosuchus), and terrestrial hypercarnivory (Baurusuchus). It included many members with highly derived traits unusual for crocodylomorphs, including mammal-like teeth, flexible bands of shield-like body armor similar to those of armadillos (Armadillosuchus), and possibly fleshy cheeks and pig-like snouts (Notosuchus). The suborder was first named in 1971 by Zulma Gasparini and has since undergone many phylogenetic revisions.


The Ommatidae are a family of beetles in the suborder Archostemata. The Ommatidae are considered the extant beetle family that has most ancestral characteristics. Extant species of this group only occur in Australia and South America, but the geographical distribution was much wider during the Mesozoic spanning across modern day Europe, Siberia, Myanmar, and China. Discovery of Upper Jurassic Chinese and Upper Cretaceous Burmese fossils suggest that they were widespread during Pangea. So far, 13 extinct genera containing over 100 species of these beetles have been described. Two extant genera have been assigned to this family: Omma and Tetraphalerus.


Protosuchidae was a family of crocodylmorph reptiles from the Late Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods. They were closely related to the Gobiosuchidae.


Steneosaurus is an extinct genus of teleosaurid crocodyliform from the Early Jurassic to Middle Jurassic (Toarcian to Callovian). Fossil specimens have been found in England, France, Germany, Switzerland and Morocco. The largest species, S. heberti, reached up to 5 metres (16 ft) in length, though 2.5 to 3.5 metres (8.2 to 11.5 ft) was more common.

Taynton Limestone Formation

The Taynton Limestone (also known informally as the Stonesfield Slate) is a geological formation in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. It dates to the Middle Jurassic, mid-Bathonian stage.


The teleosaurids were marine crocodyliforms similar to the modern gharial that lived from the Early Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. They had long snouts, indicative of piscivory (fish eating) and were the closest relatives to the Metriorhynchidae, the Mesozoic crocodilians that returned to the sea and evolved paddle-like forelimbs and a shark-like tail.


Tethysuchia is an extinct clade of neosuchian mesoeucrocodylian crocodylomorphs from the late Middle Jurassic (Bathonian stage) to the Early Eocene (Ypresian stage) of Asia, Europe, North America and South America. It was named by the French paleontologist Eric Buffetaut in 1982 as a suborder. Tethysuchia was considered to be a synonym of Dyrosauridae or Pholidosauridae for many years. In most phylogenetic analyses the node Dyrosauridae+Pholidosauridae was strongly supported. De Andrade et al. (2011) suggested that Tethysuchia be resurrected for that node. They defined it as a node-based taxon "composed of Pholidosaurus purbeckensis (Mansel-Pleydell, 1888) and Dyrosaurus phosphaticus (Thomas, 1893), their common ancestor and all its descendants". In their analysis they found that the support for Tethysuchia is actually stronger than the support for Thalattosuchia. The following cladogram shows the position of Tethysuchia among the Neosuchia sensu this study.

Cenozoic era
(present–66.0 Mya)
Mesozoic era
(66.0–251.902 Mya)
Paleozoic era
(251.902–541.0 Mya)
Proterozoic eon
(541.0 Mya–2.5 Gya)
Archean eon (2.5–4 Gya)
Hadean eon (4–4.6 Gya)


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