In the geologic timescale, the Anisian is the lower stage or earliest age of the Middle Triassic series or epoch and lasted from 247.2 million years ago until 242 million years ago.[2] The Anisian age succeeds the Olenekian age (part of the Lower Triassic epoch) and precedes the Ladinian age.

Age (Ma)
Jurassic Lower/
Hettangian younger
Triassic Upper/
Rhaetian 201.3 ~208.5
Norian ~208.5 ~227
Carnian ~227 ~237
Middle Ladinian ~237 ~242
Anisian ~242 247.2
Olenekian 247.2 251.2
Induan 251.2 251.902
Permian Lopingian Changhsingian older
Subdivision of the Triassic system
according to the ICS, as of 2018.[1]

Stratigraphic definitions

The stage and its name were established by Austrian geologists Wilhelm Heinrich Waagen and Carl Diener in 1895. The name comes from Anisus, the Latin name of the river Enns. The original type locality is at Großreifling in the Austrian state of Styria.

The base of the Anisian stage (also the base of the Middle Triassic series) is sometimes laid at the first appearance of conodont species Chiosella timorensis in the stratigraphic record. Other stratigraphers prefer to use the base of magnetic chronozone MT1n. The global reference profile for the base (the GSSP or golden spike) is at a flank of the mountain Deşli Caira in the Romanian Dobruja.[3]

The top of the Anisian (the base of the Ladinian) is at the first appearance of ammonite species Eoprotrachyceras curionii and the ammonite family Trachyceratidae. The conodont species Neogondolella praehungarica appears at the same level.

Especially in Central Europe the Anisian stage is sometimes subdivided into four substages: Aegean, Bythinian, Pelsonian and Illyrian.

The Anisian contains six ammonite biozones:


Examples of vertebrates from this age are:


Amphibians of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images


Archosauromorphs of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images
250-230 Ma, Olenekian to Carnian South America An early archosauriform and the largest predator of its time.


Archosaurs of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images
Manda Beds, Tanzania
Donguz Formation, Russia
Switzerland, Italy
All across Europe Zanclodon is the name formally used for fossil material that might actually belongs to at least two genera of dinosaur from the Late Triassic among other genera.


Therapsids of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images



Nothosauroids of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images
Guizhou and Hubei, China


Placodonts of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images
Northern Italy


Thalattosauria of the Anisian
Taxa Presence Location Description Images
Italy A very thin, elongated creature (about 2 meters long) that probably swam like an eel, that was probably a fish eater and hunted in deep waters, based on its large eyes (which would allow it to see better in dark water) and the protective bony ring around them (also seen in ichthyosaurs), which prevented them from getting squashed in by the immense water pressure at great depths.


Ananorites Arthaberites Beyrichites Bosnites Buddhaites Bukowskiites Caucasites Danubites Gangadharites Japonites Laboceras Longobarditoides Mesocladiscites Noetlingites Parapinacoceras Parasageceras Phyllocladiscites Proavites Pseudodanubites Psilocladiscites Salterites Tropigymnites Xiphogymnites Pararcestes Sageceras


Alloptychites Anagymnites Grambergia Groenlandites Gymnites Lenotropites Pearylandites Silberlingites Isculites Stenopopanoceras


Acrochordiceras Alanites Anagymnotoceras Arctohungarites Balatonites Bulogites Cuccoceras Czekanowskites Epacrochordiceras Hollandites Huishuites Inaigymnites Ismidites Kiparisovia Malletophychites Nicomedites Phillipites Platycuccoceras Pronoetlingites Reiflingites Discoptychites Intornites Nevadisculites Paraceratites Parapopanoceras Proarcestes Longobardites Ptychites


Amphipopanoceras Aplococeras Arctogymnites Eudiscoceras Eutomoceras Gymnotoceras Halilucites Judicarites Kellnerites Metadinarites Nevadites Parakellnerites Proteusites Repossia Semiornites Serpianites Stoppaniceras Ticinites Tozerites Tropigastrites Joannites Epigymnites Ceratites Flexoptychites Frechites Norites Gevanites Hungarites


Spinoleiophyllites Ussurites Monophyllites


Trachynautilus Thuringionautilus Styrionautilus


Indonautilus Sibyllonautilus




Holconautilus Proclydonautilus


Crassiatractites Breviatractites







  1. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart" (PDF). International Commission on Stratigraphy. 2018.
  2. According to Gradstein et al. (2004); Brack et al. (2005) give 248 to 241 Ma
  3. The GSSP was established by Grǎdinaru et al. (2007)


  • Brack, P.; Rieber, H.; Nicora, A. & Mundil, R.; 2005: The Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Ladinian Stage (Middle Triassic) at Bagolino (Southern Alps, Northern Italy) and its implications for the Triassic time scale, Episodes 28(4), pp. 233–244.
  • Grǎdinaru, E.; Orchard, M.J.; Nicora, A.; Gallet, Y.; Besse, J.; Krystyn, L.; Sobolev, E.S.; Atudorei, N.-V. & Ivanova, D.; 2007: The Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Anisian Stage: Deşli Caira Hill, North Dobrogea, Romania, Albertiana 36, pp. 54–71.
  • Gradstein, F.M.; Ogg, J.G. & Smith, A.G.; 2004: A Geologic Time Scale 2004, Cambridge University Press.

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