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I would notify that is out a new monograph on Tanystropheus:
Nosotti, Stefania, 2007, Tanystropheus longobardicus (Reptilia,
Protorosauria): re-interpretations of the anatomy based on new specimens
from the Middle Triassic of Besano (Lombardy, Northern Italy). Memorie
della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia
Naturale di Milano, Vol. XXXV - Fascicolo III, pp. 1-88.
Abstract (long): After more than one century since the first report of
Tanystropheus longobardicus from the middle triassic of Besano, new
specimens from the same outcrops are described. These specimens include two
articulated skeletons and an isolated pes, all from small-sized
individuals, and fragmentary remains of larger individuals, i.e. a skull
with some associated cervical vertebrae, an isolated dorsal vertebra and
isolated cervical ribs.
This new material confirms the presence of T. longobardicus in the Besano
Formation, which previously yielded few evidence. Moreover, it includes
remarkably complete and well preserved specimens which provided the
opportunity of a new interpretation of the anatomy of Tanystropheus,
formerly described on the basis of a rich sample from the Swiss
The description presented here applies to small-sized individuals of
Tanystropheus, traditionally interpreted as the juveniles of T.
longobardicus. However, the point is raised that they might represent the
adults of a different species, demonstrating the presence of two taxa among
the Swiss and Italian material referred to T. longobardicus. The holotype,
and the single know specimens, of the small-sized Tanystropheus meridensis
from the Meride Limestone is also considered and re-interpretated, leading
to the conclusion that the species is probably a junior synonym of T.
Comparisions of the specimens of Tanystropheus from the Besano Formation
with those from the equivalent Grenzbitumenzone helped to find the
problematic elements of the classical reconstruction.
A new reconstruction of the skull of Tanystropheus is presented based on a
three-dimensional clay model, with a re-interpretation of the pre-orbital
region, the skull roof, and the lower jaw. The reconstruction of the
temporal region of the skull is shown to be highly problematical. Finally,
the new specimens confirm the presence of a sclerotic ring in Tanystropheus.
In the postcranial skeleton, the more important new information concern the
morphology of the appendicular skeleton, which is remarkably well preserved
in the new specimens. In particular, preservation of complete and perfectly
articulated manus and pedes for the first time yield unequivocal evidence
on their morphology.
The anatomy of the appendicular skeleton, in particular that of the
hindlimb, is discussed in the context of locomotion mode. An overall view
of previous studies on the mode of life of Tanystropheus is presented and
discussed. According to these results, Tanystropheus should be regarded as
a marine protorosaur, with close terrestrial ancestors, living in shallow
waters. The feeding strategy of Tanystropheus is discussed, on the
assumption that it likely was a slow, axial or paraxial swimmer with a
In conclusion, the new information obtained from the specimens described
here is evaluated in the context of the recent cladistic analyses of
protorosaurian relationships, highlighting the bearing of systematic
anatomical work of the original materials on the description and coding of
phylogenetically informative characters.
The volume can be ordered at the following address:
Via S.Giovanni Battista, 7/23
16154 GENOVA SESTRI P. - ITALY
"Volunteer of Museo Paleontologico Cittadino, Monfalcone"
Museum Web-Page: http://www.museomonfalcone.it