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Antarctica's oldest plesiosaur



From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

An article that has been out for few months but not 
mentioned here about some bones of a generically 
indeterminate plesiosaur from Antactrica. There's a news 
article about it on the National Geographic website. The 
pdf is free.


Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner, Tiago Rodrigues Simões, 
Douglas Riff, Orlando Grillo, Pedro Romano, Helder de 
Paula, Renato Ramos, Marcelo Carvalho, Juliana Sayão, 
Gustavo Oliveira, Taissa Rodrigues (2011)
The oldest plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from 
Antarctica.
Polar Research 2011 (30) 7265 (1-6) 
DOI: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.7265
http://www.polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/
7265/pdf_152

Abstract
Antarctic plesiosaurs are known from the Upper Cretaceous 
López de Bertodano and Snow Hill Island formations 
(Campanian to upper Maastrichtian), which crop out within 
the James Ross Basin region of the Antarctic Peninsula. 
Here we describe the first plesiosaur fossils from the 
Lachman Crags Member of the Santa Marta Formation, north-
western James Ross Island. This material constitutes the 
stratigraphically oldest plesiosaur occurrence presently 
known from Antarctica, extending the occurrence of 
plesiosaurians in this continent back to Santonian times 
(86.3--83.5 Mya). Furthermore, MN 7163-V represents the 
first plesiosaur from this region not referable to the 
Elasmosauridae nor Aristonectes, indicating a greater 
diversity of this group of aquatic reptiles in Antarctica 
than previously suspected.

News story:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/08/110824-
sea-monster-antarctica-plesiosaur-science-animals/