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Cryonectes, new pliosaurid plesiosaur from Early Jurassic of France

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica:

Peggy Vincent, Nathalie Bardet, and Emanuela Mattioli (2012)
A new pliosaurid from the Pliensbachian (Early Jurassic) of Normandy
(Northern France).
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)

Complete plesiosaur skeletons are relatively abundant in the Lower
Jurassic of England and Germany, but are exceptional in France. A new
specimen from Normandy (northern France), including incomplete skull,
palate and mandible with several associated vertebrae, is here
described and its pliosauroid affinities are discussed. Comparison of
this new specimen with other plesiosaurians indicates that it belongs
to a new genus and species: Cryonectes neustriacus. This new
plesiosaurian taxon represents one of the most complete pliosaurids
reported from the Pliensbachian, a stage that has yielded very few
diagnostic plesiosaurian remains. Our preliminary phylogenetic
analysis places Cryonectes in a basal position among Pliosauridae, and
suggests that the radiation of this clade occurred several millions of
years earlier than previously thought. This new taxon contributes to
our understanding of Early Jurassic plesiosaur diversity.