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Chianghsia, new lizard from Late Cretaceous of South China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

In the new issue of Journal of Systematic Palaeontology:


Jin-you Mo, Xing Xu & Susan E. Evans (2012)
A large predatory lizard (Platynota, Squamata) from the Late
Cretaceous of South China.
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10(2):333-339
DOI:10.1080/14772019.2011.588254
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14772019.2011.588254


Abstract

The Late Cretaceous deposits of the Nanxiong Formation, southern
China, have yielded some dinosaur bones and many eggs, but there has
been little record of the associated fauna. A new locality in Jiangxi
Province has recently produced a fossil lizard assemblage including
two genera of herbivores and the partial skull and lower jaws of a
terrestrial predator. The latter combines large size, the possession
of a small number of recurved, well-separated marginal teeth, a blunt
rostrum, and rounded cranial osteoderms. It resembles Estesia from the
Late Cretaceous of Mongolia, but is distinct in its jaw morphology and
the possession of cranial osteoderms. It is therefore placed in a new
genus and species, Chianghsia nankangensis. Phylogenetic analysis
groups Chianghsia unequivocally with the Platynota, the group to which
living monitor lizards and extinct mosasaurs belong. Within Platynota,
there is support for the attribution of Chianghsia to Monstersauria,
the group that includes the living venomous Gila monster, Heloderma
suspectum, and its fossil relatives. This is the first record of a
large terrestrial predatory platynotan lizard from the Mesozoic of
southern China.