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Alienochelys, new giant marine turtle and other Mesozoic turtle stuff

From: Ben Creisler

A number of recent papers about Mesozoic turtles that may be of
interest to some:


France de Lapparent de Broin, Nathalie Bardet, Mbarek Amaghzaz & Saïd
Meslouh (2013)
A strange new chelonioid turtle from the Latest Cretaceous Phosphates
of Morocco.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)

A new genus and species of huge marine turtle (superfamily
Chelonioidea, epifamily Dermochelyoidae) is described from the
Maastrichtian Phosphates of the Oulad Abdoun Basin of Morocco. A new
type of feeding apparatus, adapted for a powerful crushing pattern,
illustrates the noteworthy diversity of fossil vertebrates of the
Maastrichtian-Ypresian Phosphates of Morocco. No other crushing
cryptodire or bothremydid pleurodire has this morphology. During the
Maastrichtian, the known crushing pattern of chelonioids was
different, close to that of modern cheloniids, as illustrated in
Morocco in the Maastrichtian Ganntour Basin and the Palaeogene Oulad
Abdoun Basin. This new taxon exhibits unusual cranial characters
(fusion of premaxillae associated with a backward and dorsal
retraction of the naris, horizontal stretching of the dorsal meatus
quadrati), that are shared only with another new turtle, known also
from the same Maastrichtian Phosphates of Morocco.


Igor G. Danilov, Natasha S. Vitek, Alexander O. Averianov, and Vadim
N. Glinskiy (2013)
A new softshelled trionychid turtle of the genus Khunnuchelys from the
Upper Cretaceous Bostobe Formation of Kazakhstan.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2013.0045

Previously unpublished trionychid turtle material from the Upper
Cretaceous (Santonian–lower Campanian) Bostobe Formation from the
Baybishe and Baykhozha localities in Kazakhstan is described. The
material represents a new species of Khunnuchelys, a large,
skull-based clade of Cretaceous Asian trionychids. Concordant with
other partial skulls and fragmentary specimens described previously,
Khunnuchelys lophorhothon sp. nov. has the unusual features of a
beak-like maxilla and a vaulted, expanded triturating surface. In
addition, the specimens reveal novel features including a constricted
skull roof. Although estimates of the length of the carapace differ
depending on estimation method, the skull belonged to a turtle of
comparable size to the shell-based species “Trionyx” kansaiensis from
the same formation. It is likely that K. lophorhothon and “T.”
kansaiensis are synonymous, but this can be proved only by a find of
associated skull and shell material.


Jérémy Anquetin, Sylvie Deschamps & Julien Claude (2013)
Author and article information
The rediscovery and redescription of the holotype of the Late Jurassic
turtle Plesiochelys etalloni.
PeerJ PrePrints 1:e160v1
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.160v1

Plesiochelyidae are a major component of Late Jurassic shallow marine
environments throughout Europe. However, the taxonomy of the
plesiochelyid turtles is rather confused. Over the years, many taxa
have been synonymized with Plesiochelys etalloni, one of the first
described species. However, the holotype of P. etalloni (and only
specimen known from the type locality) was lost for more than 150
years. This specimen has been recently rediscovered in the collections
of the Musée d'archéologie du Jura in Lons-le-Saunier, France. For the
first time since its original description in 1857, the holotype of P.
etalloni is redescribed and compared to relevant material. The
taxonomical status of this taxon is revised accordingly. Based on the
morphology of the newly rediscovered holotype, the species P.
solodurensis, P. sanctaeverenae and P. langii are synonymized with P.
etalloni. Known skull-shell associations for P. etalloni are
re-evaluated in light of the new morphological information available
since the rediscovery of this holotype specimen. Finally, we confirm
that Plesiochelys is represented by a single species in Solothurn,