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Pliosaurid from Italy



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new advance online paper:


Andrea Cau and Federico Fanti (2013)
A pliosaurid (Reptilia, Plesiosauria) from the Rosso Ammonitico
Veronese Formation of Italy.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2012.0117
http://app.pan.pl/article/item/app20120117.html


Plesiosauria is a clade of medium to large bodied marine reptiles with
a cosmopolitan distribution ranging from the latest Triassic to the
end of the Cretaceous. In Europe, the fossil record of Plesiosauria is
mainly known from the Northern latitudes, whereas it is much rarer
from the Southern and Mediterranean areas. Here, we report the first
articulated skeleton of an Italian plesiosaurian, from the
Callovian-Oxfordian deposits of the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese
Formation of Kaberlaba (Veneto). The specimen is referred to
Pliosauridae based on the large size of the skull, compared to the
appendicular skeleton, the presence of the lacrimal, and a distinct
anterolateral projection of the prefrontal into the orbital margin.
Mandibular and vertebral symplesiomorphies support the placement of
the Italian taxon among the “gracilelongirostrine grade” of basal
pliosaurids. The Kaberlaba plesiosaurian represents the second reptile
clade recovered from the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese Formation, after
Thalattosuchia.