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Phalarodon (Ichthyosauria) from Triassic of China
From: Ben Creisler
A new online paper:
Jun Liu, Ryosuke Motani, Da-Yong Jiang, Shi-Xue Hu, Jonathan C.
Aitchison, Olivier Rieppel, Michael J. Benton, Qi-Yue Zhang &
Chang-Yong Zhou (2013)
The first specimen of the Middle Triassic Phalarodon atavus
(Ichthyosauria: Mixosauridae) from South China, showing postcranial
anatomy and peri-Tethyan distribution.
Palaeontology (advance online publication)
Phalarodon atavus from the Germanic Muschelkalk Basin was previously
represented only by cranial elements. Here we report a nearly complete
and articulated specimen of P. atavus from the Middle Triassic Luoping
Biota, Yunnan, South China. This is the first specimen of P. atavus
from outside the Germanic Basin. This discovery demonstrates a
peri-Tethyan distribution of P. atavus. The new specimen is also the
first one preserving the postcranial anatomy of this species,
providing the opportunity to evaluate its sustained swimming ability.
Inferences made on its functional morphology suggest that this species
was probably adapted for active foraging. Tooth crown morphology
suggests that P. atavus may have preferred externally soft prey.