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Large freshwater plesiosaurian from Cretaceous of Australia
From: Ben Creisler
A new online paper:
Roger B.J. Benson, Erich M.G. Fitzgerald, Thomas H. Rich & Patricia
Large freshwater plesiosaurian from the Cretaceous of Australia.
Alcheringa (advance online publication)
We report a large plesiosaurian tooth from the freshwater early–middle
Aptian (Early Cretaceous) Eumeralla Formation of Victoria, Australia.
This, combined with records of smaller plesiosaurian teeth with an
alternative morphology, provides evidence for a multitaxic freshwater
plesiosaurian assemblage. Dental and body size differences suggest
ecological partitioning of sympatric freshwater plesiosaurians
analogous to that in modern freshwater odontocete cetaceans. The
evolutionarily plastic body plan of Plesiosauria may have facilitated
niche differentiation and helped them to exclude ichthyosaurs from
freshwater environments during the Mesozoic. However, confirmation of
this hypothesis requires the discovery of more complete remains.