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Aw: Palatodonta, new Middle Triassic placodont from Netherlands

Pdf available here:


Gesendet: Mittwoch, 27. März 2013 um 17:39 Uhr
Von: "Ben Creisler" <bcreisler@gmail.com>
An: dinosaur@usc.edu
Betreff: Palatodonta, new Middle Triassic placodont from Netherlands
From: Ben Creisler

Apologies for reposting this item. I left out the name of the new
taxon. For the sake of the DML archive, I think it needs to be stated
since it is not stated in the abstract:

Palatodonta bleekeri

Although the article is behind a pay-wall, the supplementary material is free.

James M. Neenan, Nicole Klein & Torsten M. Scheyer (2013)
European origin of placodont marine reptiles and the evolution of
crushing dentition in Placodontia.
Nature Communications 4: 1621

Sauropterygia was the most successful marine reptile radiation in
history, spanning almost the entire Mesozoic and exploiting a wide
range of habitats and ecological niches. Here we report a new,
exceptionally preserved skull of a juvenile stem placodont from the
early Middle Triassic of the Netherlands, thus indicating a western
Tethyan (European) origin for Placodontia, the most basal group of
sauropterygians. A single row of teeth on an enlarged palatine
supports this close relationship, although these are small and pointed
instead of broad and flat, as is the case in placodonts, which
demonstrate the strongest adaptation to a durophagous diet known in
any reptile. Peg-like, slightly procumbent premaxillary teeth and an
‘L-shaped’ jugal also confirm a close relationship to basal
placodonts. The new taxon provides insight into the evolution of
placodont dentition, representing a transitional morphology between
the plesiomorphic diapsid condition of palatal denticles and the
specialized crushing teeth of placodonts.


Note that the English version of the press release wrongly uses the
term "dinosaur" for the more general term "Saurier" in the German