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New Cymatosaurus species (Sauropterygia) and other non-dino papers

From: Ben Creisler

A number of recent non-dino papers:

Michael W .Maisch  (2014)
A well preserved skull of Cymatosaurus (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from
the uppermost Buntsandstein (Middle Triassic) of Germany.
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen 272(2): 213-224
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2014/0407

A sauropterygian skull from the uppermost Buntsandstein (earliest
Anisian, uppermost Röt-Formation, Cölestinschichten) of Wogau
(Thuringia, eastern Germany) is described in detail and assigned to a
new species of Cymatosaurus, Cymatosaurus erikae. Cymatosaurus erikae
n. sp. differs from all other species of the genus by a unique
combination of dental and cranial features, including nasals that do
not reach the external naris or the anterior margin of the orbit,
frontals that do not enter the orbital margin and closely approach but
do not enter the temporal fenestra, at least two maxillary teeth
anterior to the fangs, a long parietal that extends up to the orbit
and narrows posteriorly without forming a sagittal crest, unfused
vomers, narrow and elongate palatines, and inclined quadrates and
quadrate condyles. The new specimen shows a completely closed palate
as in nothosaurids, but retains an open occiput. A small lacrimal
(recorded here for the first time in Cymatosaurus) is probably
present. These features are plesiomorphic for sauropterygians. This
combination of features makes it conceivable that Cymatosaurus might
actually be a stem-nothosaur rather than a stem plesiosaur, as
previously suggested. A phylogenetic analysis of Cymatosaurus species
indicates that C. erikae is the sister-taxon of C. latifrons and C.
fridericianus. Cymatosaurus gracilis (Schrammen, 1899) is reconsidered
and re-established as a valid species of the genus, contrary to
previous suggestions.

Rainer R. Schoch (2014)
First evidence of the branchiosaurid temnospondyl Leptorophus in the
Early Permian of the Saar-Nahe Basin (SW Germany).
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen 272(2): 225-236
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2014/0401

A new branchiosaurid temnospondyl is described from an Early Permian
lake deposit at Obermoschel, Germany. The new taxon has a triangular
skull outline and shares derived features with Leptorophus, a genus
formerly only known from the Permian of Saxony. The new species L.
raischi is characterized by the following autapomorphies: (1)
Interorbital distance narrower, with laterally concave frontal margin;
(2) teeth larger, conical with strong base; (3) tabular horn larger;
(4) basal plate of parasphenoid posterolaterally more bulbous; (5)
palatine and ectopterygoid more robust and wide; (6) palatine ramus of
pterygoid shorter; (7) base of cultriform process more slender with
straight lateral margins. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that the new
species forms the sister taxon to Leptorophus tener. The occurrence of
Leptorophus in the Saar-Nahe Basin is consistent with the immigration
of vertebrate taxa from basins in Central and Eastern Germany
(Raumbach invasion).

Karin Peyer, Sylvain Charbonnier, Ronan Allain, Émilie Läng & Renaud
Vacant (2014)
A new look at the Late Jurassic Canjuers conservation Lagerstätte
(Tithonian, Var, France).
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2014.01.007

The Canjuers conservation Lagerstätte represents a Late Jurassic
lagoonal environment. The sedimentology and stratigraphy of the
locality show three different depositional sequences. Fossils are
mainly found in the basalmost layers that correspond to the first
phase of deposition in the lithographic limestones sensu stricto. The
fossil biodiversity is rich. So far, more than 1000 specimens
including 38 invertebrate and 18 vertebrate taxa have been recovered
from the limestones. The depositional information suggests that most
invertebrates and vertebrates were not autochthonous to the lagoon,
but swept in during storm events from the open sea or nearby emerged
reef environments.

Verónica Krapovickas, Claudia A. Marsicano, Adriana C. Mancuso,
Marcelo S. de la Fuente & Eduardo G. Ottone (2014)
Tetrapod and invertebrate trace fossils from aeolian deposits of the
lower Permian of central-western Argentina.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)

Abundant tetrapod footprints are described from the Early Permian
Yacimiento Los Reyunos Formation including both collected and in situ
specimens. The slabs come from several quarries at the Sierra Pintada
and Sierra de las Peñas area, south-west of Mendoza, Argentina. The
trace fossil assemblage, which constitutes one of the oldest known
from Gondwana, comprises excellent-preserved tetrapod tracks
(Chelichnus duncani, Chelichnus gigas and ‘pear-like’ footprints) and
invertebrate simple sub-horizontal (Palaeophycus tubularis) and
vertical (Skolithos isp.) burrows formed in a aeolian dune field. The
analysis of the tetrapod track producers indicates the presence of at
least three different taxa of sprawling to semi-erect therapsids, thus
suggesting the presence of members of this clade, or closest
relatives, in the Early Permian of southern Gondwana. Moreover, a
series of measurements and simple indexes were developed to estimate
body proportions and locomotion styles of the putative trackmakers.
The new assemblage, analysed in the context of other known Permian
assemblages from Pangea, is one the few known in Gondwana to be
present in an aeolian environment. The evaluation of the assemblage,
in the light of aeolian ichnofacies (Chelichnus, Octopodichnus and
Entradichnus), shows that it has common elements with the Chelichnus
and Entradichnus ichnofacies.