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Aristonectine elasmosaurid vertebra from New Zealand

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

José P. O’gorman, Rodrigo A. Otero & Norton Hiller (2014)
A new record of an aristonectine elasmosaurid (Sauropterygia,
Plesiosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous of New Zealand: implications
for the Mauisaurus haasti Hector, 1874 hypodigm.
Alcheringa (advance online publication)

An indeterminate aristonectine elasmosaurid is recorded from a lower
Maastrichtian bed of the Conway Formation, Waipara River, South
Island, New Zealand. The described specimen (CM Zfr 104), previously
considered part of the hypodigm of Mauisaurus haasti, came from the
upper part of the Alterbidinium acutulum biozone, the same zone from
which the only well-known aristonectine from New Zealand, Kaiwhekea
katiki, is recorded. The cervical vertebrae of CM Zfr 104 have the
same distinctive features (i.e., with extremely broad rather than long
centra) as those from previously recorded juvenile aristonectines from
Argentina, Chile and Antarctica. This new record is congruent with the
biogeographic relationships of Cretaceous marine amniotes from the
Weddellian Palaeobiogeographic Province (i.e., Patagonia, western
Antarctica, New Zealand and southeastern Australia). Therefore, this
type of vertebra is regarded as a distinctive feature of the
Weddellian aristonectine elasmosaurids.