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Doratodon (notosuchian) as Gondwanan faunal link in Late Cretaceous of Europe



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:


Márton Rabi & Nóra Sebők (2014)
A revised Eurogondwana model: Late Cretaceous notosuchian
crocodyliforms and other vertebrate taxa suggest the retention of
episodic faunal links between Europe and Gondwana during most of the
Cretaceous.
Gondwana Research (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2014.09.015
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1342937X14002913

Highlights

We find strong support for Gondwanan affinity in a Cretaceous European
crocodyliform.
We criticize the recently proposed “Eurogondwana” biogeographic model.
Episodic faunal interlinks characterized Europe and Africa in the Cretaceous.
The Gondwanan influence on Europe did not cease completely after the
Hauterivian.

Abstract

We describe new remains of the enigmatic Late Cretaceous crocodyliform
Doratodon carcharidens coming from the Santonian Csehbánya Formation
of Hungary. The material includes isolated upper and lower jaw
elements and teeth that represent the earliest occurrence of this
genus. Previous reports of Doratodon restricted the range of this
taxon to the Campanian–Maastrichtian of the areas that are now
Romania, Austria and Spain. Using data from both the new remains and
the type series from the lower Campanian of Austria, our phylogenetic
analysis finds D. carcharidens deeply nested within Gondwanan
notosuchians as part of the predominantly South American clade
Sebecosuchia. The suggested affinity of D. carcharidens is generally
in agreement with previous cladistic assessments and confirms the
presence of Gondwanan faunal elements in the Late Cretaceous western
Tethyean archipelago (the region that is now southern Europe).
Together with published reports on Gondwanan tetrapod immigrants from
the Barremian, Albian, Cenomanian and Santonian of Europe this record
is not compatible with a recently proposed paleobiogeographical model
predicting a post-Hauterivian separation of Europe from Africa and
subsequent biogeographical reconnection in the Campanian lasting till
the Eocene. Instead, the European fossil record suggests that episodic
faunal and geographical links were retained with Gondwana during most
of the Cretaceous.
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