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Barbatteius. new lizard from Late Cretaceous of the Hateg Basin, Romania



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Márton Venczel & Vlad A. Codrea (2015)
A new teiid lizard from the Late Cretaceous of the Hateg Basin,
Romania and its phylogenetic and palaeobiogeographical relationships.
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (advance online publication)
DOI:10.1080/14772019.2015.1025869
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14772019.2015.1025869#



A new lizard genus and species is described based on a
three-dimensionally preserved partial skull and associated lower jaws
from the Pui Islaz locality (Late Cretaceous, early Maastrichtian) in
the Hateg Basin, western Romania. Barbatteius vremiri gen. et sp. nov.
is diagnosed by a unique combination of symplesiomorphies and
synapomorphies. A nested set of synapomorphies support assigning
Barbatteius to Teiidae as the first unambiguous Late Cretaceous record
of this family from Laurasia. Barbatteius differs from other teiids by
having more extensive osteodermal sculpture on the skull roof and
suspensorium, and by a pentagonal occipital osteoscute exhibiting more
or less parallel lateral margins. Barbatteius is a large-bodied
lizard, estimated to be up to 800 mm in total length. It has weakly
heterodont dentition, but without enlarged posterior crushing teeth,
suggesting that it fed on arthropods, small vertebrates and plants.
The mix of taxa with affinities to Euramerica (paramacellodid and
borioteiioid lizards) and Gondwana (madtsoiid snakes and the teiid
Barbatteius) currently known for the Maastrichtian squamate assemblage
from Hateg Basin supports the growing realization that ‘Hateg Island’
has a complex palaeobiogeographical history.