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New elasmosaurid from Angola + turtle from Japan + more

Ben Creisler

Some recent non-dino papers:

I have not been able to download this article yet, so I don't now if
the new taxon is officially named. A quick check on the web (including
Zoobank) does not seem to turn up a new name.

R. Araújo, M.J. Polcyn, A.S. Schulp, O. Mateus, L.L. Jacobs, A.
Olímpio Gonçalves and M.-L. Morais (2015)
A new elasmosaurid from the early Maastrichtian of Angola and the
implications of girdle morphology on swimming style in plesiosaurs.
Netherlands Journal of Geosciences  (advance online publication)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/njg.2014.44

We report here a new elasmosaurid from the early Maastrichtian at
Bentiaba, southern Angola. Phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon
as the sister taxon to Styxosaurus snowii, and that clade as the
sister of a clade composed of (Hydrotherosaurus alexandrae (Libonectes
morgani + Elasmosaurus platyurus)). The new taxon has a reduced dorsal
blade of the scapula, a feature unique amongst elasmosaurids, but
convergent with cryptoclidid plesiosaurs, and indicates a longitudinal
protraction-retraction limb cycle rowing style with simple pitch
rotation at the glenohumeral articulation. Morphometric phylogenetic
analysis of the coracoids of 40 eosauropterygian taxa suggests that
there was a broad range of swimming styles within the clade.


Teppei Sonoda, Ren Hirayama, Yoshihiko Okazaki and Hisao Ando (2015)
A New Species of the Genus Adocus (Adocidae, Testudines) from the
Lower Cretaceous of Southwest Japan.
Paleontological Research 19(1): 26-32
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2517/2014PR026

Adocus sengokuensis sp. nov. is described on the basis of
disarticulated shell elements (nuchal, first peripherals, left fourth
peripheral, left second costal, left hyoplastron, and right
hypoplastron) collected from a lacustrine mudstone of the Lower
Cretaceous Sengoku Formation, Kanmon Group in Miyawaka City, Fukuoka
Prefecture, Japan. A. sengokuensis is characterized by its small size
with a carapace estimated at only 29 cm long, a trapezoidal cervical
scale greater in width than length, and a narrow lateral projection of
the first pleural scale of the fourth peripheral. Small size and wide
cervical scale suggest that this new species is the most basal taxon
of the genus Adocus.

Press item (in Japanese):



Jérémy Anquetin & Andrew R. Milner (2015)
A cautionary tail: Cyrtura temnospondyla Jaekel, 1904, an enigmatic
vertebrate specimen from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)

The enigmatic vertebrate taxon Cyrtura temnospondyla is reassessed
following the location and reuniting of both counterparts. The
specimen, comprising a series of caudal vertebrae from the Tithonian
Solnhofen Limestone, has variously been interpreted as derived either
from a temnospondyl amphibian, or a turtle, or to be indeterminate.
The redescription of this caudal series reveals that the vertebrae
have a single centrum, in contrast to previous descriptions. This
specimen is here interpreted to be the tail of a turtle more derived
than Proganochelys and Meiolania, but is otherwise indeterminate and
cannot be associated with any of the diagnosed taxa from the Solnhofen
Limestone. C. temnospondyla lacks any diagnostic character and must
therefore be considered a nomen dubium.