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Turiasauria-like sauropod teeth from Upper Jurassic of Portugal



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Pedro Mocho, Rafael Royo-Torres, Elisabete Malafaia, Fernando Escaso,
Bruno Silva & Francisco Ortega (2015)
Turiasauria-like teeth from the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian
Basin, Portugal.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)
DOI:10.1080/08912963.2015.1049948
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08912963.2015.1049948#.VYQ2hflVhHw


Turiasauria is a clade of eusauropods with a wide stratigraphic range
that could extend from the Bathonian to the lower Aptian including
Turiasaurus, Losillasaurus, Zby and putatively, Galveosaurus,
Atlasaurus and isolated remains from Middle Jurassic-to-Lower
Cretaceous. Some are characterised by the presence of heart-shaped
teeth. Several tooth occurrences from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic
with this type of morphology (SI: 1.1–1.8) are reported and discussed.
If this morphology is regarded as synapomorphic of Turiasauria, the
teeth will be tentatively related to this clade. From a sample of 43
teeth, three main morphotypes are described. Three hypotheses might
explain the morphological variation: (1) the range of tooth
morphologies indicates variation in the jaw, (2) the range of tooth
morphologies indicates taxonomic variation or (3) a combination of
both. The general wear pattern in morphotypes I and II starts with a
distal facet, then the appearance of mesial/apical facet and finally a
‘V’-shaped facet. In morphotype III, the wear begins with a mesial
facet. The variability observed for Portuguese Upper Jurassic
specimens is congruent with the morphological variability along the
tooth row shown by other sauropods with spatulate/spoon-shaped teeth
and it is considered the most parsimonious hypothesis to explain it.