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Riojasuchus (Late Triassic archosaur, Argentina) cranial anatomy and palaeoneurology
New in open access PLoS ONE:
Maria Belen von Baczko & Julia Brenda Desojo (2016)
Cranial Anatomy and Palaeoneurology of the Archosaur Riojasuchus
tenuisceps from the Los Colorados Formation, La Rioja, Argentina.
PLoS ONE 11(2): e0148575.
http: // journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0148575
Riojasuchus tenuisceps Bonaparte 1967 is currently known from four
specimens, including two complete skulls, collected in the late 1960s
from the upper levels of the Los Colorados Formation (Late Triassic),
La Rioja, Argentina. Computed tomography (CT) scans of the skulls of
the holotype and a referred specimen of Riojasuchus tenuisceps and the
repreparation of the latter allows recognition of new features for a
detailed analysis of its cranial anatomy and its comparison with a
wide variety of other archosauriform taxa. The diagnosis of
Riojasuchus tenuisceps is emended and two autapomorphies are
identified on the skull: (1) a deep antorbital fossa with its anterior
and ventral edges almost coinciding with the same edges of the maxilla
itself and (2) a suborbital fenestra equal in size to the
palatine-pterygoid fenestra. Also, the first digital 3D reconstruction
of the encephalon of Riojasuchus tenuisceps was carried out to study
its neuroanatomy, showing a shape and cranial nerve disposition
consistent to that of other pseudosuchians.