[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Alexandronectes, a new aristonectine plesiosaur from Cretaceous of New Zealand

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Rodrigo A. Otero, JosÉ P. O'Gorman, Norton Hiller, F. Robin O'Keefe &
R. Ewan Fordyce (2016)
Alexandronectes zealandiensis gen. et sp. nov., a new aristonectine
plesiosaur from the lower Maastrichtian of New Zealand
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (advance online publication)

A fragmentary plesiosaur skull from lower Maastrichtian levels of the
Conway Formation, New Zealand, is redescribed. Originally regarded as
pertaining to two separate individuals, we argue that they represent a
single individual belonging to a new aristonectine elasmosaurid,
Alexandronectes zealandiensis gen. et sp. nov. This new taxon has
common morphologies with other aristonectines such as expansion of the
pterygoids extending posteriorly beyond the occipital condyle (as
observed in Ar. quiriquinensis and probably in Kaiwhekea katiki) and
the presence of an ‘A’-shaped squamosal arch in dorsal view.
Otherwise, it is distinguished from these latter species by having
different paraoccipital processes, a different mandibular glenoid, and
an adult skull comparatively smaller than K. katiki and Aristonectes
spp. The new taxon is a morphologically intermediate form between the
dorsoventrally high skull of K. katiki and the mediolaterally expanded
skulls of Aristonectes spp. The studied specimen is the second genus
and species and the third report of an aristonectine recovered from
lower Maastrichtian beds of New Zealand, emphasizing the diversity of
this group in New Zealand and also indicating that aristonectines
could include smaller species than those already known.


SUPPLEMENTAL DATA—Supplemental materials are available for this
article for free at www.tandfonline.com/UJVP