Stéphane Jouve, Bastien Mennecart, Julien Douteau and Nour-Eddine Jalil (2016)
The oldest durophagous teleosauroid (Crocodylomorpha, Thalattosuchia) from the lower Bathonian of central High Atlas, Morocco.
Palaeontology (advance online publication)
Marine crocodylomorphs were particularly abundant in Europe during the Middle Jurassic, but were very scarce in Africa. New finds of thalattosuchian cranial remains in Morocco suggest that this scarcity is probably related to poor sampling rather than original diversity. These remains pertain to the coastal thalattosuchians, the teleosauroids, and particularly to the clade grouping the blunt-toothed ‘Steneosaurus’ obtusidens and the genus Machimosaurus. A new tribe is erected grouping these two taxa: Machimosaurini. Until now the machimosaurins have been known from the middle Callovian. The new material extends the presence of this group further back to the lower Bathonian, nearly 5 myr earlier. The machimosaurins are the only teleosauroid group that has been recently reviewed, and the difference between the revised diversity provided herein and that previously reported is large. A review of other teleosauroids and clear establishment of their phylogenetic relationships are also likely to have considerable impact on their observed diversity. So, until a complete review of the teleosauroids is carried out, the results of crocodylomorph diversity analyses should be treated with caution.