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[dinosaur] Mosasauroids from Gondwanan Continents

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Paulina Jiménez-Huidobro, Tiago R. Simões, and Michael W. Caldwell (2017)
Mosasauroids from Gondwanan Continents.
Journal of Herpetology 51(3): 355-364

Herein, we present a revision of mosasauroid lizards (basal aigialosaurs + derived mosasaurids) from the Upper Cretaceous marine sediments associated with various Gondwanan landmasses. In stratigraphic terms, the Gondwanan fossil record of mosasaurs begins with basal mosasauroids from the carbonate platforms of the Middle East, in modern Israel. This record is followed by a dense Turonian record from Morocco and more rare specimens from the Turonian of Australia and Colombia. There is a substantial gap in the Coniacian and Santonian in Gondwana with only few known taxa, although the Campanian record from New Zealand is good (tylosaurines and mosasaurines), with additional rare specimens from Antarctica. Maastrichtian sediments from around the Gondwanan world are richly populated by a high diversity and density of all major clades of mosasaurid lizards. The mosasaurine Clidastes is currently not recognized from any Gondwanan marine deposit. The geographic and temporal patterns of distribution shown here are crucial for understanding the evolution of aquatic squamates not only in Gondwana but also globally.