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Re-description of a putative Early Cretaceous “teleosaurid” from France, with implications for the survival of metriorhynchids and teleosaurids across the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary

Re-description of a putative Early Cretaceous “teleosaurid” from France, with implications for the survival of metriorhynchids and teleosaurids across the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary
Re-description of a putative Early Cretaceous “teleosaurid” from France, with implications for the survival of metriorhynchids and teleosaurids across the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary
Thalattosuchia was a diverse clade of marine crocodylomorphs known from the Early Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. Recent studies have hypothesized that their extinction was two-phased: (1) habitat loss near/at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary heavily reduced their morphofunctional diversity, particularly in Europe, while (2) climate change and a shift in marine fauna during the Early Cretaceous (either at the Valanginian-Hauterivian boundary or during the early Hauterivian) finished off the already stressed clade. Unfortunately, the Cretaceous fossil record of thalattosuchians is poor, with only one putative “teleosaurid” specimen and approximately ten metriorhynchid specimens. Here we re-describe the youngest known teleosaurid from the Cretaceous (Valanginian of south-eastern France). Originally considered to be a teleosaurid (possibly Steneosaurus), we demonstrate that it belongs to Metriorhynchidae, and a newly discovered subclade, Plesiosuchina. It differs from Plesiosuchus in the pattern of tooth enamel ornamentation and the variation in dentary alveoli size. Referring this specimen to Metriorhynchidae means there are no definitive Cretaceous teleosaurid specimens. Furthermore, it suggests that both durophagous and piscivorous teleosaurids became extinct at the end of the Jurassic. Interestingly, this is the fourth metriorhynchid lineage known to cross the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. As such, it would appear that the two thalattosuchian families responded very differently to the lowering sea levels at the end of the Jurassic: teleosaurids possibly became extinct, while metriorhynchids were seemingly unaffected.
cretaceous, france, metriorhynchidae, plesiosuchina, teleosauridae, valanginian
0753-3969
165-174
Young, Mark T.
d9880973-1dd1-4b1c-81a8-7494170dbac2
Brandalise de Andrade, Marco
ab87b8e9-65d8-4f78-b7b9-d46901ea6a78
Cornée, Jean-Jacques
1d939453-72d9-4ffd-9a0e-cc5fe97adacf
Steel, Lorna
661f272f-fa0c-45bb-89a3-3036cc85c703
Foffa, Davide
a0a5e738-a340-4b36-b4c7-39e44994f22e
Young, Mark T.
d9880973-1dd1-4b1c-81a8-7494170dbac2
Brandalise de Andrade, Marco
ab87b8e9-65d8-4f78-b7b9-d46901ea6a78
Cornée, Jean-Jacques
1d939453-72d9-4ffd-9a0e-cc5fe97adacf
Steel, Lorna
661f272f-fa0c-45bb-89a3-3036cc85c703
Foffa, Davide
a0a5e738-a340-4b36-b4c7-39e44994f22e

Young, Mark T., Brandalise de Andrade, Marco, Cornée, Jean-Jacques, Steel, Lorna and Foffa, Davide (2014) Re-description of a putative Early Cretaceous “teleosaurid” from France, with implications for the survival of metriorhynchids and teleosaurids across the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary. [in special issue: Lagerstätte de Montceau (Carbonifère) & site de Muse (Permien) - Colloque Autun 2012 / Montceau Lagerstätte (Carboniferous) & Muse locality (Permian) - Colloquium Autun 2012] Annales de Paléontologie, 100 (2), 165-174. (doi:10.1016/j.annpal.2014.01.002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Thalattosuchia was a diverse clade of marine crocodylomorphs known from the Early Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. Recent studies have hypothesized that their extinction was two-phased: (1) habitat loss near/at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary heavily reduced their morphofunctional diversity, particularly in Europe, while (2) climate change and a shift in marine fauna during the Early Cretaceous (either at the Valanginian-Hauterivian boundary or during the early Hauterivian) finished off the already stressed clade. Unfortunately, the Cretaceous fossil record of thalattosuchians is poor, with only one putative “teleosaurid” specimen and approximately ten metriorhynchid specimens. Here we re-describe the youngest known teleosaurid from the Cretaceous (Valanginian of south-eastern France). Originally considered to be a teleosaurid (possibly Steneosaurus), we demonstrate that it belongs to Metriorhynchidae, and a newly discovered subclade, Plesiosuchina. It differs from Plesiosuchus in the pattern of tooth enamel ornamentation and the variation in dentary alveoli size. Referring this specimen to Metriorhynchidae means there are no definitive Cretaceous teleosaurid specimens. Furthermore, it suggests that both durophagous and piscivorous teleosaurids became extinct at the end of the Jurassic. Interestingly, this is the fourth metriorhynchid lineage known to cross the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary. As such, it would appear that the two thalattosuchian families responded very differently to the lowering sea levels at the end of the Jurassic: teleosaurids possibly became extinct, while metriorhynchids were seemingly unaffected.

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More information

Published date: 4 April 2014
Keywords: cretaceous, france, metriorhynchidae, plesiosuchina, teleosauridae, valanginian
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367657
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367657
ISSN: 0753-3969
PURE UUID: de0b0d66-f10f-4efd-afb1-17255febcb24

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Date deposited: 04 Aug 2014 13:25
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:49

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