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Simbirskiasaurus and Pervushovisaurus reassessed: implications for the taxonomy and cranial osteology of Cretaceous platypterygiine ichthyosaurs

Simbirskiasaurus and Pervushovisaurus reassessed: implications for the taxonomy and cranial osteology of Cretaceous platypterygiine ichthyosaurs
Simbirskiasaurus and Pervushovisaurus reassessed: implications for the taxonomy and cranial osteology of Cretaceous platypterygiine ichthyosaurs
The ichthyosaur fossil record is interspersed by several hiatuses, notably during the Cretaceous. This hampers our understanding of the evolution and extinction of this group of marine reptiles during the last 50 million years of its history. Several Cretaceous ichthyosaur taxa named in the past have subsequently been dismissed and referred to the highly inclusive taxon Platypterygius, a trend that has created the impression of low Cretaceous ichthyosaur diversity. Here, we describe the cranial osteology, reassess the stratigraphic age, and evaluate the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of two Cretaceous ichthyosaurs from western Russia: Simbirskiasaurus birjukovi from the early Barremian and Pervushovisaurus bannovkensis from the middle Cenomanian, both formerly regarded as nomina dubia, and allocated to Platypterygius sp. and Platypterygius campylodon, respectively. We show that Simbirskiasaurus birjukovi and Pervushovisaurus bannovkensis are valid platypterygiine ophthalmosaurids, notably characterized by a peculiar narial aperture. The cranial anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of these taxa illuminate the evolution of narial aperture anatomy in Cretaceous ichthyosaurs, clarify the phylogenetic relationships among platypterygiines, and provide further arguments for a thorough revision of Platypterygius.
Barremian, Cenomanian, external naris, platypterygiinae, Platypterygius
0024-4082
822-841
Fischer, Valentin
d08dbfeb-8a2d-4728-ba01-8f072105fc44
Arkhangelsky, Maxim S.
b31e14af-0ff0-44c1-9f3b-01880333b0ca
Naish, Darren
aa6bd7f8-86e4-4965-bd94-20b1573b194d
Stenshin, Ilya M.
b17be361-3562-4b6e-8f01-6315355ce27d
Uspensky, Gleb N.
2791519e-7ee3-4543-b357-fa5c15c04f9e
Godefroit, Pascal
0398d691-da3c-47cd-96be-0ff5ca267597
Fischer, Valentin
d08dbfeb-8a2d-4728-ba01-8f072105fc44
Arkhangelsky, Maxim S.
b31e14af-0ff0-44c1-9f3b-01880333b0ca
Naish, Darren
aa6bd7f8-86e4-4965-bd94-20b1573b194d
Stenshin, Ilya M.
b17be361-3562-4b6e-8f01-6315355ce27d
Uspensky, Gleb N.
2791519e-7ee3-4543-b357-fa5c15c04f9e
Godefroit, Pascal
0398d691-da3c-47cd-96be-0ff5ca267597

Fischer, Valentin, Arkhangelsky, Maxim S., Naish, Darren, Stenshin, Ilya M., Uspensky, Gleb N. and Godefroit, Pascal (2014) Simbirskiasaurus and Pervushovisaurus reassessed: implications for the taxonomy and cranial osteology of Cretaceous platypterygiine ichthyosaurs. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 171 (4), 822-841. (doi:10.1111/zoj.12158).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The ichthyosaur fossil record is interspersed by several hiatuses, notably during the Cretaceous. This hampers our understanding of the evolution and extinction of this group of marine reptiles during the last 50 million years of its history. Several Cretaceous ichthyosaur taxa named in the past have subsequently been dismissed and referred to the highly inclusive taxon Platypterygius, a trend that has created the impression of low Cretaceous ichthyosaur diversity. Here, we describe the cranial osteology, reassess the stratigraphic age, and evaluate the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of two Cretaceous ichthyosaurs from western Russia: Simbirskiasaurus birjukovi from the early Barremian and Pervushovisaurus bannovkensis from the middle Cenomanian, both formerly regarded as nomina dubia, and allocated to Platypterygius sp. and Platypterygius campylodon, respectively. We show that Simbirskiasaurus birjukovi and Pervushovisaurus bannovkensis are valid platypterygiine ophthalmosaurids, notably characterized by a peculiar narial aperture. The cranial anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of these taxa illuminate the evolution of narial aperture anatomy in Cretaceous ichthyosaurs, clarify the phylogenetic relationships among platypterygiines, and provide further arguments for a thorough revision of Platypterygius.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 24 July 2014
Published date: 1 August 2014
Keywords: Barremian, Cenomanian, external naris, platypterygiinae, Platypterygius
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 370288
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370288
ISSN: 0024-4082
PURE UUID: a10887d2-3d86-4733-bb53-12e0627aeeea

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Oct 2014 11:53
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:41

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