New aristonectine elasmosaurid plesiosaur specimens from the Early Maastrichtian of Angola and comments on paedomorphism in plesiosaurs

Ricardo Araújo, Octávio Mateus, Michael J. Polcyn, J Lindgren, Louis L. Jacobs, Anne S. Schulp, A. Olimpio Goncalves, Maria Luísa Morais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

New elasmosaurid plesiosaur specimens are described from the Early Maastrichtian of Angola. Phylogenetic analyses reconstruct the Angolan taxon as an aristonectine elasmosaurid and the sister taxon of an unnamed form of similar age from New Zealand. Comparisons also indicate a close relationship with an unnamed form previously described from Patagonia. All of these specimens exhibit an ostensibly osteologically immature external morphology, but histological analysis of the Angolan material suggests an adult with paedomorphic traits. By extension, the similarity of the Angolan, New Zealand and Patagonian material indicates that these specimens represent a widespread paedomorphic yet unnamed taxon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-108
Number of pages16
JournalNetherlands Journal of Geosciences
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • NORTHERN PATAGONIA
  • NEW-ZEALAND
  • SAUROPTERYGIA
  • REPTILIA
  • CANADA
  • PACHYOSTOSIS
  • SASKATCHEWAN
  • ARGENTINA
  • ENGLAND
  • ALBERTA

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