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Simbirskiasaurus and Pervushovisaurus reassessed: implications for the taxonomy and cranial osteology of Cretaceous platypterygiine ichthyosaurs
Fischer, V.; Arkhangelsky, M.; Naish, D.; Stenshin, I.; Uspensky, G.; Godefroit, P. (2014). Simbirskiasaurus and Pervushovisaurus reassessed: implications for the taxonomy and cranial osteology of Cretaceous platypterygiine ichthyosaurs. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 171(4): 822-841. dx.doi.org/10.1111/zoj.12158
In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4082, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Barremian; Cenomanian; external naris; platypterygiinae; Platypterygius

Authors  Top 
  • Fischer, V., more
  • Arkhangelsky, M.
  • Naish, D.
  • Stenshin, I.
  • Uspensky, G.
  • Godefroit, P., more

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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