An Enigmatic Neodiapsid Reptile from the Middle Triassic of England

Iacopo Cavicchini, Marta Zaher, Michael J. Benton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The fossil record of early diapsids is sparse, specimens are uncommon and often incomplete, and phylogenetic relationships are hard to determine. A new taxon of early diapsid, Feralisaurus corami from the Middle Triassic of Devon, south-western England, is here named and described from an incomplete but mostly articulated skeleton, comprising skull, vertebrae, pectoral girdle, ribs, and the right forelimb. CT scanning and the resultant 3D model of the skeleton reveal anatomical details otherwise buried in the sandstone matrix. This new diapsid is characterized by a plesiomorphically high maxilla without a prominent nasal process, a quadrate with a lateral conch, a low jugal with small posterior process, conical teeth with pleurodont implantation, a high coronoid process, notochordal vertebrae, a long humerus with an entepicondylar foramen, rod-like clavicles, a ‘T’-shaped interclavicle, and a ventrolateral process of the scapulocoracoid. Phylogenetic analyses, although showing generalized weak support, retrieved Feralisaurus within Neodiapsida or stem-group Lepidosauromorpha: its morphology supports the latter hypothesis. This specimen adds to our knowledge of the early diversification of Lepidosauromorpha and of English Middle Triassic terrestrial faunas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1781143
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank R. A. Coram for finding this specimen and for his commitment to having his fossils described, T. G. Davies for scanning the specimen and for his assistance with software and technical issues, the University of Bristol for accepting I.C. as a visiting post-graduate student and J. Pignatti from Universit? di Roma ?La Sapienza? for co-supervising I.C.?s final M.Sc. project. We thank R.A. Coram also for Figure 1. I.C.?s visit to the University of Bristol was possible thanks to a Universit? di Roma ?La Sapienza? grant for M.Sc. theses abroad (n. 9/2018). Additional funding came from a University of Bristol Ph.D. grant to M.Z., and NERC grant NE/P013724/1 to M.J.B.

Funding Information:
We thank R. A. Coram for finding this specimen and for his commitment to having his fossils described, T. G. Davies for scanning the specimen and for his assistance with software and technical issues, the University of Bristol for accepting I.C. as a visiting post-graduate student and J. Pignatti from Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ for co-supervising I.C.’s final M.Sc. project. We thank R.A. Coram also for . I.C.’s visit to the University of Bristol was possible thanks to a Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ grant for M.Sc. theses abroad (n. 9/2018). Additional funding came from a University of Bristol Ph.D. grant to M.Z., and NERC grant NE/P013724/1 to M.J.B.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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