A new elasmosaurid from the early Maastrichtian of Angola and the implications of girdle morphology on swimming style in plesiosaurs

Ricardo Araújo, M. J. Polcyn, A. S. Schulp, O. Mateus, L. L. Jacobs, A. Olimpio Goncalves, Maria Luísa Morais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report here a new elasmosaurid from the early Maastrichtian at Bentiaba, southern Angola. Phylogenetic analysis places the new taxon as the sister taxon to Styxosaurus snowii, and that clade as the sister of a clade composed of (Hydrotherosaurus alexandrae (Libonectes morgani + Elasmosaurus platyurus)). The new taxon has a reduced dorsal blade of the scapula, a feature unique amongst elasmosaurids, but convergent with cryptoclidid plesiosaurs, and indicates a longitudinal protraction-retraction limb cycle rowing style with simple pitch rotation at the glenohumeral articulation. Morphometric phylogenetic analysis of the coracoids of 40 eosauropterygian taxa suggests that there was a broad range of swimming styles within the clade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalNetherlands Journal of Geosciences
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Elasmosauridae
  • locomotion
  • marine reptiles
  • pectoral girdle
  • Plesiosauria

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