A new plesiosauroid from the Toarcian (Lower Jurassic) of Alhadas, Portugal

Adam Stuart Smith, Ricardo Araújo, Octávio Mateus

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12 Citations (Scopus)


A partial plesiosauroid skull from the São Gião Formation (Toarcian, Lower Jurassic) of Alhadas, Portugal is re−evaluated and described as a new taxon,Lusonectes sauvageigen. et sp. nov. It has a single autapomorphy, a broad triangular parasphenoid cultriform process that is as long as the posterior interpterygoid vacuities, and also a unique character combination, including a jugal that contacts the orbital margin, a distinct parasphenoid–basisphenoid suture exposed between the posterior interpterygoid vacuities, lack of an anterior interpterygoid vacuity, and striations on the ventral surface of the pterygoids. Phylogenetic analysis of Jurassic plesiosauroids placesLusonectesas outgroup to "microcleidid elasmosaurs", equivalent to the clade Plesiosauridae.Lusonectes sauvageiis the only diagnostic plesiosaur from Portugal, and the westernmost occurrence of any plesiosaurian in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-266
Number of pages10
JournalActa Palaeontologica Polonica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Elasmosauridae
  • Jurassic
  • Lusita-nian basin
  • Lusonectes sauvagei
  • plesiosaur
  • Plesiosauria
  • Plesiosauridae
  • Portugal
  • Toarcian


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