Saturday, 17 October 2015

Aristonectine Elasmosaur remains from the Late Cretaceous of Angola.


The Aristonectines were a group of poorly understood Elasmosaurs (long-necked Plesiosaurs) known from the Late Jurassic of the Northern Hemisphere and Late Cretaceous of the Southern Hemisphere. Two species have been described from the Late Jurassic of England and Wyoming, and a further two species from the Late Cretaceous South America, Antarctica and New Zealand, and a number of un-named partial specimens are also known. They had wide snouts with a large number of small teeth, and necks with a large number of short, wide vertebrae, but their ecology and lifestyle is not known.

In a paper published in the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences on 18 February 2015, Ricardo Aráujo of the Museu da Lourinhã and the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University, Michael Polcyn, also of the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University, Johan Lindgren of the Department of Geology at Lund University, Louis Jacobs, again of the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences at Southern Methodist University, Anne Schulp of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Octávio Mateus of the Museu da Lourinhã and GeoBioTec at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and António Olímpio Gonçalves and Maria Morais of the Departamento de Geologia at the Universidade Agostinho Neto describe a series of Aristonectine Elasmosaur remains from the Late Cretaceous Mocuio Formation of Bentiaba in Namibe Province, Angola.

The remains comprise four specimens, the first comprising a series of thirteen cervical and dorsal vertebrae with dorsal and pectoral ribs and a partial femur, the second comprising one ischium, one femur, six autopodial elements and two sacral ribs, the third comprising two autopodial elements, one phalanx, two partial coracoids, partial propodial, two neural arches and five cervical and one pectoral centra, and the fourth comprising two coracoids, two humeri, two vertebral centra and some rib fragments.

The first Aristonectine Elasmosaur from Bentiaba. Aráujo et al. (2015).

The specimens are too fragmentary to be formerly described as a new species, however comparison of these remains to other Aristonectine specimens suggests they cannot be differentiated from other fragmentary remains from Chile and New Zealand, possibly indicating that these may all represent specimens of a single, widespread species.

See also…

In the early 1860s a 5 m Plesiosaur was excavated from the Early Jurassic Blue Lias Formation at Street-on-the-Fosse in Somerset. This was subsequently...

The Plesiosaurs were Mesozoic marine reptiles that arose in the Late Triassic or Early Jurassic and persisted till the Late Cretaceous. They were related to modern lizards and snakes, but were fully aquatic, the largest species reaching 15 m in length. All species seem to have been strict carnivores, and at least...



Plesiosaurs were large, fully marine reptiles from the Jurassic and Cretaceous, with both fore- and hind-limbs modified into large flippers. They evolved from the...


Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment