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Occurrence of Torvoneustes (Crocodylomorpha, Metriorhynchidae) in marine Jurassic deposits of Oaxaca, Mexico.

January 20 , 2017:

IGM 9026 is a singular fossil collected at the beginning of the 20th century in an improperly documented site within the Tlaxiaco Basin, near to Tlaxiaco town, Oaxaca, Mexico. The age of the site was suggested as being early Cretaceous. This specimen is the holotype of Plesiosaurus (Polypticodon) mexicanus, which later was identified as a possible late Jurassic marine crocodylomorph of the family Metriorhynchidae, and consequently it was referred as ?Cricosaurus mexicanus. The present study provides a re-description of this fossil based on a microscopic analysis and the use of white and UV lights; these analyses led to the discovery of peculiar dental characters diagnostic of the genus Torvoneustes. This finding supports the re-classification of IGM 9026 under a new nominal combination as Torvoneustes mexicanus. Along the Tlaxiaco Basin, the fossil preservation mode and lithological composition observed in IGM 9026 only occur in the marine vertebrates recently discovered in Yosobé, a Kimmeridgian shale outcrop characterized by clay calcareous nodules that belong to the Sabinal Formation, near Tlaxiaco town. This peculiarity suggests that T. mexicanus could represent an additional element of the Kimmeridgian vertebrate assemblage recovered in this geological unit. The two nominal species of Torvoneustes were collected in Kimmeridgian marine deposits of England; hence, this finding expands the geographical distribution of Torvoneustes all along the Tethys Sea, from its Eastern/European to western/ Caribbean domains.

Jair I. Barrientos-Lara (2016) [2017]

Occurrence of Torvoneustes (Crocodylomorpha, Metriorhynchidae) in marine Jurassic deposits of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 19(3):415-424

doi: 10.4072/rbp.2016.3.07


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