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The placodonts (Sauropterygia) from the Middle Triassic of Canales de Molina (Central Spain), and an update on the knowledge about this clade in the Iberian record


de Miguel Chaves, Carlos; Scheyer, Torsten M; Ortega, Francisco; Pérez-García, Adán (2020). The placodonts (Sauropterygia) from the Middle Triassic of Canales de Molina (Central Spain), and an update on the knowledge about this clade in the Iberian record. Historical biology, 32(1):34-48.

Abstract

The Iberian fossil record of placodonts, a group of Triassic marine reptiles with specialized crushing trophic adaptations, is mostly based on scarce isolated remains and therefore poorly informative. Abundant placodont remains were found in the 1980’s in Middle Triassic levels (Ladinian, Muschelkalk Facies) of Canales de Molina (Guadalajara Province, Central Spain), but they remained unpublished. This material is described and figured here for the first time. It includes isolated teeth and armor plates, but also the first relatively complete placodont carapace found in the Iberian record. Paleohistological studies performed here on several isolated armor plates of different sizes suggest that all of them could belong to different ontogenetic stages of the same taxon, the carapace probably representing a juvenile individual of a potential new species within the genus Psephosauriscus. This is the first reference of this genus in the European record, being so far known from the Middle Triassic of the Middle East. An update considering all so far published Iberian specimens of Placodontia is performed.

Abstract

The Iberian fossil record of placodonts, a group of Triassic marine reptiles with specialized crushing trophic adaptations, is mostly based on scarce isolated remains and therefore poorly informative. Abundant placodont remains were found in the 1980’s in Middle Triassic levels (Ladinian, Muschelkalk Facies) of Canales de Molina (Guadalajara Province, Central Spain), but they remained unpublished. This material is described and figured here for the first time. It includes isolated teeth and armor plates, but also the first relatively complete placodont carapace found in the Iberian record. Paleohistological studies performed here on several isolated armor plates of different sizes suggest that all of them could belong to different ontogenetic stages of the same taxon, the carapace probably representing a juvenile individual of a potential new species within the genus Psephosauriscus. This is the first reference of this genus in the European record, being so far known from the Middle Triassic of the Middle East. An update considering all so far published Iberian specimens of Placodontia is performed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2 January 2020
Deposited On:29 Nov 2018 08:17
Last Modified:04 Mar 2020 15:31
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0891-2963
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2018.1462805

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