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A taxonomic revision of the genus Tanystropheus (Archosauromorpha, Tanystropheidae)


Spiekman, Stephan; Scheyer, Torsten (2019). A taxonomic revision of the genus Tanystropheus (Archosauromorpha, Tanystropheidae). Palaeontologia Electronica:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Tanystropheus represents one of the most characteristic genera of Triassic reptiles and is typified by easily recognizable, hyperelongate cervical vertebrae. First described in 1852, isolated cervical vertebrae and other remains have been referred to the genus and various species have been erected and rejected based on this material. This has resulted in a complicated and convoluted taxonomic history of the genus and confusion as to the validity of species and the referral of specimens. With the exception of the well-represented T. longobardicus, the five other species of Tanystropheus are known from isolated elements or a single, partial specimen. Here, we provide a complete overview of the taxonomic history and a revision of the genus based on first hand observations of the type material of most of the species. From this, we conclude that T. conspicuus and T. haasi should be considered nomina dubia and that T. meridensis constitutes a junior synonym to T. longobardicus. Furthermore, T. longobardicus can be subdivided into two discrete morphotypes that might represent separate species. However, a more detailed study is required to test this hypothesis. Finally, T. fossai is considered distinctly different from the other Tanystropheus taxa and is therefore referred to a separate genus, Sclerostropheus.

Abstract

Tanystropheus represents one of the most characteristic genera of Triassic reptiles and is typified by easily recognizable, hyperelongate cervical vertebrae. First described in 1852, isolated cervical vertebrae and other remains have been referred to the genus and various species have been erected and rejected based on this material. This has resulted in a complicated and convoluted taxonomic history of the genus and confusion as to the validity of species and the referral of specimens. With the exception of the well-represented T. longobardicus, the five other species of Tanystropheus are known from isolated elements or a single, partial specimen. Here, we provide a complete overview of the taxonomic history and a revision of the genus based on first hand observations of the type material of most of the species. From this, we conclude that T. conspicuus and T. haasi should be considered nomina dubia and that T. meridensis constitutes a junior synonym to T. longobardicus. Furthermore, T. longobardicus can be subdivided into two discrete morphotypes that might represent separate species. However, a more detailed study is required to test this hypothesis. Finally, T. fossai is considered distinctly different from the other Tanystropheus taxa and is therefore referred to a separate genus, Sclerostropheus.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Oceanography
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:14 Jan 2020 11:47
Last Modified:14 Jan 2020 11:48
Publisher:Coquina Press
ISSN:1094-8074
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.26879/1038

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