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The cervical and caudal vertebrae of the cryptodiran turtle, Meiolania platyceps, from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia. American Museum novitates ; no. 2805

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dc.contributor.author Gaffney, Eugene S. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2005-10-06T18:12:58Z
dc.date.available 2005-10-06T18:12:58Z
dc.date.issued 1985 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/5279
dc.description 29 p. : ill. ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 28-29). en_US
dc.description.abstract "Meiolania platyceps, a cryptodiran turtle from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia, has cervical and caudal vertebrae exhibiting a number of phylogenetically interesting features. The cervicals have fully formed central articulations with a formula of (2( (3( (4) )5) )6) )7) )8), interpreted as a synapomorphy of eucryptodires. Free ribs are present on cervicals two through six, a retained primitive character in Meiolania, lost independently in other eucryptodires, baenids, and Pleurodires. The presence in Meiolania of cervical ribs articulating with paired intercentra shows that the supposed vestigial ribs identified by previous authors in the neck of Recent turtles are probably intercentra and not rib remnants. The neural spines of cervicals seven and eight articulate with the nuchal bone; this is interpreted as an autapomorphy, occurring independently in chelonioids. Complete tails are unknown for Meiolania platyceps, but a conservative reconstruction based on degree of serial variation and comparison with Recent turtles, yields a total of at least ten caudals plus tail club. The caudals are all opisthocoelus and have well-developed haemal spines; characters that are primitive for cryptodires. Meiolania has an ossified tail club consisting of a conical layer of bone surrounding and fused to the terminal caudals. Proganochelys has a similar, but not identical, terminal ossification, and the presence of a tail club is interpreted as a retained primitive feature in Meiolania, being lost independently in pleurodires and other cryptodires. The tail of Meiolania platyceps has a series of ventrally incomplete rings, contrasting with the complete rings found in 'Meiolania' oweni and Niolamia argentina. The vertebral features of Meiolania platyceps are consistent with its hypothesized systematic position as a primitive eucryptodire"--P. [1]. en_US
dc.format.extent 8311467 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language eng en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries American Museum novitates ; no. 2805 en_US
dc.subject.lcc QL1 .A436 no.2805, 1985 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Meiolania platyceps -- Anatomy. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Vertebrae. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Turtles, Fossil -- Australia -- Lord Howe Island (N.S.W.) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Reptiles, Fossil -- Australia -- Lord Howe Island (N.S.W.) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Pleistocene -- Australia -- Lord Howe Island (N.S.W.) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Paleontology -- Australia -- Lord Howe Island (N.S.W.) en_US
dc.title The cervical and caudal vertebrae of the cryptodiran turtle, Meiolania platyceps, from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia. American Museum novitates ; no. 2805 en_US
dc.type text en_US


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  • American Museum Novitates
    Novitates (Latin for "new acquaintances"), published continuously and numbered consecutively since 1921, are short papers that contain descriptions of new forms and reports in zoology, paleontology, and geology. New numbers are published at irregular intervals.

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