New Araripesuchus remains from the early late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Turonian) of Patagonia. American Museum novitates ; no. 3490

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New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History
Two new crocodyliform specimens found in a recently discovered locality from the late Cretaceous of Patagonia (Argentina) are described herein. One of them comprises an almost complete skull found in articulation with the lower jaws, while the other consists of the anterior region of the lower jaws and fragmentary remains of the palate. These two specimens differ in the morphology of their lower jaws (e.g., height of mandibular symphysis, pattern of ornamentation on ventral surface of mandibular ramus, concavity of medial surface of splenials, shape of splenial-dentary suture on ventral surface of mandibular symphysis) and probably belong to different taxa. The more complete specimen is considered to be a new taxon, Araripesuchus buitreraensis, diagnosed by the combination of the following characters (autapomorphic characters are indicated with an asterisk): long and acute anterior process of frontals extending anteriorly between the nasals; frontals extending into supratemporal fenestra; narrow parietal dorsal surface between supratemporal fossa; anterior palpebral remarkably broad; large siphoneal foramen in otic recess; T-shaped choanal septum that completely divides the internal nares, having its anterior end as broad as the midregion of the septum*; pterygoid flanges pneumatic and poorly expanded at its lateral end*; transversely elongated depression on ventral surface of pterygoid flanges close to the posterior margin of suborbital fenestra*; longitudinal groove on flat lateral surface of dentaries below toothrow. The second, more fragmentary specimen might represent a different new taxon, although more material is needed in order to make a justified taxonomic decision. The phylogenetic relationships of both specimens are analyzed through a comprehensive cladistic analysis including 50 crocodylomorph taxa. All the most parsimonious hypotheses depict both specimens as closely related to the previously known South American species of Araripesuchus (A. gomesii and A. patagonicus). This group is depicted as the most basal clade of notosuchians, the most diverse group of Cretaceous mesoeucrocodylians from Gondwana.
38 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 21-25).