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A re-evaluation of goniopholidid crocodylomorph material from Central Asia: Biogeographic and phylogenetic implications

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-312
Number of pages22
JournalActa Palaeontologica Polonica
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
DatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Abstract

Central Asia is a key area for crocodylomorph evolution, lying midway between the highly documented deposits in Europe and North America, but crocodylomorph fossils from this part of the world are rare. Included among these are specimens collected in the 1970s and 1980s by the Soviet-Mongolian Expeditions in the Jurassic and Cretaceous of Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Three species, "Sunosuchus" shartegensis, Kansajsuchus extensus, and Turanosuchus aralensis are redescribed and subjected to phylogenetic analysis for the first time. "Sunosuchus" shartegensis and Kansajsuchus are relatively derived goniopholidids, and part of a pan-east-Laurasian radiation of goniopholidids from which the European goniopholidids subsequently radiated. No characters can be used to distinguish "Sunosuchus" shartegensis from "S." thailandicus; the two species are therefore synonymized. Turanosuchus aralensis is here considered a nomen dubium. Cladistic analysis suggests that Sunosuchus is polyphyletic, indicating a higher degree of diversification than was previously thought, but also pointing to the need for further systematic revision.

    Research areas

  • Asia, Crocodylomorpha, Goniopholididae, Mesozoic, Neosuchia, Phylogeny, Reptilia

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