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A new crocodylomorph specimen from the Araripe Basin (Crato Member, Santana Formation), northeastern Brazil

  • Rodrigo G. Figueiredo
  • Alexander W. A. Kellner
Short Communication

Abstract

The fossil fauna of the Santana Formation (Early Cretaceous) comprises many distinct taxa, but crocodylomorphs are poorly understood. Here we describe a new specimen (MPSC-R1137) that consists of a complete hind limb found in the Crato Member, the basal section of the Santana Formation. Based on the characteristics of the fibula (e.g., pronounced variation of the shaft width) and length proportions of the femur and tibia, this specimen can be distinguished from Caririsuchus camposi and Araripesuchus gomesii, which are known from the Romualdo Member (the upper lithostratigraphic unit of the Santana Formation). The only crocodylomorph formally described from the Crato Member is Susisuchus anatoceps, whose holotype lacks elements of the hind limb. On the basis of a comparative anatomical study of the hind limb, which shows no similarities between MPSC-R1137 and other crocodylomorphs from the Araripe Basin, we tentatively classify this new specimen as cf. Susisuchus sp., and provide new anatomical information for this rather derived crocodylomorph.

Keywords

Crato Member Crocodylomorph Early Cretaceous Neosuchia Postcranial remains Santana Formation 

Kurzfassung

Die fossile Fauna der Santana-Formation (Unterkreide) umfasst viele verschiedene Taxa, aber Crocodylomorphen sind bisher nur wenig bekannt. Hier beschreiben wire in neues Exemplar (MPSC-R1137), eine vollständige Hinterextremität, vom Crato Member, dem basalen Abschnitt der Santana-Formation. Auf der Basis der Merkmale der Fibula (z.B. starke Variation der Schaftbreite)und der Längenproportionen von Femur und Tibia kann es von Caririsuchus camposi und Araripesuchus gomesii unterschieden werden, die beide vom Romualdo Member bekannt sind (dem oberen Abschnitt der Santana-Formation). Der einzige aus dem Crato member beschriebene Crocodylomorphe ist Susisuchus anatoceps, dessen Holotypus keine Hinterextremitäten umfasst. Auf der Grundlage einer vergleichenden anatomischen Untersuchung der Hinterextrimtät, die keinerlei Ähnlichkeit des neuen Exemplares mit anderen Crocodylomorphen aus dem Araraipe-Becken aufweist, stellen wir es mit Vorbehalt zu cf. Susisuchus und geben somit neue Information zur Anatomie dieses fortschrittlichen Crocodylomorphen.

Schlüsselwörter

Crocodylomorpha Neosuchia Untere Kreide Postcraniala Reste Santana-Formation Crato Member 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Antônio Á. F. Saraiva (Museu de Paleontologia de Santana do Cariri) for access to MPSC-R1137 and Helder de Paula Silva (Museu Nacional/UFRJ) for the preparation and casting of the specimen. We are also grateful to Orlando Grillo (Museu Nacional/UFRJ) for help with the photographs and Emmanuel Fara (Université Poitiers) and Oliver Rauhut (Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und historische Geologie) for access to relevant publications. We thank Diego Pol (Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio) and Marco B. Andrade (University of Bristol) for critically reviewing the manuscript. This project was partially funded by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) (fellowship to RGF) with additional support by the Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ, no. E-26/152.885/2006 to AWAK) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, no. 304965/2006-5 to AWAK).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo G. Figueiredo
    • 1
  • Alexander W. A. Kellner
    • 1
  1. 1.Paleovertebrate Sector, Department of Geology and PaleontologyMuseu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroSão CristóvãoBrazil

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