Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 473–491

The forgotten remains of a leptocleidid plesiosaur (Sauropterygia: Plesiosauroidea) from the Early Cretaceous of Gronau (Münsterland, Westphalia, Germany)

Research Paper

Abstract

Gronausaurus wegneri n. gen. n. sp. represents a newly discovered leptocleidid sauropterygian based on one individual from the Early Cretaceous (Berriasian) of Gronau in Westphalia, Germany. The holotype and only known specimen consists of a skeleton, which lacks most of the dermal skull bones, a large number of cervical vertebrae and distal limb elements. Gronausaurus wegneri is unique in having distinct cavities, the subdiapophyseal fossae, below the transverse processes of the pectoral and anterior dorsal vertebrae, that probably stabilised the bones against tensile forces of the rotator and levator muscles in the living animal.

Keywords

Berriasian Bückeberg Formation Gronausaurus wegneri Leptocleididae 

Kurzfassung

Gronausaurus wegneri n. gen. n. sp. ist ein neu entdeckter leptocleidider Sauropterygier aus der frühen Kreide (Berriasium) von Gronau in Westfalen, Deutschland. Holotypus und einzig bekanntes Individuum besteht aus einem Skelett, dem die meisten dermalen Cranialelemente, eine größere Anzahl von Cervicalwirbeln sowie distale Extremitätenknochen fehlen. Einzigartig für Gronausaurus wegneri sind die sich unterhalb der Transversalfortsätze der Pectoral- und vorderen Dorsalwirbel befindlichen ausgeprägten Gruben, die Fossae subdiapophysealis, welche wahrscheinlich eine höhere Stabilität gegen Zugkräfte der Mm. rotatores et levatores im lebenden Tier gewährleisteten.

Schlüsselwörter

Berriasium Bückeberg-Formation Gronausaurus wegneri Leptocleididae 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museum für Naturkunde—Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und BiodiversitätsforschungBerlinGermany

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