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Squamate finding in “Lo Hueco” (Late Campanian-Early Maastrichtian, Cuenca Province, Spain): the second non-marine pythonomorph lizard

Abstract

Two squamate vertebrae were discovered in the site of “Lo Hueco” (Cuenca, Spain; Late Campanian-Early Maastrichtian), which has yielded a rich and diversified fossil fauna. Their anatomical and microanatomical features are described. They reveal that these vertebrae probably belong to a new genus of Pythonomorpha. This taxon corresponds to the second non-marine pythonomorph lizard hitherto described. Anatomical, microanatomical and sedimentological data suggest a terrestrial or amphibious mode of life. This discovery raises questions about the evolutionary history of pythonomorph lizards in non-marine deposits.

Kurzfassung

In der an Fossilien reichen Fundstelle Lo Hueco (Cuenca, Spanien; oberes Campanium- unteres Maastrichtium) sind zwei Wirbel von Squamata enthalten. Die anatomischen und mikroanatomischen Merkmale der beiden Wirbel werden im Detail beschrieben. Sie zeigen, dass diese Wirbel wahrscheinlich zu einer neuen Gattung von Pythonomorpha gehören und repräsentieren somit erst das zweite soweit bekannte Taxon einer nicht-marinen pythonomorphen Eidechse. Anatomische, mikroanatomische und sedimentologische Daten suggerieren eine terrestrische oder amphibische Lebensweise der Pythonomorpha aus Lo Hueco. Diese Entdeckung wirft Fragen über die evolutionäre Geschichte der pythonomorphen Eidechsen in nicht-marinen Ablagerungen auf.

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Acknowledgments

We thank G. Oleschinski (Bonn Universität, Bonn, Deutschland) for the photographs, J. Müller (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany) and J. Conrad (American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA) for fruitful comments that improved the quality of the manuscript , and O. Rauhut (Bavarian State Collections of Palaeontology and Geology, Munich, Germany) for editorial work. A.H. acknowledges financial support from the A. v. Humboldt Foundation. I.N. and F.O acknowledge financial support for their research at “Lo Hueco” from the project “Geología y Paleontología del yacimiento de “Lo Hueco” (Cretácico Superior. Fuentes, Cuenca)” (CGL2009-10766) of the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

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Correspondence to Alexandra Houssaye.

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Houssaye, A., Bardet, N., Narváez, I. et al. Squamate finding in “Lo Hueco” (Late Campanian-Early Maastrichtian, Cuenca Province, Spain): the second non-marine pythonomorph lizard. Paläontol Z 87, 415–422 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-013-0164-6

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Keywords

  • Pythonomorpha
  • Squamata
  • Vertebrae
  • New genus and species
  • Non-marine

Schlüsselwörter

  • Pythonomorpha
  • Squamata
  • Wirbel
  • Neue Gattung und Spezies
  • Nicht-marin