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Eifelosaurus triadicus Jaekel, 1904, a “forgotten” reptile from the Upper Buntsandstein (Triassic: Anisian) of the Eifel region, Germany

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Abstract

We provide a detailed description of the poorly known reptile Eifelosaurus triadicus Jaekel, 1904 from the Upper Buntsandstein (Triassic: early Anisian) of Oberbettingen in the southwestern Eifel region of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The holotype and only known specimen is a partial postcranial skeleton exposed in ventral view. Since its original description Eifelosaurus triadicus has been almost completely ignored in the literature. Our phylogenetic analysis recovered this taxon within Rhynchosauria and Rhynchosauridae, as the sister taxon to the clade comprising Stenaulorhynchinae and hyperodapedontine-line rhynchosaurids. A unique combination of character states allows distinguishing Eifelosaurus triadicus from other rhynchosaur species with preserved matching postcranial bones. Thus, we tentatively consider this taxon valid until more information about the postcrania of other Early to Middle Triassic rhynchosaurs becomes available. Eifelosaurus triadicus represents a paleobiogeographically important record, showing that rhynchosaurs had already attained a broad paleolatitudinal distribution by the early Middle Triassic.

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Fig. 1

Modified from Paul (1999). B, Belgium, L, Luxembourg, NL, the Netherlands. b Exposures of Buntsandstein strata (shown in orange) in Rhineland-Palatinate and adjacent areas. The green star marks Oberbettingen where the holotype of Eifelosaurus triadicus was found. Modified from Sander and Gee (1994). Both illustrations courtesy and copyright of Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil

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Acknowledgements

We thank Georg Heumann and Martin Sander for the loan of the holotype of Eifelosaurus triadicus. Michael Benton provided helpful comments on a draft of the manuscript. We acknowledge Felipe Montefeltro for allowing us to reproduce a photograph taken by him of the femur of Stenaulorhynchus stockelyi. Fritz Pfeil granted permission to use two illustrations from books published by his company. This research was partially funded by Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT 2018-01186 to MDE). The TNT software is made freely available by the Willi Hennig Society.

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Correspondence to Hans-Dieter Sues.

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Appendix

Appendix

Deactivated terminals


Dinocephalosaurus_orientalis, Macrocnemus_obristi, Fuyuansaurus_acutirostris, Pectodens_zhenyuensis, Protanystropheus_antiquus, Trachelosaurus_fischeri, Tanystropheus_haasi, CRILAR_Pv_461, CRILAR_Pv_462, CRILAR_Pv_497, Chanares_rhynchosaur, Eorasaurus_olsoni, Prolacertoides_jimusarensis, Archosaurus_rossicus_holotype, Archosaurus_complete, Panchet_proterosuchid, Vonhuenia_fredericki, C_rossicus_combined, C_magnus_combined, Chasmatosuchus_vjushkovi, Koilamasuchus_gonzalezdiazi, Kalisuchus_rewanensis_holotype, NMQR_3570, Shansisuchus_kuyeheensis, Uralosaurus_combined, Osmolskina_czatkoviensis, Osmolskina_complete, Otter_Sandstone_archosaur, Stagonosuchus_nyassicus, Dagasuchus_santacruzensis, Hypselorhachis_mirabilis, Waldhaus_poposauroid, Vytshegdosuchus_zbeshartensis, Bystrowisuchus_flerovi, Bromsgroveia_walkeri, Moenkopi_poposauroid, Mandasuchus_tanyauchen, Lutungutali_sitwensis, Nyasasaurus_parringtoni.


Characters modified from the character-taxon matrix of Ezcurra et al. (2021a)


472. Pubis, total length (along anterior margin or pubic shaft or tubercle) versus total length of the femur: equal or lower than 0.29 (0); 0.32–0.45 (1); 0.48–0.57 (2); equal or greater than 0.60 (3) (following Ezcurra et al. 2020). We have modified this character because this formulation has proven to be more informative than the original one.

660. Dorsal vertebrae, position of diapophysis in middle and posterior dorsal vertebrae: level with the anterior portion of the centrum (0); level with the anteroposterior middle of the centrum (1). The serial position and the wording of the character was slightly modified here.


Characters added to the data matrix of Ezcurra et al. (2021a)


712. Ilium, pubic peduncle distal articulation: not expanded anteroposteriorly (0); expanded anteroposteriorly (1) (Ezcurra et al. 2020: character 793).

713. Pubis, pubic shaft in anterior or posterior view: straight (0); laterally curved (1) (Ezcurra et al. 2020: character 797).

714. Femur, shaft in lateral or medial view: straight or incipiently posteriorly curved (0); strongly posteriorly curved (New).

715. Femur, apex of the internal trochanter when it is convergent with the proximal end of the bone: at level with or immediately distal to the proximal articular surface of the bone (0); distinctly distal to the proximal articular surface of the bone (1) (New). Inapplicable if the internal trochanter is absent or not convergent with the proximal end of the bone, neither if the fourth trochanter is present.

716. Femur, development of attachment of the caudifemoralis muscle on the ventral/posterior surface of the bone: not distinct or developed as a rugose scar (0); distinct, crest-like, but dorsoventrally/anteroposteriorly lower than the shaft at mid-length (1); distinct, crest-like, dorsoventrally/anteroposteriorly taller than or subequal to the shaft at mid-length (2) ORDERED (modified from Ezcurra et al. 2020: character 803).


Scorings changed in the character-taxon matrix of Ezcurra et al. (2021a).


All taxa.


The scorings of the modified character 472 and characters 712 and 713 follow those in Ezcurra et al. (2020).

Aenigmastropheus parringtoni

Character 660: changed from (0) to (?).

Bentonyx sidensis

Character 279: changed from (2) to (?).

Elorhynchus carrolli

Character 39: changed from (?) to (3).

Eohyosaurus wolvaardti

Character 279: changed from (2) to (?).

Fodonyx spenceri

Character 279: changed form (2) to (1).

Hyperodapedon gordoni

Character 45: changed from (1) to (?).

Character 279: changed from (1) to (0).

Character 482: changed from (0/1) to (1) (ratio = 1.88, Benton 1983: fig. 32d).

Hyperodapedon huxleyi

Character 45: changed from (1) to (?).

Character 279: changed from (1) to (0).

Character 648: changed form (1) to (2).

Isalorhynchus genovefae

Characters 34, 35, 322, 323: changed from (?) to (-).

Character 279: changed from (2) to (0).

Characters 320, 321: changed from (?) to (0).

Jesairosaurus lehmani

Character 324: changed from (0/1) to (1).

Langeronyx brodiei

Character 279: changed from (2) to (?).

Character 614: changed from (?) to (0).

Character 618: changed from (?) to (1).

Noteosuchus colletti

Character 368: changed from (1) to (?).

Rhynchosaurus articeps

Character 279: changed from (2) to (1).

Character 660: changed from (1) to (0) based on SHYMS 4.

Character 675: changed from (?) to (0) based on SHYMS 5.

Stenaulorhynchus stockleyi

Character 322: changed form (1) to (-).

Teyumbaita sulcognathus

Character 45: changed from (1) to (0).

Character 279: changed from (1) to (2).

Character 504: changed from (1) to (0&1).

Trilophosaurus buettneri

Character 458: changed from (2/3) to (1/2).


Ratios:


Eifelosaurus triadicus

Character 377: ca. 1.16–1.40.

Character 472: ca. 0.38.

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Sues, HD., Ezcurra, M.D. & Schoch, R.R. Eifelosaurus triadicus Jaekel, 1904, a “forgotten” reptile from the Upper Buntsandstein (Triassic: Anisian) of the Eifel region, Germany. PalZ 96, 275–287 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-021-00584-5

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