A New Long-Necked Turtle, Laganemys tenerensis (Pleurodira: Araripemydidae), from the Elrhaz Formation (Aptian–Albian) of Niger

Chapter
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)

Abstract

An articulated skull and postcranial skeleton of a pelomedusoid turtle, Laganemys tenerensis gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian) Elrhaz Formation in Niger. Laganemys has a proportionately long skull, which increases in depth anteriorly, from the occiput to the snout. The thin flat carapace and plastron are covered with fine sulcus-and-ridge texture. The carapace has a deep nuchal embayment anteriorly, a small mesoplastron laterally, and three median fenestrae. The cervical series is nearly as long as the carapace with specialized joints to enhance lateral flexion between cervicals 2 and 3 and cervicals 6 and 7. The relatively long tail is composed of at least 26 vertebrae. Forelimbs and hind limbs have long and relatively straight unguals. Discovered in a fluvial setting, Laganemys would have been an adept long-necked aquatic predator in still waters. A suite of derived features unites Laganemystenerensis with Araripemysbarretoi, a pelomedusoid from northeastern Brazil of similar form, habits and geologic age. These genera provide additional evidence of faunal exchange between South America and Africa in the mid Cretaceous (ca. 110 Mya) prior to the advent of deep waters in the central Atlantic Ocean.

Keywords

Araripemys Aquatic predation Pelomedusidae Pelomedusoides  Pleurodira  

References

  1. Aerts, P., Van Damme, J., & Herrel, A. (2001). Intrinsic mechanics and control of fast cranio-cervical movements in aquatic feeding turtles. American Zoologist, 41, 1299–1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baur, A. M. (1993). Africa–South American relationships: A perspective from the Reptilia. In P. Goldblatt (Ed.), Biological relationships between Africa and South America (pp. 244–288). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bickham, J. W., Parham, J. F., Philippen, H. D., & Rhodin, A. G. J. (2007). Turtle taxonomy: Methodology, recommendations, and guidelines. Chelonian Research Monographs, 4, 73–84.Google Scholar
  4. Bonnaterre, J. P. (1789). Tableau Encyclopédique et Méthodique des Trois Règnes de la Nature. Paris: Panckoucke.Google Scholar
  5. Bramble, D. M. (1978). Functional analysis of underwater feeding in the snapping turtle. American Zoologist, 18, 230–261.Google Scholar
  6. Chessman, B. C. (1984). Food of the snake-necked turtle, Chelodina longicollis (Shaw) (Testudines: Chelidae) in the Murray Valley. Australian Wildlife Research, 11, 573–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cope, E. D. (1865). Third contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 17, 185–198.Google Scholar
  8. Cope, E. D. (1868). On the origin of genera. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 20, 242–300.Google Scholar
  9. de Broin, F. (1980). Les tortues de Gadoufaoua (Aptien du Niger); aperçu sur la Paléobiogéographie des Pelomedusidae (Pleurodira). Mémoires de la Société Géologique de France, 139, 39–46.Google Scholar
  10. de Broin, F. (1988). Les tortues et le Gondwana. Examen des rapports entre le fractionnement du Gondwana au Crétacé et la dispersion géographique des tortues pleurodires á partir du Crétacé. Studia Geologica Salmanticensia. Studia Palaeocheloniologica, 2, 103–142.Google Scholar
  11. de la Fuente, M., & de Lapparent de Broin, F. (1997). An Araripemys-like decorated pleurodire turtle in the Paleocene of northwestern Argentine. Geobios, 30, 235–242.Google Scholar
  12. de Queiroz, K., & Gauthier, J. (1990). Phylogeny as a central principle in taxonomy: Phylogenetic definitions of taxon names. Systematic Zoology, 39, 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. de Queiroz, K., & Gauthier, J. (1992). Phylogenetic taxonomy. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 23, 449–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ernst, C. H., & Barbour, R. W. (1989). Turtles of the world. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fielding, S., Martill, D. M., & Naish, D. (2005). Solnhofen style soft-tissue preservation in a new species of turtle from the Crato Formation (Early Cretaceous, Aptian) of north-east Brazil. Palaeontology, 48, 1301–1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gaffney, E. S. (1972). An illustrated glossary of turtle skull nomenclature. American Museum Novitates, 2486, 1–33.Google Scholar
  17. Gaffney, E. S. (1975). A phylogeny and classification of the higher categories of turtles. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 155, 389–436.Google Scholar
  18. Gaffney, E. S. (1979). Comparative cranial morphology of recent and fossil turtles. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 164, 1–376.Google Scholar
  19. Gaffney, E. S. (1984). Historical analysis of theories of chelonian relationship. Systematic Biology, 33, 283–301.Google Scholar
  20. Gaffney, E. S. (1990). The comparative osteology of the Triassic turtle Proganochelys. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 194, 1–263.Google Scholar
  21. Gaffney, E. S., Hutchinson, J. H., Jenkins, F. A., Jr., & Meeker, L. J. (1987). Modern turtle origins: The oldest known cryptodire. Science, 237, 289–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gaffney, E. S., Tong, H., & Meylan, P. A. (2006). Evolution of the side-necked turtles: The families Bothremydidae, Euraxemydidae, and Araripemydidae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 300, 1–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gaffney E.S., & Meylan, P.A. (1988). A phylogeny of turtles. In M. J. Benton (Ed.) The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods: Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds (pp. 157–219). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gray, J. E. (1825). A synopsis of the genera of reptiles and amphibia, with a description of some new species. Annals of Philosophy, 10, 193–217.Google Scholar
  25. Hennig W. (1966). Phylogenetic Systematics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, pp. 263.Google Scholar
  26. Hirayama, R. (1991). Phylogenetic relationship of Araripemys (family Araripemydidae; Pleuroria; Testudinata). Abstracts of the 140th regular meeting of the Palaeontological Society of Japan, June 22, 23, 1991, Chiba.Google Scholar
  27. ICZN. (Ed.) (1999). International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. London: The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.Google Scholar
  28. Joyce, W. G. (2007). Phylogenetic relationships of Mesozoic turtles. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 48, 3–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Joyce, W. G., Parham, J. F., & Gauthier, J. A. (2004). Developing a protocol for the conversion of rank-based taxon named to phylogenetically defined clade names, as exemplified by turtles. Journal of Paleontology, 78, 989–1013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lemell, P., Lemell, C., Snelderwaard, P., Gumpenberger, M., Wocheslander, R., & Weisgram, J. (2002). Feeding patterns of Chelus fimbriatus (Pleurodira: Chelidae). Journal of Experimental Biology, 205, 1495–1506.Google Scholar
  31. Lauder, G. V., & Prendergast, T. (1992). Kinematics of aquatic prey capture in the snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina. Journal of Experimental Biology, 164, 55–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturae per Raegna Tria Naturae. Volume 1. Regnum Animale (10th ed.) Photographic facsimile. London: Trustees, British Museum (Natural History).Google Scholar
  33. Maisey, J. G. (1991). Santana fossils: An illustrated Atlas. Neptune, NJ: Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications.Google Scholar
  34. Maisey, J. G. (1993). Tectonics, the Santana Lagerstätten, and the implications for late Gondwanan biogeography. In P. Goldblatt (Ed.), Biological relationships between Africa and South America (pp. 435–454). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Meylan, P. A. (1996). Skeletal morphology and relationships of the Early Cretaceous side-necked turtle, Araripemys barretoi (Testudines: Pelomedusoides: Araripemydidae), from the Santana Formation of Brazil. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 16, 20–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Meylan, P. A., & Gaffney, E. S. (1991). Araripemys Price, 1973. In J. G. Maisey (Ed.), Santana fossils: An illustrated Atlas (pp. 326–334). Neptune, NJ: Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications.Google Scholar
  37. Naish, D., Martill, D. M., & Frey, E. (2004). Ecology, systematics and biogeographical relationships of dinosaurs, including a new theropod, from the Santana Formation (?Albian, Early Cretaceous) of Brazil. Historical Biology, 16, 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Noonan, B. P. (2000). Does the phylogeny of pelomedusoid turtles reflect vicariance due to continental drift? Journal of Biogeography, 27, 1245–1249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Price, L. I. (1959). Sobre um cocodrilideo Notosuquio do Cretácico Brasileiro. Departamento Nacional da Produção Mineral, Divisão de Geología e Mineralogía, Río de Janeiro, 188, 7–55.Google Scholar
  40. Price, L. I. (1973). Quelônio amphichelydia do Cretáceo inferior do nordeste do Brasil. Brazileira de Geociências, 3, 84–96.Google Scholar
  41. Pritchard, P. C. H. (1979). Encyclopedia of turtles. Neptune, NJ: Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications.Google Scholar
  42. Romer, A. S. (1956). Osteology of the Reptilia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  43. Rueda, E. A. C., & Gaffney, E. S. (2005). Notoemys zapatocaensis, a new side-necked turtle (Pleurodira: Platychelyidae) from the Early Cretaceous of Colombia. American Museum Novitates, 3470, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schneider, J. G. (1783). Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Schildkröten, nebst einem Systematischen Verseichnisse der einzelnen Arten und zwey Kupfern. Leipzig: Johan Gotfried Müllersche Buchhandlung.Google Scholar
  45. Schweigger, A. F. (1812). Prodromus monographiae Cheloniorum, Pt. 1. Königsberger Achiv für Naturwissenschaft und Mathematik, 1812, 271–458.Google Scholar
  46. Sereno, P. C. (2005). The logical basis of phylogenetic taxonomy. Systematic Biology, 54, 595–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sereno, P. C. (2007). Logical basis for morphological characters in phylogenetics. Cladistics, 23, 565–587.Google Scholar
  48. Sereno, P. C., & Brusatte, S. L. (2008). Basal abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation of Niger. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 53, 15–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sereno, P. C., & ElShafie, S. (2009). The unusual South American pelomedusoid turtle, Araripemys, discovered in Africa. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 11(Suppl), 180A.Google Scholar
  50. Sereno, P. C., & Larsson, H. C. E. (2009). Cretaceous Crocodyliforms from the Sahara. ZooKeys, 28, 1–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sereno, P. C., Beck, A. L., Dutheil, D. B., Gado, B., Larsson, H. C. E., & Lyon, G. H. (1998). A long-snouted predatory dinosaur from Africa and the evolution of spinosaurids. Science, 282, 1298–1302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sereno, P. C., Wilson, J. A., & Conrad, J. L. (2004). New dinosaurs link southern landmasses in the Mid-Cretaceous. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 271, 1325–1330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Summers, A. P., Darouian, K. F., Richmond, A. M., & Brainerd, E. L. (1998). Kinematics of aquatic and terrestrial prey capture in Terrapene carolina, with implications for the evolution of feeding in cryptodire turtles. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A, Comparative Experimental Biology, 281, 280–287.Google Scholar
  54. Taquet, P. (1976). Géologie et paléontologie du gisement de Gadoufaoua (Aptian du Niger). Cahiers de Paléontologie, 1976, 1–191.Google Scholar
  55. Van Damme, J., & Aerts, P. (1997). Kinematics and functional morphology of aquatic feeding in Australian snake-necked turtles (Pleurodira; Chelodina). Journal of Morphology, 233, 113–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wilson, J. A. (2006). Anatomical nomenclature of fossil vertebrates: Standardized terms or ‘lingua franca’? Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26, 511–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wise, S. C., Formanowicz, D. R., Jr., & Brodie, E. D., Jr. (1989). Matamata turtles ambush but do not herd prey. Journal of Herpetology, 23, 297–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Organismal Biology and AnatomyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations