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1 March 2013 New Material of the Choristodere Lazarussuchus (Diapsida, Choristodera) from the Paleocene of France
Ryoko Matsumoto, Eric Buffetaut, Francois Escuillie, Sophie Hervet, Susan E. Evans
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Abstract

Choristodera is a clade of freshwater aquatic reptiles with a strictly Laurasian distribution and a temporal record extending from at least Middle Jurassic to Miocene. The large Cretaceous-Eocene neochoristoderes Champsosaurus and Simoedosaurus are the most familiar taxa, but many smaller representatives have since been recognized. Neochoristoderes disappeared from the fossil record in the Eocene, but choristoderes survived into the European Neogene in the form of the small, superficially lizard-like Lazarussuchus. This taxon was originally described from the late Oligocene of France but has subsequently been recorded from the early Miocene of the Czech Republic and the late Oligocene of Germany. Despite its age, most phylogenetic analyses place Lazarussuchus at or close to the base of the choristoderan tree, implying a very long unrecorded history. A new specimen of Lazarussuchus from the late Paleocene locality of Menat, France, partly fills that hiatus. The genus was thus present in the waterways of western Europe for at least 30 Ma, and was probably considerably more widespread than current records suggest. A new phylogenetic analysis confirms its placement outside Neochoristodera, but the relationships of non-neochoristoderan taxa remain incompletely resolved.

© 2013 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Ryoko Matsumoto, Eric Buffetaut, Francois Escuillie, Sophie Hervet, and Susan E. Evans "New Material of the Choristodere Lazarussuchus (Diapsida, Choristodera) from the Paleocene of France," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(2), 319-339, (1 March 2013). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2012.716274
Received: 29 March 2012; Accepted: 1 July 2012; Published: 1 March 2013
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