The protorosaur Tanystropheus longobardicus is well known from the Middle Triassic of alpine Europe. It has been described on the basis of a number of specimens that apparently range from juvenile to adult. The largest specimens have a total body length of approximately 3 m. Here we report on the first occurrence of a large tanystropheid from the Middle or early Late Triassic of southwestern China. The new specimen is indistinguishable from the largest specimens of T. longobardicus from Europe, although it lacks a skull. Both the Chinese specimen here described and the European specimens of T. longobardicus are characterized by 13 cervical vertebrae (not 12 as had previously been assumed). The new find, together with a recent specimen of Macrocnemus from Yunnan Province, highlight shared elements of the vertebrate fauna around the coastline of western and eastern Tethys during Middle to Late Triassic times.
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Vol. 30 • No. 4