1 March 2015 Purranisaurus potens Rusconi, an Enigmatic Metriorhynchid from the Late Jurassic—Early Cretaceous of the Neuquén Basin
Yanina Herrera, Zulma Gasparini, Marta S. Fernández
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The Tithonian record from northwestern Patagonia (Neuquén Basin) documents a complete succession of lower, middle, and late Tithonian marine reptiles. From the late Tithonian—early Berriasian of Patagonia, three marine crocodyliforms have been recorded: Dakosaurus andiniensis, Cricosaurus araucanensis, and Purranisaurus potens. Although P. potens includes the first metriorhynchid skull described from Patagonia, no detailed description and/or illustrations have been published. Since the mid-20th century, several authors have discussed the validity of P. potens. Recent preparation of the type material allowed a detailed description as well as exploration of its phylogenetic relationships. We consider P. potens as a valid taxon characterized by a unique combination of characters, such as medial and posterolateral processes of the frontal forming an angle of 60°; supratemporal fossae reaching the minimum interorbital distance, with the dorsal margin of the supratemporal arch being slightly concave in lateral view; thin bony lamina projecting from the lateral and medial alveolar margins of the maxilla; occipital surface ventral to occipital condyle parallel to transverse plane of skull; well- developed crest that extends along the entire height of the supraoccipital; and orbital process of the quadrate very conspicuous and acute, horizontal, and without bony attachment. Phylogenetic analysis recovers P. potens as deeply nested within Geosaurini and, contrary to previous proposals, not closely related to ‘Metriorhynchuscasamiquelai and ‘M.westermanni. Internal relationships within Geosaurini are unresolved. Purranisaurus, as a monotypic genus, is restricted to the late Tithonian—early Berriasian.


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Yanina Herrera, Zulma Gasparini, and Marta S. Fernández "Purranisaurus potens Rusconi, an Enigmatic Metriorhynchid from the Late Jurassic—Early Cretaceous of the Neuquén Basin," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(2), (1 March 2015). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2014.904790
Received: 10 September 2013; Accepted: 1 March 2014; Published: 1 March 2015
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