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Six New Papers from the Forthcoming Volume 'Anatomy, Phylogeny, and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin.

You can access the abstracts electronically here.

Mastrantonio, B. M., Schultz, C. L., Desojo, J. B., and J.  Bittencourt Garcia. 2013. The braincase of Prestosuchus chiniquensis (Archosauria: Suchia)From: Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. & Irmis, R. B. (eds) 2013. Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, doi:10.1144/SP379.10

Abstract - The osteology of an almost complete braincase of the rauisuchian archosaurs Prestosuchus chiniquensis from the Middle Triassic of Brazil is described for first time, based on two specimens (UFRGS-PV-0629-T and UFRGS-PV-0156-T). A comparative description with other taxa of rauisuchians is presented that forms the basis of a phylogenetic analysis. To perform the phylogenetic analysis, we describe and discuss each character codification for a modified version of the recent matrices of Gower (2002), Gower & Nesbitt (2006) and Brusatte et al.(2010). The analysis resulted in two most parsimonious trees that differ from the topologies recovered by Gower (2002) in a few aspects within Rauisuchia, and Prestosuchus chiniquensis was unequivocally depicted as deeply nested within Pseudosuchia, as the sister taxon of Batrachotomus kuperferzellensis in both topologies, supported by a single synapomorphy: the reduced to small fissure of the post-temporal fenestra between parietal, supraoccipital and exoccipital-opisthotic.


Sues, H.-D., Desojo, J. B., and M. D. Ezcurra. 2013. Doswelliidae: a clade of unusual armoured archosauriforms from the Middle and Late Triassic. From: Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. & Irmis, R. B. (eds) 2013. Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, first published on April 23, 2013, doi:10.1144/SP379.13

Abstract - Doswelliidae is a clade of armoured non-archosaurian archosauriform reptiles more closely related to Archosauria than are Proterosuchidae, Erythrosuchidae and possibly Euparkeria capensis. It is currently known from the late Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of Germany, the late Middle to early Late Triassic (Ladinian–Carnian) of Argentina and Brazil, and the Late Triassic (Carnian–Norian) of the USA. To date, two unambiguous synapomorphies diagnose Doswelliidae: (i) osteoderm ornamentation coarse, incised, and composed of central regular pits of subequal size and shape, and (ii) osteoderms with anterior articular lamina. Five taxa are currently recognized: Archeopelta arborensis, Doswellia kaltenbachi, Doswellia sixmilensis, Tarjadia ruthae and a new taxon from Germany. Based on skeletal features and occurrence, doswelliid archosauriforms may have had a semi-aquatic mode of life.


Langer, M. C., and J. Ferigolo. 2013. The Late Triassic dinosauromorph Sacisaurus agudoensis (Caturrita Formation; Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil): anatomy and affinities. From: Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. & Irmis, R. B. (eds) 2013. Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin.  Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, first published on April 23, 2013, doi:10.1144/SP379.16

Abstract - Silesauridae is an exclusively Triassic group of dinosauromorphs, knowledge on the diversity of which has increased dramatically in the last few years. Silesaurid relationships are still contentious, as a result in part of different homology statements, particularly regarding the typical edentulous mandible tip of these animals. One of the most complete silesaurids yet discovered is Sacisaurus agudoensis from the Caturrita Formation (Late Triassic: Norian) of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, represented by numerous isolated bones recovered from a single site. The anatomy of S. agudoensis is fully described for the first time here, and comparisons are provided to other basal dinosauromorphs. S. agudoensis is a small-bodied animal (less than 1 m in length) that possesses a dentition consisting of leaf-shaped crowns with large denticles in the carinae, a plesiomorphic propubic pelvis with an almost fully closed acetabulum, elongate distal hindlimbs suggesting well-developed cursorial ability, and a laterally projected outer malleolus in the tibia. All previous numerical phylogenies supported a non-dinosaur dinosauromorph affinity for Silesauridae, but the reanalysis of one of those studies suggests that a position within Dinosauria is not unlikely, with silesaurids forming the basal branch of the ornithischian lineage.


Turner, A. H., and S. J. Nesbitt. 2013. Body size evolution during the Triassic archosauriform radiation. From: Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. & Irmis, R. B. (eds) 2013. Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin.  Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, first published on April 23, 2013, doi:10.1144/SP379.15

Abstract - The first large (>1 m) diapsids appeared near the Permian–Triassic extinction and a subset of diapsids, the archosauriforms, expanded their body size range soon after in the Early–Middle Triassic. Here, we examine body size at key evolutionary events within Archosauriformes during the Triassic and through the end-Triassic extinction. Using femoral length as a body size proxy and a temporally calibrated phylogeny of Archosauriformes, we estimate ancestral body sizes using a maximum likelihood approach and test for the presence of an adapative radiation by comparing the fit of competing evolutionary models. Archosauriform body size is characterized by punctuated change with more change occurring early in the Triassic. Archosaurs crossing the Triassic–Jurassic boundary show a wide range in ancestral size, and dinosaurs (sauropodomorphs and theropods) are considerably larger in the Jurassic. Crocodylomorph origins are characterized by a drop in body size; however, both the relative amount of change and the rate of change are matched among other archosaur clades. Archosauriforms increase in absolute body size through the Triassic and evidence suggests that a directional trend in size increase occurred in the early Mesozoic. The morphological signature of adaptive radiation is rare in comparative data from extant animals but is present at the origination of Archosauriformes.


Niedźwiedzki, G., Brusatte, S. L., and R. J. Butler. 2013. Prorotodactylus and Rotodactylus tracks: an ichnological record of dinosauromorphs from the Early–Middle Triassic of Poland. From: Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. & Irmis, R. B. (eds) 2013. Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, first published on April 23, 2013, doi:10.1144/SP379.12

Abstract - We present the first comprehensive description of Prorotodactylus and Rotodactylus  dinosauromorph tracks from the Early and Middle Triassic of the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland. We describe and comprehensively figure tracks that have been mentioned briefly in previous accounts as well as new, recently discovered material, and analyse the variation and stratigraphic distribution of these specimens. Tracks have been recorded from four sites – Koszary, Stryczowice, Wióry and Baranów – which span the early Olenekian – early Anisian (c.250–246 Ma). These tracks therefore represent an ichnological record of the evolutionary succession of early dinosauromorphs during the earliest part of their evolutionary history. Recognized track types include cf. Prorotodactylus isp., Prorotodactylus isp., Prorotodactylus mirus, Rotodactylus cursorius, Rotodactylus isp. and cf. Rotodactylus isp. At least three distinct Early and early Middle Triassic early dinosauromorph ichnofaunas can be recognized. The oldest, which is early Olenekian in age, is characterized by the presence of Prorotodactylus isp., cf.Prorotodactylus isp. and non-archosaurian archosauromorph or archosaur tracks (e.g. Synaptichnium isp., Protochirotherium isp.), recorded at the Stryczowice and Koszary sites. The following assemblage, recorded at the late Olenekian Wióry site, displays the highest ichnodiversity of dinosauromorphs, with four track types present (Prorotodactylus isp., Prorotodactylus mirus, Rotodactylus cursorius and cf. Rotodactylus isp.). The youngest site, Baranów, includes Rotodactylus isp., as well as other larger dinosauromorph tracks. The first body fossil evidence of dinosauromorphs is a few million years younger than the youngest Polish tracks, so Prorotodactylus and Rotodactylus tracks currently provide the oldest record of dinosauromorph morphology, biology and evolution.


Ezcurra, M. D., Butler, R. J., and D. J. Gower. 2013. ‘Proterosuchia’: the origin and early history of Archosauriformes.. From: Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B. & Irmis, R. B. (eds) 2013. Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, first published on April 23, 2013, doi:10.1144/SP379.11

Abstract - The earliest history of Archosauriformes is mainly represented by members of Proterosuchidae and Erythrosuchidae, which are known worldwide from latest Permian to Middle Triassic beds. These two groups were historically combined within ‘Proterosuchia’, with approximately 30 nominal species. Two morphotypes have been recognized among proterosuchians: proterosuchids with a generally more sprawling gait and elongated and low skulls with an overhanging premaxilla, and the more heavily built erythrosuchids, with a probably less sprawling gait and large, presumably hypercarnivorous, skulls. The systematics of ‘Proterosuchia’ was relatively chaotic throughout most of the twentieth century, but currently there exists consensus regarding the non-monophyly of proterosuchians and their phylogenetic position outside all other archosauriforms. In contrast, the delimitation and taxonomic content of Proterosuchidae and Erythrosuchidae remain unstable. Few studies of proterosuchian palaeobiology have been carried out. Current lines of evidence favour a predominantly terrestrial lifestyle for proterosuchians. Limb bone histology indicates rapid continuous growth rates in Proterosuchus and Erythrosuchus before reaching sexual maturity. A better knowledge of proterosuchian anatomy, systematics, evolution and ecology is important for advancing understanding of the origin and early radiation of Archosauriformes and the patterns of biotic recovery following the Permo-Triassic mass extinction event. There remains much research to be carried out in proterosuchian palaeobiology.

2 comments:

  1. One more note --- a review of the Triassic pterosaur fossil record has been published in the SP379 volume (Dalla Vechia 2013). If pterosaurs do form a clade with dinosauromorphs to the exclusion of other archosaurs, there would be a gap in the fossil record of pterosaurs from the Scythian to the Ladinian. The archosauromorphs mentioned by Atanassov (2001, 2002) might solve the question of the origins of pterosaurs; the pterosaurian position of the Brazilian taxon Faxinalipterus is tentative and it could conceivably be a close relative of Pterosauria.

    Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, 2013. Triassic pterosaurs Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 379, first published on April 25, 2013, doi:10.1144/SP379.14

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  2. Thanks for the comment. Yes, Momchil Atanassov should really publish the full description of these specimens. There is an upcoming paper in press by Jeff Martz and colleagues on the faunal assemblage of the Post Quarry that mentions these specimens and some character states possessed by them, but it is outside the scope of that study to provide full descriptions.

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