Field of Science

Two New Aetosaur Papers Including a New Taxon, Stenomyti huangae, from the Chinle Formation of Colorado

Taborda, J. R. A., Cerda, I. A., and J. B. Desojo. 2013. Growth curve of Aetosauroides scagliai Casamiquela 1960 (Pseudosuchia: Aetosauria) inferred from osteoderm histology. From Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B., and R. B. Irmis (eds.), Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin Geological Society Special Publications 379. doi:10.1144/SP379.19

Abstract - Recent palaeohistological studies on paramedian osteoderms of aetosaurs revealed the presence of growth lines (lines of arrested growth or LAGs) and a minimal or nonexistent secondary remodelling in the bone matrix of these elements. This feature allows the age of individuals to be estimated through growth line count. In the present contribution we study the growth curve of the South American aetosaur Aetosauroides scagliai. We estimated the age (obtained from LAG counting) and body size (body length and body mass were used as
proxies) of different aetosaur specimens in order to reconstruct the growth curve of the South American species. The data obtained for Aetosauroides scagliai were compared with that of other aetosaurs, such as Neoaetosauroides engaeus, Aetosaurus ferratus, Aetobarbakinoides brasiliensis, Typothorax coccinarum andParatypothorax sp. Our results indicate that, if body length is considered as proxy, all studied aetosaur specimens have a similar or almost identical growth rate. However, important variations arose among aetosaur taxa if body mass is considered as proxy, which would be related to a body morphology ranging from slender (e.g. Aetobarbakinoides brasiliensis) to very wide (Typothorax coccinarum) morphotypes. In comparison with extant pseudosuchians (i.e. crocodylians), Aetosauroides scagliai possesses a relatively lower growth rate.

Small, B. J., and J. W. Martz. 2013. A new aetosaur from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of the Eagle Basin, Colorado, USA.: From Nesbitt, S. J., Desojo, J. B., and R. B. Irmis (eds.), Anatomy, Phylogeny and Palaeobiology of Early Archosaurs and their Kin Geological Society Special Publications 379 doi:10.1144/SP379.18

Abstract - A small aetosaur skull and skeleton and referred material from the Chinle Formation, Eagle Basin of Colorado, USA, is described as a new taxon, Stenomyti huangae gen. et sp. nov, distinguished from other aetosaurs by the following autapomorphies: three premaxillary teeth; four palpebrals; pronounced midline ridge on frontals and parietals; paired ridges flanking midline ridge on parietal and frontal; exclusion of quadratojugal from ventral margin of skull by contact between jugal and quadrate; exclusion of postorbital from infratemporal fenestra; infratemporal fenestra a horizontally oriented oval that embays the posterior edge of the jugal; retroarticular process longer than distance between articular glenoid and posterior edge of external mandibular fenestra; oval to irregularly shaped ventral osteoderms that do not contact each other. Paramedian and lateral osteoderms of S. huangae are nearly identical to those of Aetosaurus ferratus, and other shared cranial characters suggest that
these taxa are closely related and lie outside the clade Typothoracisinae + Desmatosuchinae. This discovery indicates that other reports of Aetosaurus across Laurasia based on osteoderms should be reassessed. Similar confusion with the osteoderms of other non-typothoracisine/desmatosuchine aetosaurs such as Aetosauroides, Stagonolepis and Calyptosuchus suggests that osteoderms are not always reliable taxonomic indicators.

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