Friday, January 13, 2012

First Symposium on the Evolution of Crocodyliforms

It seems the special issue of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, "1st Symposium on the Evolution of Crocodyliforms", has finally appeared online. It introduces several new species and focuses on the great diversity of the lineage in an attempt to remove the stigma of crocodiles being considered living fossils. You can read the issue and get the details by following the above link, but I will give you the highlights.

The volume presents six new species (five new genera), bringing the count for new crocs of 2011 up to 17. Pol & Powell describe Lorosuchus nodosus gen. et sp. nov., a basal mesoeucrocodylian (Sebecidae) from the Paleocene of Argentina. Two new notosuchians from the Upper Cretaceous of Brazil are described: Caryonosuchus pricei gen. et sp. nov. (Spageosauridae) (Kellner et al. a.)  and Labidiosuchus amicum gen. et sp. nov. with its bizarre dentition (a symphyseal dental battery) (Kellner et al. b.). Andrade et al present Goniopholis kiplingi sp. nov. (Lower Cretaceous, England) with a review of the genus and an updated definition, restricting Goniopholis to the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous of Europe. Clark describes several partial skeletons of a basal crocodyliform (Shartegosuchidae) from the Late Jurassic of  Colorado (USA), naming it Fruitachampsa callisoni ge. nov., sp. nov.. The last new croc of the issue is Pieraroiasuchus ormezzanoi gen. nov., sp. nov., based on two fully articulated individuals from the Cretaceous of Italy, belonging to the Hylaeochamsidae (Buscalioni et al).

The volume also includes discussions of existing taxa, some with descriptions of new specimens. Riff et al look at the features of Stratiotosuchus maxhechti that support the view of baurusuchids as active terrestrial predators and their convergence with theropod dinosurs. The cranial anatomy of Baurusuchus albertoi is described and a phylogenetic analysis of baurusuchids is presented with the new data (Nascimento & Zaher). Moraes-Santos et al provide a brief report describing a new specimen of gavialoid from Brazil. Another review article examines abnormalities in the type specimen of Stratiotosuchus maxhechti revealing bone pathologies from two distinct injuries and insect boring marks (Cabral et al). Soto et al describe a new specimen of Uruguaysuchus aznarezi from the type locality. Brochu describes cranial fragments of Necrosuchus ionensis, revealing caimanine affinities, also providing a review of Paleocene-Eocene caiman biogeography. The issue includes a redescription of Meridiosaurus vallisparadisi with a phylogenetic analysis confirming the monophyly of Pholidosauridae, including a new definition (Fortier et al). Also, Figueiredo et al discuss a new specimen, comprised of postcranial remains, of Susisuchus anatoceps, revealing it as a basal neosuchian.

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