The fossil record of metriorhynchids and plesiosaurians from the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese Formation (RAVFm, Middle–Upper Jurassic, Italy) is represented by elements collected between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. All the metriorhynchid material is referred to the genus Neptunidraco. The first RAVFm plesiosaurian material was collected in the nineteenth century and referred to Plesiosaurus: elements are here described and interpreted as a chimerical association of crocodylomorph and plesiosaurian bones, providing the first co-occurrence of these clades in the RAVFm. The second plesiosaurian is the associated skeleton that we refer to Anguanax zignoi gen. et sp. nov. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis confirms the basal geosaurine affinities of Neptunidraco resulted by parsimony analysis. Using both methods, Anguanax was recovered as a basal pliosaurid, sister group of the clade including Marmornectes and Thalassophonea. Bayesian inference methods indicate that both Italian lineages diverged from other known lineages between 176 and 171 Mya, also showing divergence rates significantly higher than any other representative of their respective clades. We suggest a phase of rapid evolutionary adaptation to deeper marine environments in the ancestors of the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese reptiles as a response to the latest Liassic regressive regime in Northern Tethys.

High evolutionary rates and the origin of the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese Formation (Middle-Upper Jurassic of Italy) reptiles

CAU, ANDREA;FANTI, FEDERICO
2016

Abstract

The fossil record of metriorhynchids and plesiosaurians from the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese Formation (RAVFm, Middle–Upper Jurassic, Italy) is represented by elements collected between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. All the metriorhynchid material is referred to the genus Neptunidraco. The first RAVFm plesiosaurian material was collected in the nineteenth century and referred to Plesiosaurus: elements are here described and interpreted as a chimerical association of crocodylomorph and plesiosaurian bones, providing the first co-occurrence of these clades in the RAVFm. The second plesiosaurian is the associated skeleton that we refer to Anguanax zignoi gen. et sp. nov. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis confirms the basal geosaurine affinities of Neptunidraco resulted by parsimony analysis. Using both methods, Anguanax was recovered as a basal pliosaurid, sister group of the clade including Marmornectes and Thalassophonea. Bayesian inference methods indicate that both Italian lineages diverged from other known lineages between 176 and 171 Mya, also showing divergence rates significantly higher than any other representative of their respective clades. We suggest a phase of rapid evolutionary adaptation to deeper marine environments in the ancestors of the Rosso Ammonitico Veronese reptiles as a response to the latest Liassic regressive regime in Northern Tethys.
Cau, Andrea; Fanti, Federico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/514551
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