UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

A Late Cretaceous tuatara (Lepidosauria: Sphenodontinae) from South America

Apesteguía, S; Jones, MEH; (2012) A Late Cretaceous tuatara (Lepidosauria: Sphenodontinae) from South America. Cretaceous Research , 34 pp. 154-160. 10.1016/j.cretres.2011.10.014.

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Rhynchocephalia achieved a global distribution during the Mesozoic but the history of sphenodontines, the clade containing the extant genus Sphenodon (the New Zealand tuatara), remains poorly understood. Here, we describe a partial maxilla from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina bearing teeth that closely resemble those of modern Sphenodon. This material helps to fill in a notable gap in the fossil history of lepidosaurs because it represents the first evidence of a sphenodontine from South America and increases the number of known Late Cretaceous rhynchocephalian taxa from that region. The morphological disparity encompassed by these records is consistent with suggestions that rhynchocephalians remained diverse in the Late Cretaceous of South America despite a concurrent disappearance from Laurasia. Moreover, the new record supports the hypothesis that sphenodontines were once found widely throughout Gondwana, before its constituent landmasses began to separate about 80 million years ago. The extant Sphenodon probably represents a biogeographic remnant of this distribution, but whether its relatively large size and its ability to remain active at cold temperatures reflects a high latitude ancestry requires further examination. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Type: Article
Title: A Late Cretaceous tuatara (Lepidosauria: Sphenodontinae) from South America
DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2011.10.014
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1340335
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item