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A new lizard (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of China, with a taxonomic revision of Yabeinosaurus

Dong, L; Wang, Y; Evans, SE; (2017) A new lizard (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of China, with a taxonomic revision of Yabeinosaurus. Cretaceous Research , 72 pp. 161-171. 10.1016/j.cretres.2016.12.017. Green open access

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Abstract

Yabeinosaurus was the first lizard genus described from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. The holotype of the type species, Y. tenuis, is an immature skeleton but it has been lost for decades. A second species, Y. youngi, was erected based on another immature skeleton and is distinguished by its longer, more gracile limbs. In 2001, a juvenile skeleton from the Jingangshan locality of Liaoning was designated as the neotype for Y. tenuis. Subsequently, several further specimens from other localities, juvenile and adult, have been attributed to this species. Here we describe a second lizard specimen from the neotype locality. In anterior tooth shape, finger-like mandibular angular process, cranial sculpture, maxilla shape, and short, robust humerus, the new specimen resembles adult and subadult material currently attributed to Y. tenuis, but it differs in having bicuspid posterior teeth and a straight rather than a hooked angular process of the mandible. We propose a new species (Y. bicuspidens sp. nov.) for this specimen which represents the first occurrence of bicuspid teeth in an Early Cretaceous lizard from China. However, the recognition of a second species at the neotype locality raises a taxonomic problem. Due to the immaturity of the designated holotype and neotype of Y. tenuis, they cannot be coded for the jaw and dental characters that distinguish the two robust-limbed species. This renders Yabeinosaurus tenuis a nomen dubium. Here we propose that Yabeinosaurus tenuis should be treated as a historic taxon, permitting retention of the generic name under ICZN rules, and erect a second new species (Y. robustus sp. nov.) for the principal robust-limbed morphotype in the Jehol Biota with monocuspid posterior teeth and a hooked angular process.

Type: Article
Title: A new lizard (Reptilia: Squamata) from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of China, with a taxonomic revision of Yabeinosaurus
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2016.12.017
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2016.12.017
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: China; Lizard; Yabeinosaurus; Cretaceous Jehol Biota; Taxonomy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1539065
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