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New information on the Jurassic lepidosauromorph Marmoretta oxoniensis

Griffiths, EF; Ford, DP; Benson, RBJ; Evans, SE; (2021) New information on the Jurassic lepidosauromorph Marmoretta oxoniensis. Papers in Palaeontology , 7 (4) pp. 2255-2278. 10.1002/spp2.1400. Green open access

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Abstract

The earliest known crown-group lepidosaurs are known from the Middle Triassic; however, their stem group is poorly sampled, with only a few representative fossils found. This is partly due to the small size and delicate bones of early stem-lepidosaurs (= non-lepidosaurian lepidosauromorphs), which make both preservation in the fossil record and subsequent discovery less likely. The Middle Jurassic lepidosauromorph Marmoretta oxoniensis is re-examined using high-resolution micro-computed tomography to reveal parts of the skull anatomy that were previously unknown. These include a squamosal, postorbital, more complete parietal, pterygoids, and an articulated posterior section of the mandible. Some differences between this and other Marmoretta specimens were identified as a result, such as the arrangement of palatal teeth and the shape of the parabasisphenoid. The status of Marmoretta as a stem-lepidosaur or stem-squamate has been debated. To evaluate this, we tested the phylogenetic position of Marmoretta by including our new data in an adapted phylogenetic character matrix. We recover Marmoretta as a stem-lepidosaur and sister to Fraxinisaura rozynekae. Our findings support the hypothesis that both taxa belonged to a clade of non-lepidosaurian lepidosauromorphs that co-existed with lepidosaurs into the Middle Jurassic.

Type: Article
Title: New information on the Jurassic lepidosauromorph Marmoretta oxoniensis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1400
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/spp2.1400
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: reptiles, lepidosaurs, skull, Jurassic, phylogeny
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134266
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