DESOJO Julia Brenda
congresos y reuniones científicas
A NEW MEDIUM-SIZED BASAL CROCODYLOMORPH WITH A LIGHTLY BUILT AXIAL SKELETON FROM THE LATE TRIASSIC ISCHIGUALASTO FORMATION, SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA
EZCURRA, M.; DESOJO, J.B; NOVAS, F.
Congreso; IV Congreso Latino-Americano de Paleontología de Vertebrados.; 2011
Crocodylomorpha is the extant pseudosuchian clade and their members appear in early Late Triassic rocks. The oldest known crocodylomorphs are the small-sized Trialestes romeri (Reig, 1963) and Barberenasuchus brasiliensis Mattar, 1987 from the South American Ischigualasto and Santa María formations, respectively (late Carnian-earliest Norian age; Martínez et al., 2011). Both species are based on poorly preserved materials and several aspects about the early evolution of the group remain enigmatic. We describe a new early crocodylomorph species represented by two specimens coming from the Cancha de Bochas Member of the Ischigualasto Formation, Argentina. The more complete and smaller specimen (PVSJ 846) is represented by several cranial and postcranial bones, whereas the larger specimen (PVSJ 890) corresponds to an isolated posterior cervical vertebra with a maximum height of 13.2 cm. Both specimens can be assingned to the same species due to a unique combination of features associated with a lightly built axial skeleton. A preliminar phylogenetic analysis based on the matrix of Nesbitt (2011) nested the new species within Crocodylomorpha and as the sister-taxon of Trialestes, but outside a paraphyletic Sphenosuchia. The synapomorphies that support its assignment to Crocodylomorpha are maxillary palatal processes forming a secondary bony plate and ilium with well-developed preacetabular process and a concave acetabular ventral margin, among others. The new species is found more closely related to Trialestes than to other suchians due to the presence of a hypertrophied sub-acromial process and elongated anterior cervical vertebrae. However, the new taxon differs from Trialestes in several aspects, including a longer anterior maxillary ramus and scapula with a large process above the glenoid fossa. The most conspicuous features of the new crocodylomorph are related with a lightly built cervical series, absent in Trialestes and other crocodylomorphs. The anterior cervical vertebrae present a deep and blind longitudinal fossa dorsolateral to the posterior exit of the neural canal and a deep longitudinal depression along the lateroventral border of the neural arch which opens into a dorsally oriented blind fossa. The posterior cervical vertebrae present a series of thin laminae in the neural arch and a large and very deep lateral fossa that strongly compresses the centrum. These features resemble the condition of basal theropods and poposauroids (Nesbitt, 2007). However, we could not found unambiguous evidence for the presence of postcranial pneumaticity (OConnor, 2006), but it constitutes a plausible explanation for the origin of these structures. The new species documents a novel axial morphology present in Crocodylomorpha, represents one of the largest known non-crocodyliform crocodylomorphs, and enlarges our knowledge about the early evolution of the group.