uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Postcranium of the paradigm elasmosaurid plesiosaurian Libonectes morgani (Welles, 1949)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
2015 (English)In: Geological Magazine, ISSN 0016-7568, E-ISSN 1469-5081, Vol. 152, no 4, 694-710 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Elasmosauridae constitutes one of the most immediately recognizable plesiosaurian radiations. Their distinctive body plan represents the popular model for Plesiosauria, and is typified by an osteological morphology especially adapted for hyper-elongation of the neck. Nevertheless, many archetypal elasmosaurids are known only from incomplete and/or inadequately documented material, a problem that has contributed to their uncertain intra-clade relationships. A prime example of this is Libonectes morgani from the Upper Cretaceous of Texas, USA, which is frequently presented as an elasmosaurid structural proxy because of its three-dimensionally preserved holotype skull. Perplexingly though, both the taxonomic diagnosis and phylogenetic placement of L. morgani rely primarily upon the cervical vertebrae, together with the pectoral girdle and forelimb, yet most of these elements are now lost and figured only as line drawings. We therefore reviewed the remnant postcranial skeleton of L. morgani first-hand with the objective of clarifying its defining character states. Our observations showed that the existing diagnosis of L. morgani is indeed inadequate. Moreover, the only identifiable autapomorphies occurred within the axial skeleton. This concurred with an examination of character scores used in published plesiosaurian phylogenies, and highlights the persistent significance of postcranial elements for discriminating elasmosaurid taxa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 152, no 4, 694-710 p.
Keyword [en]
Plesiosauria, axial skeleton, atlas-axis complex, systematics
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257630DOI: 10.1017/S0016756814000636ISI: 000356057400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-257630DiVA: diva2:840595
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-07-08 Created: 2015-07-06 Last updated: 2015-07-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Kear, Benjamin P.
By organisation
In the same journal
Geological Magazine

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 230 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link