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  • 1. Barrett, Paul M.
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Benson, Roger B. J.
    Opalized archosaur remains from the Bulldog Shale (Aptian: Lower Cretaceous) of South Australia2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 293-301 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Terrestrial reptile remains are very rare in the Lower Cretaceous of South Australia, but include the holotype of the small theropod Kakuru. Here, we review this taxon and other archosaur specimens collected from the Bulldog Shale (Aptian) of Andamooka and Coober Pedy. Kakuru possesses no unique characters or character state combinations and is regarded as a nomen dubium, representing an indeterminate tetanuran theropod. Two other specimens (a left metatarsal and astragalus) can be referred to Dinosauria, but the identity of several other specimens (phalanges and a centrum) can only be resolved to the level of an indeterminate archosaur.

  • 2. Barrett, Paul M.
    et al.
    Rich, Thomas H.
    Vickers-Rich, Patricia
    Tumanova, Tat'yana A.
    Inglis, Matthew
    Pickering, David
    Kool, Lesley
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Ankylosaurian dinosaur remains from the Lower Cretaceous of southeastern Australia2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 205-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Eumeralla and Wonthaggi formations (Otway and Strzelecki groups, respectively: late Hauterivian to Albian) of Victoria, Australia, have yielded diverse dinosaur faunas. Here we report a set of unassociated isolated specimens from these units including teeth, dorsal vertebrae, ribs and osteoderms of an indeterminate ankylosaurian dinosaur.

  • 3.
    Bazzi, Mohamad
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
    Einarsson, Elisabeth
    Lund University.
    Kear, Benjamin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences. Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Late Cretaceous (Campanian) actinopterygian fishes from the Kristianstad Basin of southern Sweden2016In: Mesozoic Biotas Of Scandinavia And Its Arctic Territories, Geological Society, 2016, 277-292 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although a diverse range of aquatic vertebrates are documented from the Upper Cretaceous (mid-Campanian) marine strata of the Kristianstad Basin in southern Sweden, only chondrichthyans and marine amniotes have been described in detail to date. In contrast, coeval actinopterygians are virtually unreported, yet their remains are extremely abundant at most sampled localities. A comprehensive assessment of these fossils has identified the first Late Cretaceous actinopterygian fauna from the Fennoscandian Shield, incorporating indeterminate lepisosteids, the durophagous pycnodontid Anomoeodus subclavatus, the predatory pachycormid Protosphyraena sp., a large ichthyodectid, pachyrhizodontids resembling Pachyrhizodus, the enchodontid Enchodus cf. gladiolus and indeterminate small teleosts. These taxa are diagnosed mainly from isolated teeth and scales, implying substantial taphonomic loss prior to burial. Moreover, the prolific recovery of actinopterygian skeletal remnants in recent excavations suggests that historical collecting biases, rather than ecological paucity, have contributed to their under-representation in the Swedish Cretaceous record. Palaeobiogeographically, the Kristianstad Basin actinopterygians show compositional resemblance to assemblages from the Northern European Platform and the Western Interior Seaway of North America, advocating distributional communication across the Boreal proto-Atlantic Ocean.

  • 4. Black, Karen H.
    et al.
    Travouillon, Kenny J.
    Den Boer, Wendy
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Cooke, Bernard N.
    Archer, Michael
    A New Species of the Basal "Kangaroo'' Balbaroo and a Re-Evaluation of Stem Macropodiform Interrelationships2014In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 11, e112705- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Exceptionally well-preserved skulls and postcranial elements of a new species of the plesiomorphic stem macropodiform Balbaroo have been recovered from middle Miocene freshwater limestone deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of northwestern Queensland, Australia. This constitutes the richest intraspecific sample for any currently known basal "kangaroo'', and, along with additional material referred to Balbaroo fangaroo, provides new insights into structural variability within the most prolific archaic macropodiform clade - Balbaridae. Qualitative and metric evaluations of taxonomic boundaries demonstrate that the previously distinct species Nambaroo bullockensis is a junior synonym of B. camfieldensis. Furthermore, coupled Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses reveal that our new Balbaroo remains represent the most derived member of the Balbaroo lineage, and are closely related to the middle Miocene B. camfieldensis, which like most named balbarid species is identifiable only from isolated jaws. The postcranial elements of Balbaroo concur with earlier finds of the stratigraphically oldest balbarid skeleton, Nambaroo gillespieae, and suggest that quadrupedal progression was a primary gait mode as opposed to bipedal saltation. All Balbaroo spp. have low-crowned bilophodont molars, which are typical for browsing herbivores inhabiting the densely forested environments envisaged for middle Miocene northeastern Australia.

  • 5.
    Bremer, Oskar
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
    Kear, Benjamin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Reassessment of the ‘last’ goniopholidid: denazinosuchus kirtlandicus from the late cretaceous of New Mexico2013In: Program and Abstract Book, 2013, 93-94 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Bremer, Oskar
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    CT-scan of Parasaurolophus tubicen from the Sternberg Collection (Uppsala University)2011In: The 2nd Wiman Meeting. Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 Years of Swedish Palaeontology / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear and Michael Streng, 2011, 4- p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1922, Carl Wiman, head of the then Palaeontological Institute at Uppsala University, received a series of crates containing dinosaur remains from the Upper Cretaceous (upper Campanian–Maastrichtian) Kirtland Formation of New Mexico, U.S.A. The specimens had been collected in 1921 by the famous American fossil hunter, Charles H. Sternberg, during a commissioned 5 month field expedition to the in the San Juan Basin. Arguably, one of the most significant specimens recovered was the partial skull of the spectacular crested hadrosaur Parasaurolophus tubicen. The holotype (PMU 24925) comprises the massive crest and neurocranium, together with parts of the pareital, frontal, prefrontals, postorbitals, squamosals and exoccipitals. The right quadrate is also preserved in articulation with the quadratojugal and pterygoid; the right jugal, maxilla, pterygoid, ectopterygoid and the anterior section of the lacrimal make up the facial region of the skull. Wiman was the first to propose that the crest of Parasaurolophus functioned as a vocalization structure. This study aims to investigate the functional morphology of the crest in this hadrosaur, in conjunction with endocranial anatomy, using CT-scanning and 3D modelling of the intracranial chambers. Comparisons with other specimens of Parasaurolophus will permit reconstruction of sensory capabilities in this 'classic' dinosaur taxon.

  • 7.
    Einarsson, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    A mid-Campanian marine extinction event – possible evidence from the Kristianstad Basin of southern Sweden2011In: The 2nd Wiman Meeting. Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 Years of Swedish Palaeontology / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear and Michael Streng, 2011, 7-8 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Potential traces of a mid-Campanian (83–73 Ma) marine extinction event have been documented as sequential faunal turnover in shallow coastal calcareous sands and calcarenite strata at the Åsen locality in the Kristianstad Basin of southern Sweden. The depositional succession at Åsen is conformably divided into the latest-early Campanian Belemnellocamax mammillatus belemnite Zone (a lateral equivalent of the northern European Belemnitella mucronata senior/Gonioteuthis quadrata gracilis Zone), and an overlying earliest-late Campanian Belemnellocamax balsvikensis Zone. The stratigraphically older B. mammillatus Zone assemblages comprise storm-accumulated remains (associated with coquina beds and oyster banks) that include selachians, chimaeroids, bony fish (pachycormiforms, pycnodontids, and teleosts), dyrosaurid crocodilians, elasmosaurid and polycotylid plesiosaurs, mosasaurs (mosasaurines, halisaurines, tylosaurines, and plioplatecarpines), and cheloniid sea turtles. Coeval invertebrates comprise abundant belemnites, bivalves, brachiopods, and echinoderms. This rich biodiversity abruptly declines up-sequence through the oyster bed layer and into the B. balsvikensis Zone; this is characterised by a sandier facies, which is exceptionally poor in reptile remains and manifests only small teleosts and sharks. Benthic molluscs and brachiopods also decline in abundance while worm tracks and decapod crustaceans (crabs) make a first appearance. Although, this observed change clearly corresponds to an environmental shift, it also correlates with a recognised trans-Atlantic mid-Campanian extinction event that affected warm-temperate to sub-tropical palaeolatitudinal belt assemblages in North America, and might have been part of a broader global phenomenon.

  • 8.
    Einarsson, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Lund University.
    lindgren, Johan
    Lund University.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Siverson, Mikael
    Western Australian Museum.
    Mosasaur bite marks on a plesiosaur propodial from the Campanian (Late Cretaceous) of southern Sweden2010In: GFF, ISSN 1103-5897, E-ISSN 2000-0863, Vol. 132, no 2, 123-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although plesiosaurs and mosasaurs co-existed for about 35 million years at the end of the Cretaceous, the fossil record documenting interactions between these two groups of marine reptiles is meagre. The discovery of deeply incised scars on a limb bone of an immature polycotylid plesiosaur from the latest early Campanian (in the European two-fold division of the Campanian Stage) of the Kristianstad Basin, southern Sweden, is thus significant because it represents a rare example of predation or scavenging on an immature polycotylid plesiosaur by a large mosasaur.

  • 9.
    Georgalis, Georgios
    et al.
    Aristotle University Thessaloniki.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    New records of fossil turtles from Greece.2010In: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology , 2010, 95A- p.Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 10. Georgalis, Georgios L.
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    The fossil turtles of Greece: An overview of taxonomy and distribution2013In: Geobios, ISSN 0016-6995, E-ISSN 1777-5728, Vol. 46, no 4, 299-311 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Turtle remains are common in the Miocene-Holocene deposits of Greece, and are a key focus of the growing research interest in Neogene. herpetofaunas from the Aegean region. Some of the most important finds include one of Europe's stratigraphically youngest pleurodiran taxa, Nostimochelone lampra, from the Early Miocene of Macedonia, together with arguably the richest record of fossil tortoises from the Eastern Mediterranean. This incorporates the presently oldest definitive representatives of the quintessential genus Testudo sensu stricto from the Late Miocene of Attica and Macedonia, and numerous specimens of the colossal (carapace similar to 2 m-length) testudinid Cheirogaster from Late Miocene-Late Pliocene sediments in southern and northern Greece, as well as on the eastern Aegean islands of Samos and Lesvos. Tantalising, but as yet unconfirmed Miocene accounts of the geoemydid Mauremys in Macedonia, and indeterminate emydid-like remains from Euboea, also provide potentially significant range extensions. Although hampered by a historically sparse documentation, the fossil turtles of Greece are a significant resource that record both assemblage changes and the origin of modern lineages. 

  • 11.
    Georgalis, Georgios L.
    et al.
    Univ Fribourg, Dept Geosci, Chemin Musee 6, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.;Univ Turin, Dept Earth Sci, Valperga Caluso 35, I-10125 Turin, Italy..
    Szyndlar, Zbigniew
    Polish Acad Sci, Inst Systemat & Evolut Anim, Slawkowska 17, PL-31016 Krakow, Poland..
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Delfino, Massimo
    Univ Turin, Dept Earth Sci, Valperga Caluso 35, I-10125 Turin, Italy.;Univ Autonoma Barcelona, Inst Catala Paleontol Miquel Crusafont, Edifici ICTA ICP,Carrer Columnes S-N,Campus UAB, ES-08193 Barcelona, Spain..
    New material of Laophis crotaloides, an enigmatic giant snake from Greece, with an overview of the largest fossil European vipers2016In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, ISSN 1661-8726, E-ISSN 1661-8734, Vol. 109, no 1, 103-116 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Laophis crotaloides was described by Richard Owen as a new and very large fossil viperid snake species from Greece. The type material is apparently lost and the taxon was mostly neglected for more than a century. We here describe a new partial viperid vertebra, collected from the same locality and of equivalent size to the type material. This vertebra indicates that at least one of the three morphological characters that could be used to diagnose L. crotaloides is probably an artifact of the lithographer who prepared the illustration supporting the original description. A revised diagnosis of L. crotaloides is provided on the basis of the new specimen. Despite the fragmentary nature of the new vertebra, it confirms the validity of L. crotaloides, although its exact relationships within Viperidae remain unknown. The new find supports the presence of a large viperid snake in the early Pliocene of northern Greece, adding further data to the diversity of giant vipers from Europe.

  • 12.
    Georgalis, Georgios L.
    et al.
    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
    Velitzelos, Dimitrios
    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
    Velitzelos, Evangelos
    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Nostimochelone lampra gen. et sp. nov., an EnigmaticNew Podocnemidoidean Turtle from the Early Mioceneof Northern Greece2012In: Morphology and Evolution of Turtles / [ed] Donald B. Brinkman, Patricia A. Holroyd, James D. Gardener, Dordrecht: Springer, 2012, 277-287 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A new podocnemidoidean turtle, Nostimochelonelampra gen. et sp. nov., was recently recovered fromlittoral marine-estuarine sediments of the lower MioceneZeugostasion Formation, near the village of Nostimo innorthwestern Macedonia, Greece. This new taxon is characterizedby a mosaic of primitive and derived features mostnotably the presence of a broad embayment on the anteriorcarapace margin, which involves both the nuchal (whosewidth[length) and first pair of peripherals, a continuousseries of six markedly elongate and very narrowed hexagonalneural bones, extension of the axillary buttress onto themidline of the anteroposteriorly elongate costal I (leavinga concave scar) and also laterally across the peripheralII-peripheral III suture, medial contact of the humeral scutes(implying a small intergular), and extensive overlap of thepectoral scutes on the entoplastron, probably extending tothe epiplastral-hyoplastral suture. Conclusive phylogeneticplacement of Nostimochelone is difficult to establishbecause the remains are incompletely preserved. Nevertheless,its discovery is significant because it represents boththe first record of a pleurodiran turtle from Greece and alsoone of only a handful of fossil podocnemidoidean occurrencesthus far documented from the Neogene of Europe.

  • 13. Haig, David W.
    et al.
    Martin, Sarah K.
    Mory, Arthur J.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Backhouse, John
    Berrell, Rodney W.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Hall, Russell
    Foster, Clinton B.
    Shi, Guang R.
    Bevan, Jennifer C.
    Early Triassic (early Olenekian) life in the interior of East Gondwana: mixed marine-terrestrial biota from the Kockatea Shale, Western Australia2015In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 417, 511-533 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A new terrestrial marine assemblage from the lower beds of a thin outcrop section of the Kockatea Shale in the northern Perth Basin, Western Australia, contains a range of fossil groups, most of which are rare or poorly known from the Lower Triassic of the region. To date, the collection includes spinose acritarchs, organic-cemented agglutinated foraminifera, lingulids, minute bivalves and gastropods, ammonoids, spinicaudatans, insects, austriocaridid crustaceans, actinopterygians, a temnospondyl-like mandible, plant remains, and spores and pollen. Of these groups, the insects, crustaceans and macroplant remains are recorded for the first time from this unit. Palynomorphs permit correlation to nearby sections where conodonts indicate an early Olenekian (Smithian) age. The locality likely represents the margin of an Early Triassic shallow interior sea with variable estuarine-like water conditions, at the southwestern end of an elongate embayment within the East Gondwana interior rift sag system preserved along the Western Australian margin. Monospecific spinose acritarch assemblages intertwined with amorphous organic matter may represent phytoplankton blooms that accumulated as mats, and suggest potentially eutrophic surface waters. The assemblage represents a mixure of marine and terrestrial taxa, suggesting variations in water conditions or that fresh/brackish-water and terrestrial organisms were transported from adjacent biotopes. Some of the lower dark shaly beds are dominated by spinicaudatans, likely indicating periods when the depositional water body was ephemeral, isolated, or subjected to other difficult environmental conditions. The biota of the Kockatea Shale is insufficiently known to estimate biotic diversity and relationships of individual taxa to their Permian progenitors and Triassic successors, but provides a glimpse into a coastal-zone from the interior of eastern Gondwana. Specialist collecting is needed to clarify the taxonomy of many groups, and comparisons to other Lower Triassic sites are required to provide insights into the pattern of biotic decline and recovery at the end-Permian crisis. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 14. Hamilton-bruce, Robert J.
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    A possible succineid land snail from the Lower Cretaceous non-marine deposits of the Griman Creek Formation at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 325-331 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A diverse non-marine molluscan fauna has been recorded from the Lower Cretaceous (middle-upper Albian), low-energy, fluvial sediments of the Griman Creek Formation at Lightning Ridge in northern New South Wales. We describe a novel addition to this assemblagea probable pulmonate gastropod that manifests features (including shell with an inflated body whorl, expansive aperture, and reduced spire/whorl count) consistent with Succineidae, an extant cosmopolitan family of terrestrial snails. The fossils are assigned to a new genus and species (Suratia marilynae), distinguishable from existing taxa by a combination of traits: shell with sculpturing limited to fine growth lines only, lunate body whorl with a rounded periphery, markedly flattened spire (comprising up to two whorls), which is almost flush with the apical surface and delineated by a deeply impressed sutural 'gutter,' and presence of both a broad columellar plait and distinct columellar fold. The new taxon apparently constitutes the oldest pulmonate remains recorded from Australasia, and extends the known stratigraphical range of succineids back to the Lower Cretaceous in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • 15.
    Jirak, Daniel
    et al.
    Inst Clin & Expt Med, Dept Diagnost & Intervent Radiol, MR Unit, Prague 14021, Czech Republic.;Charles Univ Prague, Med Fac 1, Inst Biophys & Informat, Prague, Czech Republic..
    Janacek, Jiri
    Acad Sci Czech Republic, Inst Physiol, Dept Biomath, CR-14220 Prague, Czech Republic..
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    A combined MR and CT study for precise quantitative analysis of the avian brain2015In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, 16002Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Brain size is widely used as a measure of behavioural complexity and sensory-locomotive capacity in avians but has largely relied upon laborious dissections, endoneurocranial tissue displacement, and physical measurement to derive comparative volumes. As an alternative, we present a new precise calculation method based upon coupled magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and computed tomography (CT). Our approach utilizes a novel interactive Fakir probe cross-referenced with an automated CT protocol to efficiently generate total volumes and surface areas of the brain tissue and endoneurocranial space, as well as the discrete cephalic compartments. We also complemented our procedures by using sodium polytungstate (SPT) as a contrast agent. This greatly enhanced CT applications but did not degrade MR quality and is therefore practical for virtual brain tissue reconstructions employing multiple imaging modalities. To demonstrate our technique, we visualized sex-based brain size differentiation in a sample set of Ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). This revealed no significant variance in relative volume or surface areas of the primary brain regions. Rather, a trend towards isometric enlargement of the total brain and endoneurocranial space was evidenced in males versus females, thus advocating a non-differential sexually dimorphic pattern of brain size increase amongst these facultatively flying birds.

  • 16.
    Karlsson, Henrik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    The Sternberg Collection at the Museum of Evolution (Uppsala University): a palaeontological and historical resource2011In: The 2nd Wiman Meeting. Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 Years of Swedish Palaeontology / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear and Michael Streng, 2011, 12-13 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Sternberg Collection at the Museum of Evolution, Uppsala University constitutes the single largest repository of Kirtland Formation vertebrate fossils outside of the U.S.A., and is the core off the most extensive collection of original dinosaur remains in Scandinavia. Its specimens derive from various localities in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico, and include mainly Late Cretaceous (late Campanian–Maastrichtian) dinosaurs, turtles, crocodiles and fish (teleosts, lepisosteids and mylobatid rays) together with a few middle Paleocene reptiles and mammals. The famous North American dinosaur hunter, Charles H. Sternberg, excavated and shipped the material to Sweden during the summer and autumn of 1921, under a commission from the then director of the Palaeontological Institute and first Professor of Palaeontology at Uppsala University, Carl Wiman. Unusually for the time, Sternberg and his two Navajo assistants made a thorough survey for both display-quality skeletons and much smaller fragmentary remains (including plants); thus the Sternberg Collection comprises an actual assemblage cross-section. Wiman established two new taxa (and wrote four papers) on the basis of his material: the hadrosaurid dinosaur Parasaurolophus tubicen, and goniopholid crocodylian Denazinosuchus kirtlandicus. Later workers have also identified other dinosaurs including hadrosaurs (Kritosaurus sp.), sauropods (Alamosaurus sanjuanensis), and theropods (Bistahieversor seeleyi, Saurornitholestes robustus). This study provides the first comprehensive catalogue of the Museum of Evolution Sternberg Collection and assesses its palaeoecological utility.

  • 17.
    Kear, Benjamin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Larsson, Dennis
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology.
    Lindgren, Johan
    Lund Univ, Dept Geol, Lund, Sweden..
    Kundrat, Martin
    Univ Pavol Jozef Safarik, Fac Sci, Ctr Interdisciplinary Biosci, Jesenna 5, Sk Kosice, Slovakia..
    Exceptionally prolonged tooth formation in elasmosaurid plesiosaurians2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 2, e0172759Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Elasmosaurid plesiosaurians were globally prolific marine reptiles that dominated the Mesozoic seas for over 70 million years. Their iconic body-plan incorporated an exceedingly long neck and small skull equipped with prominent intermeshing 'fangs'. How this bizarre dental apparatus was employed in feeding is uncertain, but fossilized gut contents indicate a diverse diet of small pelagic vertebrates, cephalopods and epifaunal benthos. Here we report the first plesiosaurian tooth formation rates as a mechanism for servicing the functional dentition. Multiple dentine thin sections were taken through isolated elasmosaurid teeth from the Upper Cretaceous of Sweden. These specimens revealed an average of 950 daily incremental lines of von Ebner, and infer a remarkably protracted tooth formation cycle of about 2-3 years-other polyphyodont amniotes normally take similar to 1-2 years to form their teeth. Such delayed odontogenesis might reflect differences in crown length and function within an originally uneven tooth array. Indeed, slower replacement periodicity has been found to distinguish larger caniniform teeth in macrophagous pliosaurid plesiosaurians. However, the archetypal sauropterygian dental replacement system likely also imposed constraints via segregation of the developing tooth germs within discrete bony crypts; these partly resorbed to allow maturation of the replacement teeth within the primary alveoli after displacement of the functional crowns. Prolonged dental formation has otherwise been linked to tooth robustness and adaption for vigorous food processing. Conversely, elasmosaurids possessed narrow crowns with an elongate profile that denotes structural fragility. Their apparent predilection for easily subdued prey could thus have minimized this potential for damage, and was perhaps coupled with selective feeding strategies that ecologically optimized elasmosaurids towards more delicate middle trophic level aquatic predation.

  • 18.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    A revision of Australia's Jurassic plesiosaurs2012In: Palaeontology, ISSN 0031-0239, E-ISSN 1475-4983, Vol. 55, no 5, 1125-1138 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Jurassic plesiosaur fossils are exceptionally rarein Australia and currently restricted to a single fragmentaryskeleton (Sinemurian, Razorback beds, Queensland), somearticulated vertebrae (lower Toarcian, Evergreen Formation,Queensland) and a few isolated bones and teeth (Aalenian–Bajocian, Champion Bay Group, Western Australia).These remains are attributable to either indeterminate plesiosaurs,or more specifically to pliosauroids and plesiosauroids,and occur within a variety of fluviatile-lacustrine tocoastal marine depositional settings. Although hampered bytheir incompleteness, Australia’s Jurassic plesiosaurs are significantbecause they include some of the most ancientoccurrences from nonmarine strata, and Gondwanan marinereptiles of a similar age are otherwise very sparselyknown.

  • 19.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    A revision of Australia's Jurassic plesiosaurs2012In: Palaeontology, ISSN 0031-0239, E-ISSN 1475-4983, Vol. 55, no 5, 1125-1138 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Jurassic plesiosaur fossils are exceptionally rare in Australia and currently restricted to a single fragmentary skeleton (Sinemurian, Razorback beds, Queensland), some articulated vertebrae (lower Toarcian, Evergreen Formation, Queensland) and a few isolated bones and teeth (AalenianBajocian, Champion Bay Group, Western Australia). These remains are attributable to either indeterminate plesiosaurs, or more specifically to pliosauroids and plesiosauroids, and occur within a variety of fluviatile-lacustrine to coastal marine depositional settings. Although hampered by their incompleteness, Australias Jurassic plesiosaurs are significant because they include some of the most ancient occurrences from nonmarine strata, and Gondwanan marine reptiles of a similar age are otherwise very sparsely known.

  • 20.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Australian polycotylid plesiosaurs: nascence of a global radiation?2012In: Gondwanan Mesozoic Vertebrates / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Aplin, Ken P.
    Smithsonian Inst, Div Mammals, Natl Museum Nat Hist, POB 37012, Washington, DC 20013 USA..
    Westerman, Michael
    La Trobe Univ, Dept Ecol Environm & Evolut, Melbourne, Vic 3086, Australia..
    Bandicoot fossils and DNA elucidate lineage antiquity amongst xeric-adapted Australasian marsupials2016In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, 37537Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bandicoots (Peramelemorphia) are a unique order of Australasian marsupials whose sparse fossil record has been used as prima facie evidence for climate change coincident faunal turnover. In particular, the hypothesized replacement of ancient rainforest-dwelling extinct lineages by antecedents of xeric-tolerant extant taxa during the late Miocene (-10 Ma) has been advocated as a broader pattern evident amongst other marsupial clades. Problematically, however, this is in persistent conflict with DNA phylogenies. We therefore determine the pattern and timing of bandicoot evolution using the first combined morphological + DNA sequence dataset of Peramelemorphia. In addition, we document a remarkably archaic new fossil peramelemorphian taxon that inhabited a latest Quaternary mosaic savannah-riparian forest ecosystem on the Aru Islands of Eastern Indonesia. Our phylogenetic analyses reveal that unsuspected dental homoplasy and the detrimental effects of missing data collectively obscure stem bandicoot relationships. Nevertheless, recalibrated molecular clocks and multiple ancestral area optimizations unanimously infer an early diversification of modern xeric-adapted forms. These probably originated during the late Palaeogene (30-40 Ma) alongside progenitors of other desert marsupials, and thus occupied seasonally dry heterogenous habitats long before the onset of late Neogene aridity.

  • 22.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Barrett, Paul M.
    The Natural History Museum.
    Reassessment of the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) pliosauroid Leptocleidus superstes Andrews, 1922 and other plesiosaur remains from the nonmarine Wealden succession of southern England2011In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4082, E-ISSN 1096-3642, Vol. 161, no 3, 663-691 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Lower Cretaceous (upper Berriasian to lowermost Aptian) non-marine Wealden succession of southern England has been a prolific source of vertebrate fossils for over 180 years. The sequence is most famous for terrestrial reptiles, particularly dinosaurs; however, significant aquatic tetrapod discoveries including rare non-marine plesiosaurs have also been reported. The record of Wealden plesiosaurs currently incorporates a single valid taxon, Leptocleidus superstes Andrews, 1922a, based on a partial skeleton and skull from the Barremian Upper Weald Clay Formation of Berwick, Sussex. Traditional classifications place this plesiomorphic pliosauroid with basal Jurassic rhomaleosaurids; however, the genus Leptocleidus has since become a ‘waste basket’ for various Cretaceous rhomaleosaurid-like plesiosaurs from around the globe. In an attempt to clarify this situation, the type specimen of Leptocleidus superstes was reexamined and redescribed. Previously unrecorded anatomical features were identified including an elongate, gracile paraoccipital process on the exoccipital-opisthotic, and tooth ornament comprising widely spaced, coarse striations that are restricted to the lingual surface of the crown (mesiodistal 'carinae' are absent). Other indeterminate pliosauroid remains (recovered along with coeval elasmosaurids) from the upper Berriasian-Valanginian Hastings Beds Group also exhibit potentially diagnostic traits: an atlas centrum with no anterolateral exposure and with ventral margin formed by the intercentrum; a single-headed rib articulation on the atlas centrum extending onto the axis centrum; and epipodials that are longer than broad. The placement of Leptocleidus superstes is controversial in recent phylogenies. To test the competing hypotheses, Leptocleidus superstes together with all closely related species were rescored into the most comprehensive published phylogenetic data sets of Plesiosauria and Pliosauroidea. Separate Maximum Parsimony and Bayesian analyses of each matrix unanimously supported a relationship between Leptocleidus superstes and pliosauroids but could not confirm placement within either Rhomaleosauridae sensu stricto, or a discrete ‘leptocleidoid’ clade. Examination of character states advocating affinities among Leptocleidus spp. suggests homoplasy rather than clear homology between what are potentially palaeobiogeographically disparate genus-level taxa.

  • 23.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Budd, Graham E.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    New perspectives on ancient marine reptiles2014In: Geological Magazine, ISSN 0016-7568, E-ISSN 1469-5081, Vol. 151, no 1, 5-6 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Amniotes first invaded saline lagoons and coastal seaways towards the end of the Palaeozoic (Early Permian, similar to 280 Ma: Pineiro et al. 2012), but by the dawn of the Mesozoic (Early-Middle Triassic, similar to 250-235 Ma: Rieppel, 2002; McGowan & Motani, 2003) they had achieved a diversity of specialized body-forms requisite for an obligate oceanic lifestyle. Such an explosive ecomorphological radiation paved the way for amniote dominance of large-bodied aquatic carnivore/omnivore niches over the next 185 Ma, with some lineages (e.g. dyrosaurid crocodylomorphs and bothremydid turtles: Gaffney, Tong & Meylan, 2006; Barbosa, Kellner & Sales Viana, 2008) even persisting on into the Palaeogene (until similar to 50 Ma), and diversifying (i.e. chelonioid sea turtles: Hirayama, 1997) alongside emergent marine mammals through the Neogene (from similar to 23 Ma) and up until today.

  • 24.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Deacon, Geoff L.
    Siverson, Mikael
    Remains of a Late Cretaceous pterosaur from the Molecap Greensand of Western Australia2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 273-279 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pterosaur remains are very rare in Australasia and especially in Upper Cretaceous strata. Thus, the discovery of a jaw fragment from the Cenomanian-Coniacian Molecap Greensand near Gingin in Western Australia represents an important new stratigraphical occurrence for the region. Although the teeth are not preserved, the presence of labio-lingually compressed alveoli that are anterolaterally oriented, variable in shape/size (inferring heterodonty) and very widely spaced is reminiscent of ornithocheiridsa geographically cosmopolitan clade of predominantly Early Cretaceous pterodactyloids. If correct, this identification could extend the known range of Ornithocheiridae through to the Late Cretaceous in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • 25.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Ekrt, Boris
    Prokop, Josef
    Georgalis, Georgios L.
    Turonian marine amniotes from the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, Czech Republic2014In: Geological Magazine, ISSN 0016-7568, E-ISSN 1469-5081, Vol. 151, no 1, 183-198 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite being known for over 155 years, the Late Cretaceous marine amniotes of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin in the Czech Republic have received little recent attention. These fossils are however significant because they record a diverse range of taxa from an incompletely known geological interval: the Turonian. The presently identifiable remains include isolated bones and teeth, together with a few disarticulated skeletons. The most productive stratigraphical unit is the Lower-Middle Turonian Bila Hora Formation, which has yielded small dermochelyoid sea turtles, a possible polycotylid plesiosaur and elements compatible with the giant predatory pliosauromorph Polyptychodon. A huge protostegid, together with an enigmatic cheloniid-like turtle, Polyptychodon-like dentigerous components, an elasmosaurid and a tethysaurine mosasauroid have also been found in strata corresponding to the Middle-Upper Turonian Jizera Formation and Upper Turonian - Coniacian Teplice Formation. The compositional character of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin fauna is compatible with coeval assemblages from elsewhere along the peri-Tethyan shelf of Europe, and incorporates the globally terminal Middle-Upper Turonian occurrence of pliosauromorph megacarnivores, which were seemingly replaced by mosasauroids later in the Cretaceous.

  • 26.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Hamilton-Bruce, Robert J.
    South Australian Museum.
    Dinosaurs in Australia: Mesozoic Life from the Southern Continent.2011 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Lindgren, Johan
    Lund Univ, Dept Geol, Solvegatan 12, S-22362 Lund, Sweden..
    Hurum, Jorn H.
    Univ Oslo, Nat Hist Museum, Postboks 1172, N-0318 Oslo, Norway.;UNIS, Univ Ctr Svalbard, Postboks 156, N-9171 Longyearbyen, Norway..
    Milan, Jesper
    Ostsjaellands Museum, Geomuseum Faxe, Ostervej 2, DK-3640 Faxe, Denmark.;Nat Hist Museum Denmark, Oster Voldgade 5-7, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark..
    Vajda, Vivi
    Lund Univ, Dept Geol, Solvegatan 12, S-22362 Lund, Sweden.;Swedish Museum Nat Hist, Dept Palaeobiol, Postboks 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden..
    An introduction to the Mesozoic biotas of Scandinavia and its Arctic territories2016In: Mesozoic Biotas Of Scandinavia And Its Arctic Territories, Geological Society, 2016, 1-14 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Mesozoic biotas of Scandinavia have been studied for nearly two centuries. However, the last 15 years have witnessed an explosive advance in research, most notably on the richly fossiliferous Triassic (Olenekian-Carnian) and Jurassic (Tithonian) Lagerstatten of the Norwegian Arctic Svalbard archipelago, Late Cretaceous (Campanian) Kristianstad Basin and Vomb Trough of Skane in southern Sweden, and the UNESCO heritage site at Stevns Klint in Denmark - the latter constituting one of the most complete Cretaceous-Palaeogene (Maastrichtian-Danian) boundary sections known globally. Other internationally significant deposits include earliest (Induan) and latest Triassic (Norian-Rhaetian) strata from the Danish autonomous territory of Greenland, and the Early Jurassic (Sinemurian-Pliensbachian) to Early Cretaceous (Berriasian) rocks of southern Sweden and the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, respectively. Marine palaeocommunities are especially well documented, and comprise prolific benthic macroinvertebrates, together with pelagic cephalopods, chondrichthyans, actinopterygians and aquatic amniotes (ichthyopterygians, sauropterygians and mosasauroids). Terrestrial plant remains (lycophytes, sphenophytes, ferns, pteridosperms, cycadophytes, bennettitaleans and ginkgoes), including exceptionally well-preserved carbonized flowers, are also world famous, and are occasionally associated with faunal traces such as temnospondyl amphibian bones and dinosaurian footprints. While this collective documented record is substantial, much still awaits discovery. Thus, Scandinavia and its Arctic territories represent some of the most exciting

  • 28.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Maxwell, Erin E.
    Museum für Naturkunde.
    Wiman’s forgotten plesiosaurs: the earliest recorded sauropterygian fossils from the High Arctic2011In: The 2nd Wiman Meeting: Carl Wimans legacy: 100 years of Swedish Palaeontology. / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear and Michael Streng, 2011, 13- p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The first detailed reports of sauropterygian remains from the Arctic island of Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago) were published as short notes in 1914 and 1916 by the prolific Swedish palaeontologist Carl Wiman. Since then, his original specimens have languished in obscurity despite recent discoveries renewing interest in the Scandinavian, Russian, and Canadian polar regions as highly significant sources of Mesozoic marine reptile fossils. A reassessment of Wiman's Spitsbergen collection housed in the Palaeontological Museum at Uppsala University (Sweden) has identified a pistosaurid vertebral centrum from Upper Triassic (Carnian) sediments in the Tschermakfjellet Formation, and plesiosaurian elements including a previously undocumented partial skeleton probably derived from the restricted Upper Jurassic (Tithonian) bone bed horizon of the Slottsmøya Member, Agardhfjellet Formation. Although fragmentary, Wiman's sauropterygian fossils are historically important and represent some of only a handful of occurrences thus far described from the Mesozoic boreal high-latitude region of Europe.

  • 29.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Maxwell, Erin E.
    Wiman's forgotten plesiosaurs: the earliest recorded sauropterygian fossils from the High Arctic2013In: GFF, ISSN 1103-5897, E-ISSN 2000-0863, Vol. 135, no 1, 95-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The first detailed reports of sauropterygian remains from the Arctic island of Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago) were published as short notes in 1914 and 1916 by the eminent Swedish palaeontologist Carl Wiman. Since then, his original specimens have languished in obscurity despite recent discoveries renewing interest in the Scandinavian polar territories as a highly significant source of Mesozoic marine amniote fossils. A reassessment of Wiman's Spitsbergen collection housed in the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University, Sweden, has identified a pistosaurid vertebral centrum from probable Upper Triassic (Carnian) sediments in the Tschermakfjellet Formation, and various plesiosaurian elements including a previously undocumented partial skeleton most likely derived from the restricted Upper Jurassic (Tithonian) bone bed of the SlottsmOya Member, Agardhfjellet Formation. Although fragmentary, Wiman's sauropterygian fossils are historically important and comprise one of the oldest stratigraphical occurrences from the Mesozoic Boreal high-latitude region of Europe.

  • 30.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Poropat, Stephen F.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology. Australian Age Dinosaurs Nat Hist Museum, Winton, Qld 4735, Australia..
    Bazzi, Mohamad
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Late Triassic capitosaurian remains from Svalbard and the palaeobiogeographical context of Scandinavian Arctic temnospondyls2016In: Mesozoic Biotas Of Scandinavia And Its Arctic Territories, Geological Society, 2016, 113-126 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Norwegian Arctic Svalbard archipelago is famous for its prolific record of Early-Middle Triassic vertebrate fossils. These represent mainly marine amniotes, together with sharks, bony fishes and temnospondyl amphibians, the latter providing an important faunal correlate with coeval assemblages from the Danish autonomous region of Greenland. However, substantial biostratigraphical gaps exist in the Upper Triassic strata of Svalbard, which are marked by pronounced facies shifts from marine to deltaic systems and intermittent depositional hiatuses. These are accompanied by a dearth of documented vertebrate remains, a notable exception being the partial skull of the capitosaurian Capitosaurus polaris and a few isolated stereospondylian intercentra probably from the middle-late Carnian De Geerdalen Formation of Spitsbergen. Reassessment of this material, which incorporates the only undisputed capitosaurian fossil from Svalbard, indicates affinity with Cyclotosaurus, known elsewhere from the late Norian-early Rhaetian Fleming Fjord Formation of Greenland. The Scandinavian Arctic temnospondyls constituted components of sympatric assemblages that inhabited the Boreal margin of Pangaea throughout the Triassic.

  • 31.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Rich, Thomas H.
    From sea to sand: palaeobiogeographical implications of Mesozoic-Cenozoic marine reptile assemblages from Saudi Arabia.2011In: The 2nd Wiman Meeting. Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 Years of Swedish Palaeontology / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear and Michael Streng, 2011, 13-14 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The record of marine reptile fossils from Saudi Arabia is sparsely documented compared to elsewhere in the Middle East. However, recent systematic surveys have uncovered tantalizing evidence of diverse assemblages from both Mesozoic (Triassic, Cretaceous) and Cenozoic (Palaeogene) strata. The stratigraphically oldest specimens come from the Middle-Upper Triassic (Anisian-Carnian) Jilh Formation, a paralic-shallow marine (tidal flat) deposit that outcrops along the eastern margin of the cratonic Arabian Shield. The Jilh Formation is rich in fragmentary vertebrate remains including ichthyosaurs (mixosaurids), a tanystropheid prolacertiform, and sauropterygians: cyamodontoid placodonts (Psephosauriscus) and nothosaurs (Nothosaurus, Simosaurus). Compositionally, this fauna closely resembles others previously reported from the Middle East and North Africa and is consistent with derivation from the ‘Sephardic Realm’ – a widespread Muschelkalk facies that characterised the northern Gondwanan shelf throughout the Middle–Late Triassic. Late Cretaceous (Campanian–Maastrichtian) marine reptile fossils from northern Saudi Arabia also show close palaeobiogeographical affinities with Middle Eastern and North African taxa. Mosasaurs (Prognathodon, indeterminate plioplatecarpines), small aquatic varanoids (Pachyvaranus), bothremydid turtles, elasmosaurid plesiosaurs and dyrosaurid crocodyliforms have all been recovered from paralic (supratidal) sediments of the Adaffa Formation in the Midyan region on the Gulf of Aqaba, and from marine shelf carbonates of the Jalamid Formation close to the Jordanian border. These units reflect a low-latitude, warm water belt that dominated the Mediterranean Tethys during the Late Cretaceous-Palaeogene. Well-preserved dyrosaurid (Rhabdognathus, Hyposaurus, Phosphatosaurus) and indeterminate bothremydid material found in the Upper Paleocene Umm Himar Formation near Makkah also demonstrate the persistence of distinctive Mediterranean Tethyan elements in the Arabian region well into the earliest Cenozoic.

  • 32.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Rich, Thomas H.
    Ali, Mohammed A.
    Al-Mufarrih, Yahya
    Matari, Adel H.
    Al-Massary, Abdu M.
    Halawani, Mohammed A.
    First Triassic lungfish from the Arabian Peninsula2010In: Journal of Paleontology, ISSN 0022-3360, E-ISSN 1937-2337, Vol. 34, no 1, 137-140 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Triassic lungfish (Dipnoi) have been extensively documented from the Gondwanan continental and marine shelf deposits of Africa and Madagascar (Teixeira, 1949; Lehman et al., 1959; Beltan, 1968; Martin, 1979, 1981; Kemp 1996), Australia (Kemp, 1993, 1994, 1997a, 1998), India (Jainet al., 1964; Jain, 1968), and Antarctica (Dziewa, 1980). Numerous records also exist from Laurasian land masses including Europe (Agassiz, 1838; Schultze, 1981), North America (Case, 1921) and central and eastern Asia (Liu and Yeh, 1957; Vorobyeva, 1967; Martin and Ingavat, 1982). By comparison, nothing is known of contemporary lungfish fossils from the Middle East. Thus, the recent recovery of asingle tooth plate representing a new geographic occurrence of the genus Ceratodus Agassiz, 1838 from paralic marine deposits of the Jilh Formation, a latest Anisian to lower Carnian unit that crops out along the eastern margin of the Proterozoic Arabian Shield in central Saudi Arabia, is significant because it provides the stratigraphically oldest record of dipnoans from the Arabian Peninsula.

  • 33.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Rich, Thomas H.
    Vickers-Rich, Patricia
    Ali, Mohammed A.
    Al-Mufarreh, Yahya A.
    Matari, Adel H.
    Al-Massari, Abdu M.
    Nasser, Abdulaziz H.
    Attia, Yousry
    Halawani, Mohammed A.
    First Dinosaurs from Saudi Arabia2013In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 12, e84041- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dinosaur remains from the Arabian subcontinent are exceedingly rare, and those that have been documented manifest indeterminate affinities. Consequently the discovery of a small, but diagnostic, accumulation of elements from Campanian-Maastrichtian (similar to 75 Ma) deposits in northwestern Saudi Arabia is significant because it constitutes the first taxonomically identifiable dinosaur material described from the Arabian Peninsula. The fossils include a series of possible lithostrotian titanosaur caudal vertebrae, and some isolated theropod marginal teeth that share unique character states and metric parameters (analyzed using multivariate statistical methods) with derived abelisaurids - this is the first justifiable example of a non-avian carnivorous dinosaur clade from Arabia. The recognition of titanosaurians and abelisaurids from Saudi Arabia extends the palaeogeographical range of these groups along the entire northern Gondwanan margin during the latest Cretaceous. Moreover, given the extreme paucity of coeval occurrences elsewhere, the Saudi Arabian fossils provide a tantalizing glimpse into dinosaurian assemblage diversity within the region.

  • 34.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Rich, Thomas H.
    Vickers-Rich, Patricia
    Ali, Mohammed A.
    Al-Mufarrih, Yahya
    Matari, Adel H.
    Al-Massary, Abdu M.
    Halawani, Mohammed A.
    A review of aquatic vertebrate remains from the Middle-Upper Triassic Jilh Formation of Saudi Arabia2010In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, ISSN 0035-9211, Vol. 122, no 1, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A recent field survey of the Middle–Upper Triassic (upper Anisian to lowermost Carnian) paralic marine deposits of the Jilh Formation in central Saudi Arabia has yielded large quantities of vertebrate fossils. These finds prompt a revision of the existing faunal list and include at least one novel stratigraphical occurrence for the Arabian Peninsula. The remains comprise sauropterygian marine reptiles (Psephosauriscus sp., Nothosaurus cf. tchernovi, Nothosaurus cf. giganteus, Simosaurus sp.), a lungfish (Ceratodus sp.),hybodontiform sharks (Hybodus sp.) and saurichthyform actinopterygians (Saurichthys sp.). Palaeobiogeographical assessment reinforces Tethyan affinities for the assemblage and reflects the close proximity of the Arabian region to the ‘Sephardic Realm’, a compositionally distinct circum-Mediterranean faunal province characterized by hypersaline Muschelkalk facies.

  • 35.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Siverson, Mikael
    First evidence of a Late Cretaceous sea turtle from Australia2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 265-272 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The isolated scapula of a chelonioid sea turtle is described from the Upper Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian) Miria Formation of the Giralia Ranges in Western Australia. Character states including the wide angle of divergence between the scapular processes (possibly reaching 140 degrees), projection of the glenoid on a constricted scapular neck, and highly vascular glenoid articular surfaces suggest affinity with dermochelyoidsthe most diverse and geographically widespread clade of Mesozoic chelonioids. The Miria Formation chelonioid scapula constitutes the first definitive record of a Late Cretaceous sea turtle from Australia and is one of the few occurrences thus far documented from Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene deposits in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • 36.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Streng, Michael
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Ebbestad, Jan Ove R.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Carl Wiman's legacy: 100 years of Swedish palaeontology2013In: GFF, ISSN 1103-5897, E-ISSN 2000-0863, Vol. 135, no 1, 1-2 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 37.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Zammit, Maria
    In utero foetal remains of the Cretaceous ichthyosaurian Platypterygius: ontogenetic implications for character state efficacy2014In: Geological Magazine, ISSN 0016-7568, E-ISSN 1469-5081, Vol. 151, no 1, 71-86 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ichthyosaurians provide some of the most famous examples of live birth' in the amniote fossil record based on spectacular complete skeletons of gravid females. Such remains facilitate direct comparisons between adult and foetal life stages, and thus have significant impact on phylogenetic hypotheses that require discrete character states to be ontogenetically uncoupled. This is especially true for Cretaceous ichthyosaurian taxa, the majority of which have been established using single specimens of assumed osteological maturity. Our assessment of in utero ichthyosaurian remains from the late Albian of Australia was therefore aimed at testing ontogenetic stability amongst key traits defining the most ubiquitous Cretaceous taxon: Platypterygius. Surprisingly, almost all of the salient features were identifiable in our sample of undoubtedly immature individuals. Indeed, only the proportions of the sclerotic ring, relative ossification and fusion of various basicranial elements, development of the axial skeleton, prominence of the deltopectoral crest and dorsal trochanter, and formation (but seemingly not number) of distal articular facets on the humerus were found to vary from larger-bodied members of the same species (P. australis). Ontogenetic continuity amongst the majority of other phylogenetically pertinent skeletal structures advocates their application for cladistic analyses, and suggests that many classic characters used to differentiate Platypterygius remain diagnostic irrespective of growth stage.

  • 38.
    Kear, Benjamin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Streng, MichaelUppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    The 2nd Wiman meeting: Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 years of Swedish Palaeontology2011Conference proceedings (editor) (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Kear, Benjamin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Streng, MichaelUppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    The 2nd Wiman Meeting: Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 years of Swedish Palaeontology2011Conference proceedings (editor) (Refereed)
  • 40. Kellner, Alexander W. A.
    et al.
    Rich, Thomas H.
    Costa, Fabiana R.
    Vickers-Rich, Patricia
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Walters, Mary
    Kool, Lesley
    New isolated pterodactyloid bones from the Albian Toolebuc Formation (western Queensland, Australia) with comments on the Australian pterosaur fauna2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 219-230 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    New isolated pterodactyloid bones from the Toolebuc Formation are described. The first one consists of a complete wing metacarpal 212mm long, representing an individual with an estimated wing span of 4m. Small depressions on the anterior surface are present and represent tooth marks showing that this specimen was subjected to scavenging prior to fossilization. The other bone consists of a three-dimensionally preserved cervical vertebra lacking most of the neural arch. The specimens are clearly referable to the derived pterosaur clade Pterodactyloidea. Based on several features such as the position of the pneumatic foramen and the particular shape and proportions of those elements, they possibly are members of, or closely related to, the Anhangueridae. The record of the Australian pterosaurs is reviewed here and represents the known southern distributional limit for Cretaceous pterosaurs, arguing against some older ideas of a more geographically restricted range for these flying reptiles.

  • 41.
    Lindahl, Jenny
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    A revision of Testudo honanensis (Testudinidae) and the biogeographical history of Palearctic tortoises2011In: The 2nd Wiman Meeting. Carl Wiman's Legacy: 100 Years of Swedish Palaeontology / [ed] Benjamin P. Kear and Michael Streng, 2011, 16- p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1930, Carl Wiman named a series of tortoise species based on fossils recovered from the Late Miocene (Baodean: Tortonian-Messinian equivalent) 'red-beds' of Shaanxi in northern China. The most complete of these specimens, an articulated skeleton including skull and carapace/plastron, was dubbed Testudo honanensis and has been considered a potential sister taxon of the currently extant Russian or Steppe tortoise Testudo horsfeldii; a species occasionally distinguished as a separate genus, Agrionemys, although recent molecular analyses advocate nesting within Testudo spp. A phylogenetic reassessment of Wiman’s original holotype using a combined morphological/DNA sequence data set suggests that T. honanensis is distinct from T. (Agrionemys) horsfeldii, and might be related to larger-bodied African taxa including Stigmochelys. Testudo honanensis could thus form part of a parallel radiation of Palearctic testudinids that migrated out of Africa, alongside the broader testudonan clade (= greater Testudo group), into Europe (via Anatolia) and Asia following the spread of dry savannah grasslands around 10 Ma. A Late Miocene influx of 'African' tortoises into Eastern Asia is consistent with the distribution of coeval Hipparion Fauna mammals, and supports interpretations of the modern Testudo spp. as vicariant remnants of what was once a much more widely geographically dispersed series of Eurasian lineages.

  • 42.
    Lindgren, Johan
    et al.
    Lund Univ, Dept Geol, S-22362 Lund, Sweden..
    Moyer, Alison
    N Carolina State Univ, Dept Biol Sci, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA..
    Schweitzer, Mary H.
    Lund Univ, Dept Geol, S-22362 Lund, Sweden.;N Carolina State Univ, Dept Biol Sci, Raleigh, NC 27695 USA.;North Carolina Museum Nat Sci, Raleigh, NC 27601 USA..
    Sjovall, Peter
    SP Tech Res Inst Sweden, Chem Mat & Surfaces, S-50115 Boras, Sweden..
    Uvdal, Per
    Lund Univ, Dept Chem, MAX Lab 4, S-22100 Lund, Sweden.;Lund Univ, Dept Chem, Chem Phys, S-22100 Lund, Sweden..
    Nilsson, Dan E.
    Lund Univ, Dept Biol, S-22362 Lund, Sweden..
    Heimdal, Jimmy
    Lund Univ, Dept Chem, MAX Lab 4, S-22100 Lund, Sweden..
    Engdahl, Anders
    Lund Univ, Dept Chem, MAX Lab 4, S-22100 Lund, Sweden..
    Gren, Johan A.
    Lund Univ, Dept Geol, S-22362 Lund, Sweden..
    Schultz, Bo Pagh
    MUSERUM, Nat Hist Div, DK-7800 Skive, Denmark..
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology. Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Interpreting melanin-based coloration through deep time: a critical review2015In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 282, no 1813, 20150614Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Colour, derived primarily from melanin and/or carotenoid pigments, is integral to many aspects of behaviour in living vertebrates, including social signalling, sexual display and crypsis. Thus, identifying biochromes in extinct animals can shed light on the acquisition and evolution of these biological traits. Both eumelanin and melanin-containing cellular organelles (melanosomes) are preserved in fossils, but recognizing traces of ancient melanin-based coloration is fraught with interpretative ambiguity, especially when observations are based on morphological evidence alone. Assigning microbodies (or, more often reported, their 'mouldic impressions') as melanosome traces without adequately exduding a bacterial origin is also problematic because microbes are pervasive and intimately involved in organismal degradation. Additionally, some forms synthesize melanin. In this review, we survey both vertebrate and microbial melanization, and explore the conflicts influencing assessment of microbodies preserved in assodation with ancient animal soft tissues. We discuss the types of data used to interpret fossil melanosomes and evaluate whether these are sufficient for definitive diagnosis. Finally, we outline an integrated morphological and geochemical approach for detecting endogenous pigment remains and associated microstructures in multimillion-year-old fossils.

  • 43. Lindgren, Johan
    et al.
    Sjovall, Peter
    Carney, Ryan M.
    Cincotta, Aude
    Uvdal, Per
    Hutcheson, Steven W.
    Gustafsson, Ola
    Lefevre, Ulysse
    Escuillie, Francois
    Heimdal, Jimmy
    Engdahl, Anders
    Gren, Johan A.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Wakamatsu, Kazumasa
    Yans, Johan
    Godefroit, Pascal
    Molecular composition and ultrastructure of Jurassic paravian feathers2015In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 5, 13520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Feathers are amongst the most complex epidermal structures known, and they have a well-documented evolutionary trajectory across non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds. Moreover, melanosome-like microbodies preserved in association with fossil plumage have been used to reconstruct original colour, behaviour and physiology. However, these putative ancient melanosomes might alternatively represent microorganismal residues, a conflicting interpretation compounded by a lack of unambiguous chemical data. We therefore used sensitive molecular imaging, supported by multiple independent analytical tests, to demonstrate that the filamentous epidermal appendages in a new specimen of the Jurassic paravian Anchiornis comprise remnant eumelanosomes and fibril-like microstructures, preserved as endogenous eumelanin and authigenic calcium phosphate. These results provide novel insights into the early evolution of feathers at the sub-cellular level, and unequivocally determine that melanosomes can be preserved in fossil feathers.

  • 44. Maxwell, Erin E.
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Postcranial anatomy of Platypterygius americanus (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria) from the Cretaceous of Wyoming2010In: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, ISSN 0272-4634, E-ISSN 1937-2809, Vol. 30, no 4, 1059-1068 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ichthyosaurs remains from the Albian and Cenomanian of Wyoming have been assigned to Platypterygius americanus, but apart from structures of the distal humerus, few other unequivocal character states have been proposed to differentiate this species from its congeners. The purpose of this study was to reevaluate the postcranial morphology of Platypterygius americanus, in order to assess the validity of this species and distinguish postcranial traits relevant for specific diagnoses. Several applicable features were identified, including the location of extrazeugopodial facets on the distal humerus and femur, shape of the intermedium, relative degree of fusion within the atlas-axis complex, number of presacral centra, and varying lengths of the anterior caudal centra. Comparative assessment suggests that Platypterygius americanus is a valid taxon, and that it is possible to differentiate the various Platypterygius spp. independent of stratigraphical and/or geographical occurrence data. Nevertheless, a future review of cranial morphology in all Platypterygius spp. is necessary to bolster these conclusions.

  • 45. Maxwell, Erin E.
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Triassic ichthyopterygian assemblages of the Svalbard archipelago: a reassessment of taxonomy and distribution2013In: GFF, ISSN 1103-5897, E-ISSN 2000-0863, Vol. 135, no 1, 85-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ichthyopterygians were amongst the most specialised lineages of secondarily aquatic amniotes; however, their origin and initial radiation remain obscure. The stratigraphically oldest and phylogenetically most basal taxa have been found in Early-Middle Triassic deposits throughout the northern hemisphere, but one of the earliest documented and arguably most important localities is the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago. Like many classic palaeontological sites, the Svalbard Triassic fossil-bearing horizons are plagued by inconsistent geological interpretations and taxonomic classifications. To resolve these conflicts, a comprehensive revision of the various ichthyopterygian assemblages was undertaken. The fossils were found to be distributed through three sequential rock units: the Olenekian VikinghOgda Formation (six discernible taxa distributed over two distinct horizons), Anisian lower Botneheia Formation (two taxa) and the Ladinian-Carnian Blanknuten Member of the Botneheia Formation-Tschermakfjellet Formation (five taxa). Unfortunately, many of the specimens are non-diagnostic at species-level, although they do contribute a cohesive picture of marine faunal successions during the Early-earliest Late Triassic. Indeed, the Svalbard archipelago has produced one of the most diverse Early Triassic ichthyopterygian assemblages known worldwide, but is comparatively species poor throughout the early Middle Triassic, perhaps due to sampling biases.

  • 46.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Natural History Museum.
    Kear, Benjamin P.Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Australasian Cretaceous Biotas.2010Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 47. McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    Gondwanan Mesozoic biotas and bioevents2015In: Gondwana Research, ISSN 1342-937X, E-ISSN 1878-0571, Vol. 27, no 3, 905-910 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 48. McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
    The Australasian Cretaceous scene2010In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 34, no 3, 197-203 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Cretaceous saw dramatic changes in the tectonic setting, landscape and biodiversity of Australasia. Continental fragmentation, marine transgression, the rise of 'modern' faunas and floras, and the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction represent key events that set the stage for future evolution of this region's insular Cenozoic biotas. Australasia's rich but scattered Cretaceous fossil record also provides a rare glimpse into austral high-latitude life and environments throughout the breakup phase of southeastern Gondwana.

  • 49.
    Niedzwiedzki, Grzegorz
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.
    Bajdek, Piotr
    Aleja Najswietszej Maryi Panny 20-20A, PL-42200 Czestochowa, Poland..
    Owocki, Krzysztof
    Polish Acad Sci, Inst Paleobiol, Twarda 51-55, PL-00818 Warsaw, Poland..
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    An Early Triassic polar predator ecosystem revealed by vertebrate coprolites from the Bulgo Sandstone (Sydney Basin) of southeastern Australia2016In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 464, 5-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vertebrate trace fossils often provide a measure of cryptic biodiversity, and are especially pertinent when skeletal remnants are exceptionally rare. The Lower Triassic (lower Olenekian) Bulgo Sandstone at Long Reef in the Sydney Basin of southeastern Australia constitutes just such a deposit, having yielded isolated bones of giant capitosaurian temnospondyls and proterosuchid archosauriforms, together with abundant coprolites that are geochemically rich in elemental phosphate and carbon denoting vertebrate predators. Microstructural analysis of these preserved droppings reveals occasional bone fragments, fish scales, insect cuticles, plant material and bacterial traces (pseudomorph voids), as well as silicate mineral particles. REE concentrations indicate that burial and early diagenesis occurred explicitly within fluvial sediments. Furthermore, external morphological characterization permits attribution of spiral coprolites to chondrichthyan or osteichthyan fishes, polygonal, ovoid spherical and typically flattened feces to temnospondyls, and conspicuously large cylindrical droppings to archosauriforms or other amniote apex predators. Collectively, the Bulgo Sandstone coprolite assemblage thus offers new insights into ecosystem structure and palaeoenvironment in what was an earliest Triassic near polar setting. Such data compliments the documented skeletal record, but indicates a greater range of aquatic and possibly terrestrial carnivores the latter being enigmatically sparse in the Australian Triassic and yet detected here via the hitherto underexplored trace fossil evidence of their ecological presence.

  • 50.
    Paulina-Carabajal, Ariana
    et al.
    Consejo Nacl Invest Cient & Tecn, Inst Invest Biodiversidad & Medioambiente INIBIOM, UNCOMA, Quintral 1250,R8400FRF, San Carlos De Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina..
    Sterli, Juliana
    Consejo Nacl Invest Cient & Tecn, Museo Palaeontol Egidio Feruglio, Av Fontana 140,U9100GYO, RA-9100 Trelew, Chubut, Argentina..
    Georgi, Justin
    Midwestern Univ, 19555 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85308 USA..
    Poropat, Stephen F.
    Australian Age Dinosaurs Nat Hist Museum, Winton, Qld 4735, Australia.;Monash Univ, Wellington Rd, Clayton, Vic 3800, Australia..
    Kear, Benjamin P.
    Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.
    Comparative neuroanatomy of extinct horned turtles (Meiolaniidae) and extant terrestrial turtles (Testudinidae), with comments on the palaeobiological implications of selected endocranial features2017In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4082, E-ISSN 1096-3642, Vol. 180, no 4, 930-950 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Turtles are one of the least explored clades of reptiles with respect to palaeoneuroanatomy. Few detailed descriptions of endocranial features such as the brain morphology or inner ear exist for extant and extinct forms. In this contribution, we present the first CT-based reconstructions of endocranial morphology (brain and inner ear) and the nasal cavities in the terrestrial horned meiolaniid (Meiolaniidae) turtles Niolamia argentina and Gaffneylania auricularis from the Eocene of Patagonia, as well as Meiolania platyceps from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia. In addition, these exclusively Gondwanan Cenozoic taxa are contrasted with cranial endocasts of multiple extant testudinoids, thereby providing the largest sample of digital comparative endocranial data assembled for extinct and living turtles to date. Our study thus adds much needed anatomical information on turtle palaeoneurology. Aspects of meiolaniid palaeobiology are discussed; in particular, the hypertrophied nasal cavity might not to be related to olfactory acuity, but rather perhaps adaptation to arid climatic conditions, and/or intraspecific behaviours.

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