Cryptocleidoid plesiosaurs from the Upper Jurassic are well known from the Oxford Clay (Callovian) of the United Kingdom. The plesiosaurs of the nearly coeval Sundance Formation (Oxfordian) of North America are poorly known, but are thought to include two cryptocleidoid taxa:Pantosaurus striatus and Tatenectes laramiensis. Here we present two specimens recently recovered from the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. The first specimen comprises three articulated adult cervical vertebrae and fragments of a fourth. This specimen preserves a posteriorly directed cervical neural spine, a character diagnostic of Pantosaurus striatus. It also resembles Pantosaurus in the morphology of its cervical rib articulations. The second specimen is a partial articulated skeleton comprising a complete pelvic girdle, dorsal, sacral, and caudal vertebrae, and numerous ribs and gastralia. This specimen displays a number of unique characters, including posteriorly directed dorsal, sacral, and caudal neural spines, highly autapomorphic illia, and a pathologically asymmetric pelvic girdle. Despite the lack of overlapping material, it is tentatively referred to Pantosaurus on the basis of posteriorly directed neural spines. These specimens represent the first significant adult material provisionally referable to Pantosaurus striatus, as well as the first posterior axial column and pelvic girdle.
A new partial skeleton of a cryptocleidoid plesiosaur from the Upper Jurassic Sundance Formation of WyomingBiological Sciences Faculty Research
Citation InformationWilhelm, B. C., & O'Keefe, F. R. (2010). "A new partial skeleton of a cryptocleidoid plesiosaur from the Upper Jurassic Sundance Formation of Wyoming." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30(6), 1736-1742.