[N] 2006 Marine reptiles from the Early Jurassic of Italy
Dal Sasso, D. (2006) Marine reptiles (Thalattosuchia) from the Early Jurassic of Lombardy (northern Italy) Geobios Volume 39 - Numéro 3 - pp: 346-354
The fossil remains of two small reptiles recently discovered in the Sogno Formation (Lower Toarcian) near Cesana Brianza (Lecco Province), represent the first mesoeucrocodylians reported for Lombardy and some of the few Jurassic reptiles from Italy. Due to the absence of diagnostic skeletal elements (the skulls are lacking), it is not possible to refer the new specimens at genus level with confidence. Although the well developed dermal armour would characterise Toarcian thalattosuchians of the genera Steneosaurus (Teleosauridae) and Pelagosaurus (Metriorhynchidae), the peculiar morphology of the osteoderms allow to tentatively refer the remains to the latter taxon (cf. Pelagosaurus sp.). The small size, along with the opening of the neurocentral vertebral sutures and, possibly, the non sutured caudal pleurapophyses, indicate that the specimens were morphologically immature at death. These “marine crocodiles” confirm the affinities between the fauna of the Calcare di Sogno Formation and coeval outcrops of central Europe that also share the presence of similar fishes and crustaceans.