[N] 2005 Unusual Marine Crocodyliform
Gasparini, Z., Pol, D., Spalletti, L.A. (2005) An Unusual Marine Crocodyliform from the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary of Patagonia. Sciencexpress November 2005 pp. 1-4
Remains of the marine crocodyliform Dakosaurus andiniensis from western South America reveal a lineage
that drastically deviated from the skull morphology that characterizes marine crocodyliforms. The snout and lower jaw are extremely robust, short, and high and only bear a few large teeth with serrated edges (resembling those of some terrestrial carnivorous archosaurs). This unusual morphology contrasts with the long and gracile snout and lower jaws bearing numerous teeth present in its closest relatives (interpreted as feeding on small fish or mollusks). Thus the morphological diversity of pelagic marine crocodyliforms was wider than had been thought. The new skull is almost complete and reveals an unusual skull and dental morphology. The skull and mandible are approximately 80 cm long from the anterior end to the craniomandibular articulation. The snout is high with respect to its anteroposterior length (Fig. 1 and fig. S2) in comparison with all other marine crocodyliforms (2– 9), being 42 cm long and 15.3 cm high (measured at the anteroposterior midpoint of the rostrum). The lateromedial width of the rostrum is subequal to its dorsoventral depth. Anteriorly, the rostrum tapers rapidly, producing an unusual bullet-shaped skull.