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Phylogeny of the Mosasaurinae (Squamata: Mosasauridae) with descriptions and functional morphology of new and existing mosasaurines

  • Author / Creator
    LeBlanc, Aaron
  • Mosasaurs were giant marine squamates that inhabited all of the world’s oceans approximately 93 to 65 Million Years Ago. The subfamily Mosasaurinae is one of the most diverse groups, including the robust-toothed Globidensini and the ichthyosaur-like members of the Plotosaurini (Plotosaurus + Mosasaurus). Eremiasaurus heterodontus, a new mosasaurine from the Maastrichtian of Morocco, is described and added to a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Mosasaurinae. Eremiasaurus heterodontus is recovered as the sister taxon to the Plotosaurini, but possesses features previously considered to be globidensine synapomorphies. As a result, the Globidensini may no longer be considered monophyletic. The cranial anatomy of Plotosaurus bennisoni is also redescribed to highlight a trend towards an increasing level of aquatic adaptation of the skulls of derived mosasaurines. These findings challenge the conventional dichotomy of plotosaurine and globidensine mosasaurs and the evolutionary trends within the Mosasaurinae.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R34906
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Caldwell, Michael (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Acorn, John (Renewable Resources)
    • Caldwell, Michael (Biological Sciences)
    • Murray, Alison (Biological Sciences)
    • Currie, Philip (Biological Sciences)