Based on associated and three-dimensionally preserved cranial and postcranial remains, a new thalattosuchian crocodyliform, Magyarosuchus fitosi gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Jurassic (Upper Toarcian) Kisgerecse Marl Formation, Gerecse Mountains, Hungary is described here. Phylogenetic analyses using three different datasets indicate that M. fitosi is the sister taxon of Pelagosaurus typus forming together the basal-most sub-clade of Metriorhynchoidea. With an estimated body length of 4.67-4.83 m M. fitosi is the largest known non-metriorhynchid metriorhynchoid. Besides expanding Early Jurassic thalattosuchian diversity, the new specimen is of great importance since, unlike most contemporaneous estuarine, lagoonal or coastal thalattosuchians, it comes from an 'ammonitico rosso' type pelagic deposit of the Mediterranean region of the Tethys. A distal caudal vertebra having an unusually elongate and dorsally projected neural spine implies the presence of at least a rudimentary hypocercal tail fin and a slight ventral displacement of the distal caudal vertebral column in this basal metriorhynchoid. The combination of retaining heavy dorsal and ventral armors and having a slight hypocercal tail is unique, further highlighting the mosaic manner of marine adaptations in Metriorhynchoidea.
- Marine adaptation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)