Evidence of thalattosuchian crocodylomorphs in the Portland Stone Formation (Late Jurassic) of England, and a discussion on Cretaceous teleosauroids
Young, M. & Sachs, S. (in press) Evidence of thalattosuchian crocodylomorphs in the Portland Stone Formation (Late Jurassic) of England, and a discussion on Cretaceous teleosauroids, Historical Biology. [Request a pdf]
We report the first definite specimen of a thalattosuchian crocodylomorph from the Portland Stone Formation of England. This specimen (an isolated tooth crown) can be referred to the teleosauroid genus Machimosaurus based on its conical shape, distinctive enamel ornamentation and lack of carinae. Understanding the faunal composition of the Portland Stone Formation is key to elucidating the distinct shift in crocodylomorph taxa that occurred during the Tithonian-to-Berriasian in Europe. One of the most striking aspects of this faunal shift is the hypothesised extinction of Teleosauroidea in Europe. The presence of Machimosaurus in the Portland Stone Formation supports the hypothesis that the localised marine regression in Europe at the Jurassic–Cretaceous boundary, and the resultant habitat loss, contributed to the absence of teleosauroids in Europe during the Berriasian. However, the fossil record of thalattosuchians during the Cretaceous is notorious scarce. We review the purported Cretaceous record of teleosauroids, and agree that closer to the equator this clade survived for at least 20 million years after the Jurassic–Cretaceous boundary.