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Osteology and Affinities of Dollo's Goniopholidid (Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Early Cretaceous of Bernissart, Belgium

Abstract : Two specimens originally referred by Louis Dollo to Goniopholis simus from the Lower Cretaceous of Bernissart, Belgium, are described. They consist of fully articulated skeletons, one missing the skull and mandible. Comparison of these specimens with recently revised specimens from the Wealden of England allows confirmation that the Belgian specimens are referable to the goniopholidid Anteophthalmosuchus hooleyi. The Belgian specimens are the most completely known representatives not only of this species but also of any Goniopholididae. Study of the postcranial skeletons from Bernissart reveals that the appendicular skeleton closely resembles that of derived neosuchians. The dorsal and ventral shields present a morphology directly comparable to other goniopholidids and pholidosaurids. Such observations stress the necessity to gather an osteological database of postcranial elements to test relationships of the various neosuchian lineages. Goniopholididae were relatively diverse during the Early Cretaceous of Europe, and depending on taxonomic opinion, three to five genera are recognized: Anteophthalmosuchus, Goniopholis, Hulkepholis, and possibly Vectisuchus and Nannosuchus.
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Jeremy E. Martin, Massimo Delfino, Thierry Smith. Osteology and Affinities of Dollo's Goniopholidid (Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Early Cretaceous of Bernissart, Belgium. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2016, 36 (6), ⟨10.1080/02724634.2016.1222534⟩. ⟨hal-02331387⟩

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