Project 2669: V. Fischer, R. B. J. Benson, N. G. Zverkov, L. C. Soul, M. S. Arkhangelsky, O. Lambert, I. M. Stenshin, G. N. Uspensky, P. S. Druckenmiller. 2017. Plasticity and convergence in the evolution of short-necked plesiosaurs. Current Biology. 27 (11):1667-1676. (In Press)
Specimen: † Luskhan itilensis (YKM:YKM 68344/1_262)
View: Dorsal

Abstract

Plesiosaurs were the longest-surviving group of secondarily marine tetrapods, comparable in diversity to today’s cetaceans. During their long evolutionary history, which spanned the Jurassic and the Cretaceous (201 to 66 Ma), plesiosaurs repeatedly evolved long- and short-necked body plans [1,2]. Despite this postcranial plasticity, short-necked plesiosaur clades have traditionally been regarded as being highly constrained to persistent and clearly distinct ecological niches: advanced members of Pliosauridae (ranging from the Middle Jurassic to the early Late Cretaceous) have been characterised as apex predators [2–5], whereas members of the distantly related clade Polycotylidae (middle–Late Cretaceous) were through to have been fast-swimming piscivores [1,5–7]. We report a new, highly unusual pliosaurid from the Early Cretaceous of Russia that shows convergence with closely to the cranial structure of polycotylids: Luskhan itilensis gen. et sp. nov. Using novel cladistic and ecomorphological data, we show that pliosaurids iteratively evolved polycotylid-like cranial morphologies from the Early Jurassic until the Early Cretaceous. This underscores the ecological diversity of derived pliosaurids and reveals a more complex evolutionary history than their iconic representation as gigantic apex predators of Mesozoic marine ecosystems suggests. Collectively, these data demonstrate an even higher degree of morphological plasticity and convergence in the evolution of plesiosaurs than previously thought, and suggest the existence of an optimal ecomorphology for short-necked piscivorous plesiosaurs through time and across phylogeny.


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Article DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.052

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2669, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2669
This project containsMatrices
  • 1 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 97 Taxa
  • 1 Specimen
  • 270 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 2 MB

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 12426
Total media associated with cells: 0
Total labels associated with cell media: 0
Characters
Total characters: 270
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 667
Total character states with associated media: 0
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:270/0
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MorphoBank Project 2669


    Members

    member name taxa specimens media chars character
    media
    labels
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    medialabels
    rules
    Valentin Fischer
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 05/25/17
    97112700012426
    (12426, 0, 0)
    000


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M24645' (96 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    cells
    scored
    cells
    no cell
    support
    NPA
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    "-" cellscell images labels on
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    [1] † Yunguisaurus liae
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    10716416300001
    [2] † Pistosaurus postcranium
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    193777700001
    [3] † Pistosaurus skull
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    187848300001
    [4] † Augustasaurus hagdorni
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9817217200001
    [5] † Bobosaurus forojuliensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    211605900001
    [6] † Macroplata tenuiceps
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    10316816700001
    [7] † Anningasaura lymense
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    13014014000001
    [8] † Stratesaurus taylori
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9317717700001
    [9] † Avalonnectes arturi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    15611511400001
    [10] † Eurycleidus arcuatus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    171999900001
    [11] † Meyerasaurus victor
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9917217100001
    [12] † Maresaurus coccai
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    175979500001
    [13] † Borealonectes russelli
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14612712400001
    [14] † Atychodracon megacephalus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9217817800001
    [15] † Archaeonectrus rostratus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14112912900001
    [16] † Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9717317300001
    [17] † Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    11615415400001
    [18] † Rhomaleosaurus thorntoni
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    13513513500001
    [19] † Thalassiodracon hawkinsii
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    2324724700001
    [20] † Hauffiosaurus longirostris
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    208626200001
    [21] † Hauffiosaurus tomistomimus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    8918218100001
    [22] † Hauffiosaurus zanoni
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    10516616500001
    [23] † Marmornectes candrewi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14412612600001
    [24] † Peloneustes philarchus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    2224924800001
    [25] † Simolestes vorax
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    8118918900001
    [26] † Pliosaurus funkei
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    209616100001
    [27] † Pliosaurus westburyensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14512612500001
    [28] † Pliosaurus carpenteri
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14013113000001
    [29] † Pliosaurus brachydeirus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    179929100001
    [30] † Pliosaurus macromerus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    197757300001
    [31] † Pliosaurus brachyspondylus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    201716900001
    [32] † Pliosaurus cf kevani
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    192807800001
    [33] † Pliosaurus kevani
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    15911211100001
    [34] † Gallardosaurus iturraldei
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    184868600001
    [35] † Pliosaurus rossicus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    220505000001
    [36] † Pliosaurus irgisensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    216545400001
    [37] † Pliosaurus andrewsi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9417717600001
    [38] † Liopleurodon ferox
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    6021021000001
    [39] † Kronosaurus queenslandicus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    1721009800001
    [40] † Polyptychodon sp
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    251191900001
    [41] † Megacephalosaurus eulerti
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    16410610600001
    [42] † Brachauchenius lucasi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    15511611500001
    [43] † Brachauchenius mna
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14812312200001
    [44] † QM f51291
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    238333200001
    [45] † Attenborosaurus conybeari
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14712412300001
    [46] † Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    3623923400001
    [47] † Eoplesiosaurus antiquior
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    193777700001
    [48] † Eretmosaurus rugosus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    184898600001
    [49] † Westphaliasaurus simonsensii
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    175959500001
    [50] † Seelyosaurus guilelmiimperatoris
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    12314814700001
    [51] † Microcleidus tournemirensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    8119018900001
    [52] † Microcleidus brachypterygius
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9117917900001
    [53] † Microcleidus homalospondylus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    5221821800001
    [54] † Plesiopterys wildi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    8618418400001
    [55] † Cryptoclidus eurymerus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    2125224900001
    [56] † Tricleidus seeleyi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    7319819700001
    [57] † Muraenosaurus leedsii
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    10616516400001
    [58] † Kimmerosaurus langhami
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    16910110100001
    [59] † Pantosaurus striatus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    204676600001
    [60] † Picrocleidus beloclis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    13513613500001
    [61] † Tatenectes laramiensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    16810410200001
    [62] † Plesiosaurus mansellii
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    230414000001
    [63] † Colymbosaurus trochanterius
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    183878700001
    [64] † Djupedallia engeri
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    185868500001
    [65] † Spitrasaurus spp
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    16710510300001
    [66] † Abyssosaurus nataliae
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    191827900001
    [67] † Umoonasaurus demoscyllus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    13513513500001
    [68] † Nichollssaura borealis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    5921221100001
    [69] † Leptocleidus capensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14113112900001
    [70] † Leptocleidus superstes
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    15711511300001
    [71] † Vectocleidus pastorum
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    242282800001
    [72] † Brancasaurus brancai
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    6620520400001
    [73] † Gronausaurus wegneri
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    197737300001
    [74] † Speeton clay plesiosaurian
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    171999900001
    [75] † Wapuskanectes betsynichollsae
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    234373600001
    [76] † Futabasaurus suzukii
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    15212011800001
    [77] † Callawayasaurus colombiensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    8519118500001
    [78] † Eromangasaurus australis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    195767500001
    [79] † Kaiwhekea katiki
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    15311811700001
    [80] † Aristonectes parvidens
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    16610510400001
    [81] † Libonectes morgani
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    10316716700001
    [82] † Hydrotherosaurus alexandrae
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9018318000001
    [83] † Edgarosaurus muddi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9717417300001
    [84] † Plesiopleurodon wellesi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    1731029700001
    [85] † Richmond pliosaur
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    8119218900001
    [86] † Stenorhynchosaurus munozi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    14512912500001
    [87] † Anguanax zignoi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    233393700001
    [88] † Makhaira rossica
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    254161600001
    [89] † Luskhan itilensis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    6920920100001
    [90] † Palmulasaurus quadratus
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    197747300001
    [91] † Pahasapasaurus haasi
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    16710610300001
    [92] † Polycotylus latipinnis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    4422922600001
    [93] † Thililua longicollis
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    200737000001
    [94] † Trinacromerum bentonianum
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    9317817700001
    [95] † Dolichorhynchops osborni
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    1725625300001
    [96] † Dolichorhynchops bonneri
    Last Modified in 05/25/17
    4822322200001


    Project views

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    Total project views8440
    Project overview1541
    Media views1068Media search (907 views); M451544 (161 views);
    Matrix views579Matrix landing page (501 views); Cladistic dataset – plesiosauria (78 views);
    Bibliography218
    Taxon list4085
    Specimen list449
    Views for media list500




    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project94
    Project downloads78
    Matrix downloads15Cladistic dataset – plesiosauria (15 downloads);
    Media downloads1M451544 (1 download);