Project 2775: R. Allemand, N. Bardet, A. Houssaye, P. Vincent. 2017. Virtual reexamination of a plesiosaurian specimen (Reptilia, Plesiosauria) from the Late Cretaceous (Turonian) of Goulmima, Morocco, using computed tomography. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 37 (3):e1325894.
Specimen: † Pistosaurus (unvouchered)
View: body


Turonian deposits of the Goulmima area, Er-Rachidia Province in southern Morocco, have yielded a diverse marine vertebrate fauna, including chondrichthyans, bony fishes, and large marine reptiles such as plesiosaurians, mosasauroids, and turtles. These fossils are included in ovoid calcareous nodules that are difficult to prepare. Moreover, bones may be partially or totally dissolved, making their study difficult. Using computed tomography, we have reconstructed the entire skull anatomy of SMNS 81783, one of the rare plesiosaurian specimens found in this locality and more generally in Africa. The digital three-dimensional reconstruction of the skull and the mandible offers for the first time the possibility to describe this specimen exhaustively. The new anatomical characters recorded confirm that SMNS 81783 belongs to Elasmosauridae on the basis of (1) slender and triangular skull; (2) beak index equal to 42%; (3) temporal fossa estimated to occupy about 40% of the skull length; (4) long process of the premaxillae extending posteriorly to meet the parietal above the orbit and separating the frontals; and (5) margin of the temporal fenestra lacking obvious contribution from the frontal. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis confirms its elasmosaurid affinity. The relationships between SMNS 81783, Libonectes atlasense, and Libonectes morgani, as well as the presence of stapes and pineal foramen, are discussed.

Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1325894

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2775,
This project contains
  • 1 Media
  • 2 Documents
  • 4 Taxa
  • 1 Specimen
Total size of project's media files: 16.24k

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 2775
  • Creation Date:
    24 October 2017
  • Publication Date:
    24 October 2017
  • Project views: 7466

    Authors' Institutions

    • Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris (Natural History Museum, Paris)

    • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

    • Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UPMC, Paris VI (Pierre and Marie Curie University)

    • Sorbonne Université


    member name taxa specimens media
    MorphoBank Curator
    Project Administrator

    Project has no matrices defined.

    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views7466
    Media views2114Media search (1766 views); M462852 (348 views);
    Documents list535
    Project overview1057
    Taxon list1806
    Specimen list931
    Views for media list595

    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project196
    Project downloads196