Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

A re-evaluation of goniopholidid crocodylomorph material from Central Asia: Biogeographic and phylogenetic implications

Thomas J.D. Halliday, Marco Brandalise De Andrade, Michael J. Benton, and Mikhail B. Efimov

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica in press
available online 10 Sep 2013 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2013.0018

Central Asia is a key area for crocodylomorph evolution, lying midway between the highly documented deposits in Europe and North America, but crocodylomorph fossils from this part of the world are rare. Included among these are specimens collected in the 1970s and 1980s by the Soviet-Mongolian Expeditions in the Jurassic and Cretaceous of Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Three species, “Sunosuchus” shartegensis, Kansajsuchus extensus, and Turanosuchus aralensis are redescribed and subjected to phylogenetic analysis for the first time. “Sunosuchus” shartegensis and Kansajsuchus are relatively derived goniopholidids, and part of a pan-east-Laurasian radiation of goniopholidids from which the European goniopholidids subsequently radiated. Turanosuchus aralensis is here considered a nomen dubium. Cladistic analysis suggests that Sunosuchus is polyphyletic, indicating a higher degree of diversification than was previously thought, but also pointing to the need for further systematic revision.

Key words: Reptilia, Neosuchia, Goniopholididae, crocodylomorpha, phylogeny, Mesozoic, Asia.

Thomas J.D. Halliday [thomas.halliday.11@ucl.ac.uk], School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ; current address: Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT; Marco Brandalise de Andrade [marcobranda@yahoo.com.br], School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ; current address: Departamento de Paleontologia e Estratigrafia, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Porto Alegre (RS), 91501‒970, C.P. 15001; Michael J. Benton [mike.benton@bristol.ac.uk], School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ; Mikhail B. Efimov [efimov@paleo.ru], Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya ul. 123, Moscow 117647, Russia.