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Convergent evolution in aquatic tetrapods: insights from an exceptional fossil mosasaur.

Lindgren, Johan LU ; Caldwell, Michael W; Konishi, Takuya and Chiappe, Luis M (2010) In PLoS ONE 5(8).
Abstract
Mosasaurs (family Mosasauridae) are a diverse group of secondarily aquatic lizards that radiated into marine environments during the Late Cretaceous (98-65 million years ago). For the most part, they have been considered to be simple anguilliform swimmers--i.e., their propulsive force was generated by means of lateral undulations incorporating the greater part of the body--with unremarkable, dorsoventrally narrow tails and long, lizard-like bodies. Convergence with the specialized fusiform body shape and inferred carangiform locomotory style (in which only a portion of the posterior body participates in the thrust-producing flexure) of ichthyosaurs and metriorhynchid crocodyliform reptiles, along with cetaceans, has so far only been... (More)
Mosasaurs (family Mosasauridae) are a diverse group of secondarily aquatic lizards that radiated into marine environments during the Late Cretaceous (98-65 million years ago). For the most part, they have been considered to be simple anguilliform swimmers--i.e., their propulsive force was generated by means of lateral undulations incorporating the greater part of the body--with unremarkable, dorsoventrally narrow tails and long, lizard-like bodies. Convergence with the specialized fusiform body shape and inferred carangiform locomotory style (in which only a portion of the posterior body participates in the thrust-producing flexure) of ichthyosaurs and metriorhynchid crocodyliform reptiles, along with cetaceans, has so far only been recognized in Plotosaurus, the most highly derived member of the Mosasauridae. Here we report on an exceptionally complete specimen (LACM 128319) of the moderately derived genus Platecarpus that preserves soft tissues and anatomical details (e.g., large portions of integument, a partial body outline, putative skin color markings, a downturned tail, branching bronchial tubes, and probable visceral traces) to an extent that has never been seen previously in any mosasaur. Our study demonstrates that a streamlined body plan and crescent-shaped caudal fin were already well established in Platecarpus, a taxon that preceded Plotosaurus by 20 million years. These new data expand our understanding of convergent evolution among marine reptiles, and provide insights into their evolution's tempo and mode. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
5
issue
8
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000280776800002
  • pmid:20711249
  • scopus:77957780952
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0011998
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9c74b93b-a8a1-4924-9278-ca42a70d1afb (old id 1665263)
date added to LUP
2010-09-09 14:06:53
date last changed
2017-05-21 04:35:18
@article{9c74b93b-a8a1-4924-9278-ca42a70d1afb,
  abstract     = {Mosasaurs (family Mosasauridae) are a diverse group of secondarily aquatic lizards that radiated into marine environments during the Late Cretaceous (98-65 million years ago). For the most part, they have been considered to be simple anguilliform swimmers--i.e., their propulsive force was generated by means of lateral undulations incorporating the greater part of the body--with unremarkable, dorsoventrally narrow tails and long, lizard-like bodies. Convergence with the specialized fusiform body shape and inferred carangiform locomotory style (in which only a portion of the posterior body participates in the thrust-producing flexure) of ichthyosaurs and metriorhynchid crocodyliform reptiles, along with cetaceans, has so far only been recognized in Plotosaurus, the most highly derived member of the Mosasauridae. Here we report on an exceptionally complete specimen (LACM 128319) of the moderately derived genus Platecarpus that preserves soft tissues and anatomical details (e.g., large portions of integument, a partial body outline, putative skin color markings, a downturned tail, branching bronchial tubes, and probable visceral traces) to an extent that has never been seen previously in any mosasaur. Our study demonstrates that a streamlined body plan and crescent-shaped caudal fin were already well established in Platecarpus, a taxon that preceded Plotosaurus by 20 million years. These new data expand our understanding of convergent evolution among marine reptiles, and provide insights into their evolution's tempo and mode.},
  articleno    = {e11998},
  author       = {Lindgren, Johan and Caldwell, Michael W and Konishi, Takuya and Chiappe, Luis M},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Convergent evolution in aquatic tetrapods: insights from an exceptional fossil mosasaur.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0011998},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2010},
}