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A fishy mosasaur: the axial skeleton of Plotosaurus (Reptilia, Squamata) reassessed

Lindgren, Johan LU ; Jagt, John W. M. and Caldwell, Michael W. (2007) In Lethaia 40(2). p.153-160
Abstract
The concept of convergence, that is, how unrelated animals independently evolve similar morphological traits, is a fundamental aspect of evolution. Hitherto, the Mesozoic ichthyosaurs were regarded as the sole obligate marine reptiles that achieved a fully streamlined body and a semilunate tail fluke. However, analyses of vertebral centrum morphometrics and process orientation have revealed that a subsequent clade of secondarily aquatic reptiles, the mosasaurs (here exemplified by the advanced, mid-Maastrichtian mosasaurine Plotosaurus), had developed a deep, fusiform body and a probable pursuit-predatory behaviour by the time of their sudden extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Stringent physical constraints and selection... (More)
The concept of convergence, that is, how unrelated animals independently evolve similar morphological traits, is a fundamental aspect of evolution. Hitherto, the Mesozoic ichthyosaurs were regarded as the sole obligate marine reptiles that achieved a fully streamlined body and a semilunate tail fluke. However, analyses of vertebral centrum morphometrics and process orientation have revealed that a subsequent clade of secondarily aquatic reptiles, the mosasaurs (here exemplified by the advanced, mid-Maastrichtian mosasaurine Plotosaurus), had developed a deep, fusiform body and a probable pursuit-predatory behaviour by the time of their sudden extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Stringent physical constraints and selection pressures, imposed by the surrounding water, probably were responsible for this spectacular example of large-scale evolutionary convergence. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
tail stock, tail fin, surface, propulsive, Plotosaurus, Mosasauridae, displacement unit, hypocercal
in
Lethaia
volume
40
issue
2
pages
153 - 160
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000246623900005
  • scopus:34249713776
ISSN
0024-1164
DOI
10.1111/j.1502-3931.2007.00009.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8f1e69c3-f9fe-4b91-868d-2f082513a3ef (old id 659385)
date added to LUP
2007-12-13 11:56:51
date last changed
2017-06-04 04:21:38
@article{8f1e69c3-f9fe-4b91-868d-2f082513a3ef,
  abstract     = {The concept of convergence, that is, how unrelated animals independently evolve similar morphological traits, is a fundamental aspect of evolution. Hitherto, the Mesozoic ichthyosaurs were regarded as the sole obligate marine reptiles that achieved a fully streamlined body and a semilunate tail fluke. However, analyses of vertebral centrum morphometrics and process orientation have revealed that a subsequent clade of secondarily aquatic reptiles, the mosasaurs (here exemplified by the advanced, mid-Maastrichtian mosasaurine Plotosaurus), had developed a deep, fusiform body and a probable pursuit-predatory behaviour by the time of their sudden extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Stringent physical constraints and selection pressures, imposed by the surrounding water, probably were responsible for this spectacular example of large-scale evolutionary convergence.},
  author       = {Lindgren, Johan and Jagt, John W. M. and Caldwell, Michael W.},
  issn         = {0024-1164},
  keyword      = {tail stock,tail fin,surface,propulsive,Plotosaurus,Mosasauridae,displacement unit,hypocercal},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {153--160},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Lethaia},
  title        = {A fishy mosasaur: the axial skeleton of Plotosaurus (Reptilia, Squamata) reassessed},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1502-3931.2007.00009.x},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2007},
}