The oldest African eucryptodiran turtle from the Cretaceous of Angola

Octávio Mateus*, Louis L. Jacobs, Michael J. Polcyn, Anne S. Schulp, Diana Vineyard, André Buta Neto, Miguel Telles Antunes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A new Late Cretaceous turtle, Angolachelys mbaxi gen. et sp. nov., from the Turonian (90 Mya) of Angola, represents the oldest eucryptodire from Africa. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Angolachelys mbaxi as the sister taxon of Sandownia harrisi from the Aptian of Isle of Wight, England. An unnamed turtle from the Albian Glen Rose Formation of Texas (USA) and the Kimmeridgian turtle Solnhofia parsonsi (Germany), are successively more distant sister taxa. Bootstrap analysis suggests those four taxa together form a previously unrecognized monophyletic clade of marine turtles, herein named Angolachelonia clade nov., supported by the following synapomorphies: mandibular articulation of quadrate aligned with or posterior to the occiput, and basisphenoid not visible or visibility greatly reduced in ventral view. Basal eucryptodires and angolachelonians originated in the northern hemisphere, thus Angolachelys represents one of the first marine amniote lineages to have invaded the South Atlantic after separation of Africa and South America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-588
Number of pages8
JournalActa Palaeontologica Polonica
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Angola
  • Chelonia
  • Cretaceous
  • Eucryptodira
  • Paleobiogeography

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