Microcleidus

Microcleidus is an extinct genus of sauropterygian reptile belonging to the Plesiosauroidea. It was about the size of a medium-sized dolphin, reaching a length of 3 metres (9.8 ft).[citation needed] The species has 40 neck vertebrae and a short tail of 28 vertebrae. Fossils of the genus have been found in France, the Posidonia Shale in Germany and Luxembourg, and the Alum Shale Formation of England.

Microcleidus
Temporal range: Toarcian
~182–175 Ma
Microcleidus.jpg
Fossil M. homalospondylus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Sauropterygia
Order: Plesiosauria
Family: Microcleididae
Genus: Microcleidus
Watson, 1909
Type species
Plesiosaurus homalospondylus
(Owen, 1865)
Other species
  • M. macropterus (Seeley, 1865)
  • M. tournemirensis (Sciau et al., 1990)
  • M. melusinae Vincent et al., 2019
Synonyms

M. macropteus

  • Plesiosaurus macropteus Seeley, 1865

M. tournemirensis

  • Plesiosaurus tournemirensis Sciau et al., 1990
  • Occitanosaurus tournemirensis
    Bardet et al., 1999

ClassificationEdit

 
Restoration
 
Fossil M. homalospondylus
 
Fossils of Microcleidus tournemirensis

Species include: Microcleidus homalospondylus (Owen 1865) and Microcleidus macropterus (Seeley 1865).

Occitanosaurus tournemirensis (originally "Plesiosaurus" tournemirensis), was named by Sciau et al. in 1990, based on a nearly complete skeleton of an animal approximately 4 meters (13 ft) long.[1] It was later found to be a species of Microcleidus.

The following cladogram follows an analysis by Ketchum & Benson, 2011.[2]

 Pistosauria 

"Pistosaurus postcranium"

Augustasaurus hagdorni

Bobosaurus forojuliensis

Pistosaurus

Yunguisaurus liae

 Plesiosauria 
 Pliosauroidea 
 Pliosauridae 

Thalassiodracon hawkinsii

Hauffiosaurus spp.

Attenborosaurus conybeari

advanced pliosaurids

 Rhomaleosauridae 

NHMUK 49202 [now Anningasaura lymense]

advanced rhomaleosaurids

"Plesiosaurus" macrocephalus

Archaeonectrus rostratus

Macroplata tenuiceps

 Plesiosauroidea 

OUMNH J.10337 [now Stratesaurus taylori]

 Plesiosauridae 

Seeleyosaurus guilelmiimperatoris

OUMNH J.28585

Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus

Elasmosauridae and Cryptoclidia

Microcleidus homalospondylus

Hydrorion brachypterygius

Occitanosaurus tournemiensis

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ketchum HF, Benson RBJ. Global interrelationships of Plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) and the pivotal role of taxon sampling in determining the outcome of phylogenetic analyses. Biological Reviews
  2. ^ Hilary F. Ketchum and Roger B. J. Benson (2011). "A new pliosaurid (Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria) from the Oxford Clay Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of England: evidence for a gracile, longirostrine grade of Early-Middle Jurassic pliosaurids". Special Papers in Palaeontology. 86: 109–129.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

BibliographyEdit