A tiny Triassic saurian from Connecticut and the early evolution of the diapsid feeding apparatus

Adam C. Pritchard, Jacques A. Gauthier, Michael Hanson, Gaberiel Bever, Bhart Anjan S. Bhullar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Following the Permo-Triassic Extinction, large-bodied diapsid reptiles - with a body length >1 m - rapidly expanded their ecological roles. This diversification is reflected in enormous disparity in the development of the rostrum and adductor chamber. However, it is unclear how marked the diversity of the feeding apparatus was in contemporary small-bodied diapsids. Here we describe the remarkably small skull (2.5 cm long) of a saurian reptile, Colobops noviportensis, gen. et sp. nov., from the Triassic New Haven Arkose of Connecticut, USA. The taxon possesses an exceptionally reinforced snout and strikingly expanded supratemporal fossae for adductor musculature relative to any known Mesozoic or Recent diapsid of similar size. Our phylogenetic analyses support C. noviportensis as an early diverging pan-archosaur. Colobops noviportensis reveals extraordinary disparity of the feeding apparatus in small-bodied early Mesozoic diapsids, and a suite of morphologies, functionally related to a powerful bite, unknown in any small-bodied diapsid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1213
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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reptiles
Reptiles
New Haven (CT)
skull
Bites and Stings
Skull
extinction
chambers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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A tiny Triassic saurian from Connecticut and the early evolution of the diapsid feeding apparatus. / Pritchard, Adam C.; Gauthier, Jacques A.; Hanson, Michael; Bever, Gaberiel; Bhullar, Bhart Anjan S.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1213, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pritchard, Adam C. ; Gauthier, Jacques A. ; Hanson, Michael ; Bever, Gaberiel ; Bhullar, Bhart Anjan S. / A tiny Triassic saurian from Connecticut and the early evolution of the diapsid feeding apparatus. In: Nature Communications. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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