Allodaposuchus palustris sp. nov. from the upper cretaceous of Fumanya (South-Eastern Pyrenees, Iberian Peninsula): systematics, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of the enigmatic allodaposuchian crocodylians

PLoS One. 2014 Dec 31;9(12):e115837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115837. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

The controversial European genus Allodaposuchus is currently composed of two species (A. precedens, A. subjuniperus) and it has been traditionally considered a basal eusuchian clade of crocodylomorphs. In the present work, the new species A. palustris is erected on the base of cranial and postcranial remains from the lower Maastrichtian of the southern Pyrenees. Phylogenetic analyses here including both cranial and postcranial data support the hypothesis that Allodaposuchus is included within Crocodylia. The studied specimen suggests little change in postcranial skeleton along the evolutionary history of crocodylians, except for some bone elements such as the axis, the first caudal vertebra and the ilium. The specimen was found in an organic mudstone corresponding to a coastal wetland environment. Thus, A. palustris from Fumanya is the first Allodaposuchus reported in lacustrine-palustrine settings that expand the ecological range for this genus. The S-DIVA palaeobiogeographic reconstruction of ancestral area suggests that early members of Crocodylia rapidly widespread for the Northern Hemisphere landmasses no later than the Campanian, leading the apparition of endemic groups. In that way "Allodaposuchia" represents an endemic European clade probably originated in the Ibero-Armorican domain in the late Campanian and dispersed by the Southern European archipelago prior to the early Maastrichtian.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alligators and Crocodiles / anatomy & histology*
  • Alligators and Crocodiles / classification*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
  • Dinosaurs / anatomy & histology*
  • Dinosaurs / classification*
  • Fossils / anatomy & histology*
  • Geography
  • Paleontology
  • Phylogeny
  • Spain

Grant support

The present work was funded by the project CGL2011-30069-C02-01/BTE (Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad) and INTERREG III-A (European Council). A. B. is supported by FI AGAUR grant from DGR of Generalitat de Catalunya (2013FI_B 01059). B. V. acknowledges support from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Subprograma Juan de la Cierva (MICINN-JDC) 2011). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.