Microcleidus melusinae, a new plesiosaurian (Reptilia, Plesiosauria) from the Toarcian of Luxembourg

Authors: Peggy Vincent 1, Robert Weis 2, Guy Kronz 2, & D. Delsate 2

1 Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, France
2 Section Paléontologie, Musée national d’histoire naturelle, rue Münster 25, 2160 Luxembourg

Source: Vincent, P., R. Weis, G. Kronz & D. Delsate, 2017. – Microcleidus melusinae, a new plesiosaurian (Reptilia, Plesiosauria) from the Toarcian of Luxembourg. – Geological Magazine, 1-18. doi:10.1017/S0016756817000814

Abstract: Most of the known and most-complete Early Jurassic specimens of plesiosaurians were recovered from the United Kingdom and Germany, and few specimens from that age originate from other areas in Europe. This study describes a new plesiosaurian taxon from Toarcian deposits of Luxembourg, Microcleidus melusinae, represented by the most complete skeleton ever discovered from this country. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis places Microcleidus melusinae within Microcleididae, as a sister taxon of the species previously included in the genus Microcleidus. The new specimen studied here contributes to our understanding of the palaeodiversity of Early Jurassic plesiosaurians and confirms their high degree of ‘endemism’ and low morphological disparity.

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