Tribelesodon/Tanystropheus: rough draft

Before the fossil named “Tribelesodon(Fig. 1) was identified as a small Tanystropheus with three-cusped teeth (Peyer 1931) it was considered a type of pterosaur with three-cusped teeth (Bassani 1886, Arthaber 1921, Von Nopcsa 1923). So it’s famous.

Figure 1. Tanystropheus (Tribelesodon specimen) from Wellnhofer 1991, part and counterpart and rough tracing.

Figure 1. Tanystropheus (Tribelesodon specimen) from Wellnhofer 1991, part, counterpart and very rough tracing.

The part and counterpart fossil (Fig. 1) of Tribelesodon was housed in Italy’s Museo di Storia Naturale di Milano before it was destroyed by Allied bombs during World War II. Thankfully, Wellnhofer (1991) provided small images of the fossil.

Figure 2. Rough comparisons of the Tribelesodon specimen assigned to Tanystropheus (Peyer 1931) compared to more complete specimens from Europe and China.

Figure 2. Rough comparisons of the Tribelesodon specimen assigned to Tanystropheus (Peyer 1931) compared to more complete specimens from Europe (MSNM BES SC 1018) and China (IVPP V 14472). The Tribelesodon specimen appears to have had a larger skull and more gracile postcrania, but otherwise closely comparable in size to the IVPP specimen.

Here, very roughly, I trace (Fig. 1) and uncoil the neck (Fig. 2) using DGS and compare it to more complete specimens from Europe and China. The Tribelesodon specimen appears to have had a larger skull and more gracile postcrania, but otherwise closely compares in size to the IVPP specimen. I’ll readily admit some bones may be misidentified and vaguely indicated, especially around the pelvis. The details, in this case, are not that important. Overall, it’s pretty obvious what we have here.

Earlier we looked at several of the largest specimens of Tanystropheus, the evolution of Tanystropheus and other topics related to this genus.

Thanks to Tracy Ford for providing me a scale bar on this specimen.

References
Bassani F 1886. Sui Fossili e sull’ età degli schisti bituminosi triasici di Besano in Lombardia. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali 19:15–72.
Li C 2007. A juvenile Tanystropheus sp.(Protoro sauria: Tanystropheidae) from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 45(1): 37-42.
Meyer H von 1847–55. Die saurier des Muschelkalkes mit rücksicht auf die saurier aus Buntem Sanstein und Keuper; pp. 1-167 in Zur fauna der Vorwelt, zweite Abteilung. Frankfurt.
Nosotti S 2007. Tanystropheus longobardicus (Reptilia, Protorosauria: Reinterpretations of the anatomy based on new specimens from the Middle Triassic of Besano (Lombardy, Northern Italy). Memorie della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, Vol. XXXV – Fascicolo III, pp. 1-88
Peyer B 1931. Tanystropheus longobardicus Bass sp. Die Triasfauna der Tessiner Kalkalpen. Abhandlungen Schweizerische Paläontologie Gesellschaft 50:5-110.
Renesto, S. 2005. A new specimen of Tanystropheus (Reptilia Protorosauria) from the Middle Triassic of Switzerland and the ecology of the genus. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 111(3): 377–394.
Wellnhofer P 1991. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pterosaurs. Salamander Books Ltd., London. 192 pp.
Wild R 1973. Die Triasfauna der Tessiner Kalkalpen XXIII. Tanystropheus longobardicus(Bassani) (Neue Ergebnisse). – Schweizerische Paläontologische Abhandlungen 95: 1-16.

wiki/Tanystropheus

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