SVP 2018: Dual origin for traditional mosasaurs?

Mekarski MC 2018
reports, “The discovery of a new species of ‘aigialosaur’ with an exquisitely preserved
forelimb provides new, solid evidence in support of the polyphyletic mosasaur hypothesis. This model, combined with stratigraphic data, evidence from other skeletal regions, and corroborated by newly produced phylogenetic studies, lead to the conclusion that ‘mosasaurs’ do not exist in the biological sense, that the term ‘mosasaur’ must be redefined, and our understanding of this group’s evolutionary history reimagined.”

Unfortunately
Mekarski only lists several mosasaur genera, but does not split them into the two convergent clades she proposes in her abstract. The large reptile tree includes just three mosasaurs and not the new aigialosaur, and… so far… the mosasaur clade is monophyletic. Should be interesting when this paper is published.

Figure 2. Plotosaurus from Camp 1951 with hypothetical body outline.

Figure 2. Plotosaurus from Camp 1951 with hypothetical body outline.

We’ve seen polphyly
in seals/sea lions, turtles, and whales. So, maybe mosasaurs?

References
Mekarski MC 2018. Limbs into fins: convergent evolution and the polyphyly of the Mosasauridae. SVP abstracts.

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