Splitting the frontals in pliosaurs

Pliosaurs are like derived pterosaurs in very few ways,
but this one stands out: The premaxilla extends all the way back to the parietal (Fig. 1) in both clades.

Figure 1. Kronosaurus dorsal skull colorized from originals in McHenry 2009.

Figure 1. Kronosaurus dorsal skull colorized from originals in McHenry 2009. Note the premaxilla/parietal contact. Here the nasals appear to fuse to the maxillae, something added here in pink that was not intended by McHenry 2009. n = naris. o = orbit.

Other sauropterygian taxa split the nasals
as the premaxilla extends to the frontals. Pliosaurs also split the frontals with the invading premaxilla (Fig. 1).

By contrast,
in pterosaurs the premaxillae more or less sits on top of the nasals and frontals whenever the premaxillae extend posteriorly.

If you’ve ever had an interest in the giant pliosaur, Kronosaurus
you will be thrilled to read McHenry 2009. It’s chock full of details like this (Fig. 1).


References
McHenry CR 2009. ‘Devourer of Gods’ The palaecology of the Cretaceous pliosaur Kronosaurus queenslandicus. PhD dissertation, U of Newcastle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.