A revision of Temnodontosaurus crassimanus (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria) from the Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) of Whitby, Yorkshire, UK

Swaby, Emily J. and Lomax, Dean. R (2020). A revision of Temnodontosaurus crassimanus (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria) from the Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) of Whitby, Yorkshire, UK. Historical Biology (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2020.1826469

Abstract

While the holotype of Temnodontosaurus crassimanus still remains on display at the Yorkshire Museum, it has remained largely understudied and the validity of the species has long been questioned. Through re-examination, this study highlights several morphological features of the postcranial skeleton and determines that T. crassimanus is a valid species of the genus and includes several distinct characters that can be used to distinguish it from T. trigonodon, to which it was once assigned. These include a large, robust humerus that is proximodistally longer than the scapula (scapula length vs humerus length ratio: ~0.68); forefins which are significantly longer but less than twice the length of the hindfin (forefin length vs hindfin length ratio: ~1.51); the relative size of the forefins compared with the total body length; along with several other characters that may prove to be unique, such as humerus distal width almost equal to humerus length; presence of notching in at least five leading edge elements of both the fore- and hindfins; and anteroposteriorly wider fore- and hindfins compared with T. trigonodon. Additional specimens, previously tentatively assigned to T. crassimanus, were located and examined, but none could confidently be assigned to the species.

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