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Article: A new durophagous stem cheloniid turtle from the lower Paleocene of Cabinda, Angola

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 4 Part 2 - Cover Image
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 4
Part: 2
Publication Date: May 2018
Page(s): 161 176
Author(s): Timothy S. Myers, Michael J. Polcyn, Octávio Mateus, Diana P. Vineyard, António Olímpio Gonçalves, and Louis L. Jacobs
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1100
Addition Information

How to Cite

MYERS, T.S., POLCYN, M.J., MATEUS, O., VINEYARD, D.P., GONçALVES, A.O., JACOBS, L.L. 2018. A new durophagous stem cheloniid turtle from the lower Paleocene of Cabinda, Angola. Papers in Palaeontology, 4, 2, 161-176. DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1100

Author Information

  • Timothy S. Myers - Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences Southern Methodist University 3225 Daniel Ave Dallas TX 75275 USA
  • Michael J. Polcyn - Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences Southern Methodist University 3225 Daniel Ave Dallas TX 75275 USA
  • Octávio Mateus - CICEGe‐Faculdade de Ciências e Technologia Universidade Nova de Lisboa Caparica 2829‐516 Portugal
  • Octávio Mateus - Museu da Lourinhã Rua João Luis de Moura 95 Lourinhã 2530‐158 Portugal
  • Diana P. Vineyard - Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences Southern Methodist University 3225 Daniel Ave Dallas TX 75275 USA
  • António Olímpio Gonçalves - Departamento de Geologia Faculdade de Ciências Universidade Agostinho Neto Avenida 4 de Fevereiro 7 Luanda Angola
  • Louis L. Jacobs - Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences Southern Methodist University 3225 Daniel Ave Dallas TX 75275 USA

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 07 May 2018
  • Manuscript Accepted: 11 October 2017
  • Manuscript Received: 20 June 2017

Funded By

National Geographic Society
Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society
Sonangol E.P.
Esso Angola
Fundação Vida of Angola
LS Films
Maersk
Damco
Safmarine
Catoca Diamond Mine
Kwanza Lodge
ISEM at SMU
The Royal Dutch Embassy in Luanda
TAP Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
The Saurus Institute

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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Abstract

A new stem cheloniid turtle, Cabindachelys landanensis, gen. et sp. nov., is represented by a nearly complete skull and partial hyoid collected in lower Paleocene shallow marine deposits, equivalent to the offshore Landana Formation, near the town of Landana in Cabinda, Angola. A partial chelonioid carapace previously reported from this locality is referred here to C. landanensis. Cabindachelys landanensis possesses clear synapomorphies of Pan‐Cheloniidae, including a rod‐like rostrum basisphenoidale, V‐shaped basisphenoid crest, and secondary palate, but also retains a reduced foramen palatinum posterius, unlike most other pan‐cheloniids. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that C. landanensis forms a weakly‐supported clade with Erquelinnesia gosseleti, Euclastes acutirostris, Euclastes wielandi and Terlinguachelys fischbecki, although a close relationship between the protostegid T. fischbecki and these durophagous pan‐cheloniids is unlikely. The Paleocene–Eocene strata near Landana have produced a number of turtle fossils, including the holotype specimen of the pleurodire Taphrosphys congolensis. A turtle humerus collected c. 1 m above the holotype skull of C. landanensis differs from humeri of chelonioids and Taphrosphys, indicating that a third turtle taxon is present at Landana. Cheloniid fossil material is rare in the Landana assemblage, in comparison with the abundant remains of Taphrosphys congolensis found throughout the stratigraphic section. This disparity implies that C. landanensis preferred open marine habitats, whereas Taphrosphys congolensis spent more time in nearshore environments. The appearance of new durophagous species such as C. landanensis in the early Paleocene reflects the rapid radiation of pan‐cheloniids as they diversified into open niches following the K–Pg extinction.

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