Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1999

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Richard Zawerksi

Abstract

Two specimens of Crocodylimorphs from the Dakota (Cretaccous) of Russell County, Kansas are described. They are assigned to the genus Teleorhinus and the specific epitaph kingi was assigned based on priority. Specific characters are: the size and shape of the temporal fenestrae, the large size of the jugal, the small size of the supraoccipital, the lack of curvature in the humeri, and the pronounced expansion of the distal end of the scapula. A number of morphological features suggest the paleoecology of this species. Tooth shape and position of the orbits indicate a generalized diet that likely contained a high amount of fish and a feeding mechanism similar to that seen in extant longristrine crocodiles. The extensive armoring of the species suggests a more terrestrial and less aquatic existence, while the limb proportions suggest limited terrestrial ability. Based on morphological evidence as well as examination of the geology of the formation from which the two specimens were recovered, Teleorhinus kingi was probably a semi-aquatic, piscivorous form.

Rights

Copyright 1999 William Garcia

Comments

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