Master's Theses

Date of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Richard Zawerksi

Abstract

Current data regarding the anatomy, biostratigrahpy, ecology, and phylogeny of the basal plioplatecarpine Ectenosaurus clidastoides (FHSM VP-401), the most complete specimen available, is reviewed. The most noticeable autapomorphies of this species include an elongated snout, a long frontal bone, a quadrate with fused processes and high tympanic crest, vertically-ridged teeth, and a set of seven carpal bones. VP-401 is designated the neotype for E. clidastoides due to the loss the holotype skeleton. E. clidastoides was most likely a piscivore due its small teeth with unserrated carinae, variable angles of curvature, pointed tips, and slender to robust shape. Ectenosuarus relied on ambush tactics and maneuverability to capture its prey because of the slow speeds its body generated. Prey was swallowed whole using a highly kinetic skull. E. clidastoides inhabited a part of the Western Interior Sea between the end of the Coniacian and the earliest Campanian. Fauna contemporaneous with E. clidastoides consisted mostly of inoceramid bivalves and a large variety of osteihthyans, in addition to small variety of other invertebrates and reptiles, and one bird.

Rights

Copyright 2008 Kyle Valerio

Comments

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