Halisaurus (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian of Angola

Polcyn, M., Jacobs L., Schulp A., & Mateus O. (2007).  Halisaurus (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Maastrichtian of Angola. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27(Suppl. to 3), 130A., Jan: Museu Lourinha, So Methodist Univ, Nat Hist Museum Maastricht


Recent fieldwork in the Namibe province in southern Angola yielded cranial and postcranial elements of at least two individuals of the rare and enigmatic mosasaur Halisaurus from a single small excavation. The genus Halisaurus is unique in retaining a primitive configuration of the temporal arcade, specifically a broad, vertically oriented contact between the parietal and the supratemporal. The supratemporal is broadly sutured to the opisthotic and prootic, unlike the condition in varanoids in which the simple lunate element lies between the parietal ramus and the squamosal and does not form a sutural contact with the opisthotic or prootic, but as in other halisaurines retains a plesiomorphic, vertically oriented contact with the parietal rami. The squamosal is lightly built and broadly arched as in Varanus. Comparison with known halisaurines indicates the new material is referable to the species Halisaurus arambourgi.
The locality that yielded the new specimens has also yielded a large number of isolated teeth, bones, articulated, and associated skeletons of Mosasaurus, Prognathodon, Globidens, and Plioplatecarpus, which with Halisaurus comprise a mosasaur assemblage most similar to that reported from the Maastrichtian of Morocco.