Crocodile

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Puértolas-Pascual, E., & Mateus O. (2019).  A three-dimensional skeleton of Goniopholididae from the Late Jurassic of Portugal: implications for the Crocodylomorpha bracing system. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. , 10 Abstractpuertolas-pascual__mateus_2019_croc.pdfWebsite

{We here describe an articulated partial skeleton of a small neosuchian crocodylomorph from the Lourinhã Formation (Late Jurassic, Portugal). The skeleton corresponds to the posterior region of the trunk and consists of dorsal, ventral and limb osteoderms, dorsal vertebrae, thoracic ribs and part of the left hindlimb. The paravertebral armour is composed of two rows of paired osteoderms with the lateral margins ventrally deflected and an anterior process for a ‘peg and groove’ articulation. We also compare its dermal armour with that of several Jurassic and Cretaceous neosuchian crocodylomorphs, establishing a detailed description of this type of osteoderms.These features are present in crocodylomorphs with a closed paravertebral armour bracing system. The exceptional 3D conservation of the specimen, and the performance of a micro-CT scan, allowed us to interpret the bracing system of this organism to assess if previous models were accurate. The characters observed in this specimen are congruent with Goniopholididae, a clade of large neosuchians abundant in most semi-aquatic ecosystems from the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Laurasia. However, its small size, contrasted with the sizes observed in goniopholidids, left indeterminate whether it could have been a dwarf or juvenile individual. Future histological analyses could shed light on this.}

Russo, J., Mateus O., Marzola M., & Balbino A. (2017).  Two new ootaxa from the late Jurassic: The oldest record of crocodylomorph eggs, from the Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. PLOS ONE. 12, 1-23., 03, Number 3: Public Library of Science Abstractrusso_et_al_2017_two_new_ootaxa.pdfWebsite

The Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation is known for its abundant remains of dinosaurs, crocodylomorphs and other vertebrates. Among this record are nine localities that have produced either dinosaur embryos, eggs or eggshell fragments. Herein, we describe and identify the first crocodiloid morphotype eggs and eggshells from the Lourinhã Formation, from five occurrences. One clutch from Cambelas, composed of 13 eggs, eggshell fragments from Casal da Rola and Peralta, one crushed egg and eggshells from Paimogo North, and four crushed eggs as well as eggshell fragments from Paimogo South. We observed and confirmed diagnostic morphological characters for crocodiloid eggshells and which are consistent with a crocodylomorph affinity, such as the ellipsoidal shape, wedge-shaped shell units, triangular extinction under cross-polarized light, and tabular ultrastructure. This material is distinctive enough to propose two new ootaxa within the oofamily Krokolithidae, Suchoolithus portucalensis, oogen. and oosp. nov., for the material from Cambelas, the most complete clutch known for crocodiloid eggs, and Krokolithes dinophilus, oosp. nov., for the remaining material. These are the oldest crocodylomorph eggs known, extending the fossil record for this group to the Late Jurassic. Furthermore, except for the clutch from Cambelas, the material was found with theropod eggs and nests, in the other four occurrences, which seem to suggest some form of biological relationship, still unclear at this point.

Mateus, O., Callapez P. M., & Puértolas-Pascual E. (2017).  The oldest Crocodylia? a new eusuchian from the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts. 2017, 160. Abstractmateus_et_al_2017_oldest_crocodylia_svp_2017_abstract.pdf

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Marzola, M., Russo J., & Mateus O. (2015).  Identification and comparison of modern and fossil crocodilian eggs and eggshell structures. Historical Biology. 27(1), 115-133. Abstractmarzola_et_al_2015_identification_and_comparison_of_modern_and_fossil_crocodilian_eggs_and_eggshell_structures.pdfWebsite

Eggshells from the three extant crocodilian species Crocodylus mindorensis (Philippine Crocodile), Paleosuchus palpebrosus (Cuvier's Smooth-fronted Caiman or Musky Caiman) and Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligator or Common Alligator) were prepared for thin section and scanning electron microscope analyses and are described in order to improve the knowledge on crocodilian eggs anatomy and microstructure, and to find new apomorphies that can be used for identification. Both extant and fossil crocodilian eggs present an ornamentation that vary as anastomo-, ramo- or the here newly described rugosocavate type. The angusticaniculate pore system is a shared character for Crocodylomorpha eggshells and some dinosaurian and avian groups. Previously reported signs of incubated crocodilian eggs were found also on our only fertilised and hatched egg. Paleosuchus palpebrosus presents unique organization and morphology of the three eggshell layers, with a relatively thin middle layer characterised by dense and compact tabular microstructure.

Young, M. T., Hua S., Steel L., Foffa D., Brusatte S. L., Thüring S., Mateus O., Ruiz-Omeñaca J. I., Havlik P., Lepage Y., & de Andrade M. B. (2015).  Addendum to ‘Revision of the Late Jurassic teleosaurid genus Machimosaurus (Crocodylomorpha, Thalattosuchia)’. Royal Society Open Science. 2, , Number 2: The Royal Society Abstractyoung_et_al_2015_addendum_to_revision_of_the_late_jurassic_teleosaurid_genus_machimosaurus_crocodylomorpha_thalattosuchia.pdfWebsite

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Marzola, M., Mateus O., Russo J., & Milàn J. (2014).  Comparison of modern and fossil Crocodylomorpha eggs and contribution to the oophylogeny of Amniota. XII Annual Meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists. , p. 192, Regione Piemonte: European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists. Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturalimarzola_et_al._2014_comparison_of_modern_and_fossil_crocodylomorpha_eggs_and_contribution_to_the_oophylogeny_of_amniota-_eavp_2014.pdf
Russo, J., Mateus O., Marzola M., & Balbino A. (2014).  Eggs and eggshells of crocodylomorpha from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Program and Abstracts, 2014, 218.russo_et_al_2014eggs_crocodylomorpha_portugal.pdf
Young, M. T., Hua S., Steel L., Foffa D., Brusatte S. L., Thüring S., Mateus O., Ignacio-Ruiz Omeñaca J., Lepage Y., Havilk P., & Andrade M. B. (2014).  Revision of the Late Jurassic teleosaurid genus Machimosaurus (Crocodylomorpha, Thalattosuchia). Royal Society Open Science. 1(140222), 1-42.young_et_al_2014_machimosaurus_crocodylomorph_revision.pdf
Russo, J., Mateus O., Balbino A., & Marzola M. (2014).  Crocodylomorph eggs and eggshells from the Lourinhã Fm. (Upper Jurassic), Portugal. Comunicações Geológicas. 101, Especial I, 563-566. Abstractrusso_et_al_2014_crocodylomorph_eggs_and_eggshells_from_the_lourinha_fm_upper_jurassic_portugal.pdf

We here present fossil Crocodylomorpha eggshells from the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation of Portugal, recovered from five sites: one nest from Cambelas with 13 eggs, and three partial eggs and various fragments from, Paimogo N (I), Paimogo S (II), Casal da Rola, and Peralta. All specimens but the nest were found in association with dinosaur egg material. Our research reveals that on a micro- and ultrastructural analysis, all samples present the typical characters consistent with crocodiloid eggshell morphotype, such as the shell unit shape, the organization of the eggshell layers, and the triangular blocky extinction observed with crossed nicols. We assign the material from the Lourinhã Formation to the oofamily Krokolithidae, making it the oldest crocodylomorph eggs known so far, as well as the best record for eggs of non- crocodylian crocodylomorphs. Furthermore, our study indicates that the basic structure of crocodiloid eggshells has remained stable since at least the Upper Jurassic.