Publications in the Year: 2014

Journal Article

Mateus, O, Butler RJ, Brusatte SL, Whiteside JH, Steyer JS.  2014.  The first phytosaur (Diapsida, Archosauriformes) from the Late Triassic of the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34:970–975., Number 4 Abstract
Mateus, O, Mannion PD, Upchurch P.  2014.  Zby atlanticus, a new turiasaurian sauropod (Dinosauria, Eusauropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34(3):618-634. Abstractmateus_et_al_2014_zby_atlanticus.pdfWebsite

Here we describe a new partial sauropod skeleton from the late Kimmeridgian (Late Jurassic) of the Lourinhã Formation, central west Portugal. The closely associated specimen comprises a complete tooth (with root), a fragment of cervical neural arch, an anterior chevron, and an almost complete right pectoral girdle and forelimb. The new sauropod, Zby atlanticus, n. gen. et sp., can be diagnosed on the basis of four autapomorphies, including a prominent posteriorly projecting ridge on the humerus at the level of the deltopectoral crest. Nearly all anatomical features indicate that Zby is a non-neosauropod eusauropod. On the basis of several characters, including tooth morphology, extreme anteroposterior compression of the proximal end of the radius, and strong beveling of the lateral half of the distal end of the radius, Zby appears to be closely related to Turiasaurus riodevensis from approximately contemporaneous deposits in eastern Spain. However, these two genera can be distinguished from each other by a number of features pertaining to the forelimb. Whereas previously described Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropods show close relationships with taxa from the contemporaneous Morrison Formation of North America, it appears that turiasaurians were restricted to Europe. All adult sauropods recovered in the Late Jurassic of Portugal thus far are very large individuals: it is possible that the apparent absence of small- or medium-sized adult sauropods might be related to the occupation of lower-browsing niches by non-sauropods such as the long-necked stegosaur Miragaia longicollum.

Stockdale, M, Benton M, Mateus O.  2014.  Cracking dinosaur endothermy: paleophysiology unscrambled. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Program and Abstracts, 2014:235-236.stockdale_et_al_2014_eggshells_abstract_svp.pdf
Araújo, R, Polcyn MJ, Schulp AS, Mateus O, Jacobs LL, Gon?alves AO, Morais M-L.  2014.  A new elasmosaurid from the early Maastrichtian of Angola and the implications of girdle morphology on swimming style in plesiosaurs. Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. 94:109-120., Number 1 Abstract
Marinheiro, J, Mateus O, Alaoui A, Amani F, Nami M, Ribeiro C.  2014.  New quaternary fossil sites from the middle atlas of morocco,Novas jazidas fossilíferas do Quaternário do Médio-Atlas de Marrocos. Comunicacoes Geologicas. 101:485-488. Abstract
Mateus, O, Mannion PD, Upchurch P.  2014.  Zby atlanticus, a new turiasaurian sauropod (Dinosauria, Eusauropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34:618-634., Number 3 Abstract
Marzola, M, Mateus O, Schulp A, Jacobs L, Polcyn M, Pervov V.  2014.  Early Cretaceous tracks of a large mammaliamorph, a crocodylomorph, and dinosaurs from an Angolan diamond mine. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2014. :181.marzola_et_al_2014._cretaceous_tracks_mammaliamorph_a_crocodilomorph_angolan_diamond_mine.pdf
Hendrickx, C, Araújo R, Mateus O.  2014.  The nonavian theropod quadrate II: systematic usefulness, major trends and cladistic and phylogenetic morphometrics analyses, 2014. PeerJ PrePrints. 2:e380v2. AbstractWebsite

The skull-bone quadrate in nonavian theropods is very diverse morphologically alongside the disparity of the group as a whole. However this disparity has been underestimated for taxonomic purposes. In order to evaluate the phylogenetic potential and investigate the evolutionary transformations of the quadrate, we conducted a Catalano-Goloboff phylogenetic morphometric analysis as well as a cladistic analysis using 98 discrete quadrate related characters. The cladistic analysis provides a fully resolved tree mirroring to some degree the classification of nonavian theropods. The quadrate morphology by its own provides a wealth of data with strong phylogenetic signal and allows inference of major trends in the evolution of this bone. Important synapomorphies include: for Abelisauroidea, a lateral ramus extending to the ectocondyle; for Tetanurae, the absence of the lateral process; for Spinosauridae, a medial curvature of the ventral part of the pterygoid ramus occurring just above the mandibular articulation; for Avetheropoda, an anterior margin of the pterygoid flange formed by a roughly parabolic margin; and for Tyrannosauroidea, a semi-oval pterygoid flange shape in medial view. The Catalano-Goloboff phylogenetic morphometric analysis reveals two main morphotypes of the mandibular articulation of the quadrate linked to function. The first morphotype, characterized by an anteroposteriorly broad mandibular articulation with two ovoid/subcircular condyles roughly subequal in size, is found in Ceratosauria, Tyrannosauroidea and Oviraptorosauria. This morphotype allows a very weak displacement of the mandible laterally. The second morphotype is characterized by an elongate and anteroposteriorly narrow mandibular articulation and a long and parabolic/sigmoid ectocondyle. Present in Megalosauroidea, Carcharodontosauridae and Dromaeosauridae, this morphotype permits the lower jaw rami to be displaced laterally when the mouth opened.

Russo, J, Mateus O, Balbino A, Marzola M.  2014.  Crocodylomorph eggs and eggshells from the Lourinhã Fm. (Upper Jurassic), Portugal. Comunica\\c cões Geológicas. 101, Especial I:563-566. Abstract
Polcyn, MJ, Jacobs LL, Ara´ujo R, Schulp AS, Mateus O.  2014.  Physical drivers of mosasaur evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 400:17-27. Abstractpolcyn_et_al_2014_physical_drivers_mosasaurs.pdf

Mosasaurs are marine squamates with a 32.5 million-year history from their appearance at 98 Ma to their extinction at the K-Pg boundary (65.5 Ma). Using a database of 43 generic and 94 species-level taxa, we compare the taxonomic diversity and patterns of morphological disparity in mosasaurs with sea level, sea surface temperature, and stable carbon isotope curves for the Upper Cretaceous to explore factors that may have influenced their evolution. No single factor unambiguously accounts for all radiations, diversification, and extinctions; however, the broader patterns of taxonomic diversification and
morphological disparity point to niche differentiation in a “fishing up” scenario under the influence of “bottom-up” selective pressures. The most likely driving force in mosasaur evolution was high productivity in the Late Cretaceous, driven by tectonically controlled sea levels and climatically controlled ocean stratification and nutrient delivery. When productivity collapsed at the end of the Cretaceous, coincident with bolide impact, mosasaurs became extinct.

Mallison, H, Schwarz-Wings D, Tsai H, Holliday C, Mateus O.  2014.  Fossil longbone cartilage preserved in stegosaurs? Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Program and Abstracts, 2014:176.mallison_et_al._2014_fossil_longbone_cartilage_preserved_in_stegosaurs.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.

Strganac, C, Jacobs LL, Polcyn MJ, Mateus O, Myers TS, Salminen J, May SR, Araújo R, Ferguson KM, Gon?alves AO, Morais ML, Schulp AS, da Silva Tavares T.  2014.  Geological setting and paleoecology of the Upper Cretaceous Bench 19 Marine Vertebrate Bonebed at Bentiaba, Angola. Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. 94:121-136., Number 1 Abstract
Mateus, O, Butler RJ, Brusatte SL, Whiteside JH, Steyer JS.  2014.  The first phytosaur (Diapsida, Archosauriformes) from the Late Triassic of the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34:970-975., Number 4 Abstract
Hendrickx, C, Mateus O.  2014.  Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp., the largest terrestrial predator from Europe, and a proposed terminology of the maxilla anatomy in nonavian theropods, 03. PLoS ONE. 9:e88905., Number 3: Public Library of Science Abstracthendrickx_mateus_2014_torvosaurus_portugal.pdfWebsite

The Lourinhã Formation (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian) of Central West Portugal is well known for its diversified dinosaur fauna similar to that of the Morrison Formation of North America; both areas share dinosaur taxa including the top predator Torvosaurus, reported in Portugal. The material assigned to the Portuguese T. tanneri, consisting of a right maxilla and an incomplete caudal centrum, was briefly described in the literature and a thorough description of these bones is here given for the first time. A comparison with material referred to Torvosaurus tanneri allows us to highlight some important differences justifying the creation of a distinct Eastern species. Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp. displays two autapomorphies among Megalosauroidea, a maxilla possessing fewer than eleven teeth and an interdental wall nearly coincidental with the lateral wall of the maxillary body. In addition, it differs from T. tanneri by a reduced number of maxillary teeth, the absence of interdental plates terminating ventrally by broad V-shaped points and falling short relative to the lateral maxillary wall, and the absence of a protuberant ridge on the anterior part of the medial shelf, posterior to the anteromedial process. T. gurneyi is the largest theropod from the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal and the largest land predator discovered in Europe hitherto. This taxon supports the mechanism of vicariance that occurred in the Iberian Meseta during the Late Jurassic when the proto-Atlantic was already well formed. A fragment of maxilla from the Lourinhã Formation referred to Torvosaurus sp. is ascribed to this new species, and several other bones, including a femur, a tibia and embryonic material all from the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian of Portugal, are tentatively assigned to T. gurneyi. A standard terminology and notation of the theropod maxilla is also proposed and a record of the Torvosaurus material from Portugal is given.

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
Araújo, R, Polcyn MJ, Lindgren J, Jacobs LL, Schulp AS, Mateus O, Gon?alves AO, Morais M-L.  2014.  New aristonectine elasmosaurid plesiosaur specimens from the Early Maastrichtian of Angola and comments on paedomorphism in plesiosaurs. Geologie en Mijnbouw/Netherlands Journal of Geosciences. 94:93-108., Number 1 Abstract
Mateus, O, Dinis J, Cunha P.  2014.  Upper Jurassic to Lowermost Cretaceous of the Lusitanian Basin, Portugal-landscapes where dinosaurs walked. Ciências da Terra, special. , Number 8 Abstract
Young, MT, Hua S, Steel L, Foffa D, Brusatte SL, Thüring S, Mateus O, Ruiz-Omeñaca JI, Havlik P, Lepage Y, De Andrade MB.  2014.  Revision of the Late Jurassic teleosaurid genus Machimosaurus (Crocodylomorpha, Thalattosuchia). Royal Society Open Science. 1, Number 2 Abstract
Marinheiro, J, Mateus O, Alaoui A, Amani F, Nami M, Ribeiro C.  2014.  New Quaternary fossil sites from the Middle Atlas of Morocco. Comunicações Geológicas. 101, Especial I:485-488. Abstractmarinheiro_et_al_2014_new_quaternary_fossil_sites_from_the_middle_atlas_of_morocco.pdf

The paleontological richness of Morocco has been scientifically known since at least the early 20th century. The region of the Middle Atlas, more specifically the Boulemane area, has been however only sparsely studied since the 1960s when it provided vertebrate fossils from the Middle Jurassic. In September 2013, a Moroccan-Portuguese expedition to the village of Taghrout, Boulemane, made excavations in a Pleistocene fossil site that once was a small high-altitude sedimentary basin, uncharted in previous geological maps. The excavations yielded bone material from large mammals, the most common findings are elephants ascribed to Elephas, but artiodactyls, turtles, and in-situ Acheulean tools were also collected. This represents a new and important paleontological and archeological site. In addition to the discoveries of Taghrout, the expedition also retrieved Quaternary vertebrate material from a nearby cave and found new Jurassic localities, with arcosaur bones and dinosaur footprints, in El Mers.

Mateus, O.  2014.  Eggs and eggshells of crocodylomorpha from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Program and Abstracts, 2014:218., Number NA: Taylor & Francis Abstract


Mateus, O.  2014.  Cracking dinosaur endothermy: paleophysiology unscrambled, 1. NA Abstract

The amniote eggshell functions as a respiratory structure adapted for the optimal transmission of respiratory gasses to and from the embryo according to its physiological requirements. Therefore amniotes with higher oxygen requirements, such as those that sustain higher metabolic rates, can be expected to have eggshells that can maintain a greater gas flux to and from the egg. Studies of extant amniotes have found that eggshells of reduced porosity impose a limit on the metabolic rate of the offspring. Here we show a highly significant relationship between metabolic rates and eggshell porosity in extant amniotes that predicts highly endothermic metabolic rates in dinosaurs. This study finds the eggshell porosity of extant endotherms to be significantly higher than that of extant ectotherms. Eggshell porosity values of dinosaurs are found to be significantly higherthan that of extant ectotherms, but not extant endotherms. Dinosaur eggshells are commonly preserved in the fossil record, and porosity may be readily identified and measured. This provides a simple tool to identify metabolic rates in extinct egg-laying tetrapods whose eggs possessed a mineralized shell