An unusual tylosaurine mosasaur from New Zealand: A new skull of Taniwhasaurus oweni (lower Haumurian, upper cretaceous)

  • Caldwell M
  • Holmes R
  • Bell Jr. G
 et al. 
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Recently collected materials of a tylosaurine rnosasaur from Haumuri Bluff, New Zealand, are assigned to Taniwhasaurus oweni Hector, 1874. Previously described tylosaurine mosasaur specimens from Haumuri Bluff that were assigned to other taxa are re-evaluated here and assigned to T. oweni. Taniwhasaurus is diagnosed as a tylosaurine based on the possession of a premaxillary rostrum and anterior edentulous process of the dentary. However, Taniwhasaurits also exhibits a prefrontal-maxillary contact in which the prefrontal forms a portion of the naris, thus precluding the frontal-maxillary contact characteristic of all other tylosaurines with the possible exception of Hainosaurus bernardi. The distribution of the frontal-maxillary contact in mosasaurs suggests that it may be correlated with snout elongation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Mosasauridae
  • New Zealand
  • Taniwhasaurus oweni
  • Tylosaurine

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  • Michael W Caldwell

  • Robert Holmes

  • G L Bell Jr.

  • Joan Wiffen

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