Abstract

Ordosemys leios, n.gen., n.sp., from the Early Cretaceous Luohandong Formation, Zhidan Group, Ordos Basin, Inner Mongolia, is a primitive aquatic turtle with a reduced, fenestrated plastron. It shares with the members of the Centrocryptodira the presence of well-formed articular surfaces on the cervical and caudal vertebrae. Within the Centrocryptodira, characters of the cervical vertebrae suggest it is more closely related to the Polycryptodira than is the Meiolaniidae. Ordosemys shares with the Chelydridae the presence of two procoelous anterior caudals, but this character may be primitive for the Polycryptodira. Characters of the basicranial region of the braincase shared by Ordosemys and the Chelonioidea support a sister-group relationship between these two taxa, but a sister-group relationship between Ordosemys and the Polycryptodira is more strongly supported by characters shared by the Chelonioidea and other members of the Polycryptodira.

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