Abstract

A new trionychid, Khunnuchelys gen.nov., represented by two new species, Khunnuchelys erinhotensis sp.nov. and Khunnuchelys kizylkumensis sp.nov. is described. Khunnuchelys erinhotensis is based on a large, well-preserved skull from the Iren Dabasu Formation in Inner Mongolia, and K. kizylkumensis is based on a series of partial skulls and isolated skull elements from the Dzhyrakuduk locality, Bissekty Formation, Uzbekistan. The occurrence of this trionychid in these two localities reinforces the suggestion of faunal similarity between the Iren Dabasu and Bissekty formations. Khunnuchelys is distinctive in the extensive development of the triturating surface, proportions of the skull, and features of the braincase. Conchochelys from the Paleocene of North America shares with Khunnuchelys derived features of the palate and braincase, and the two genera may be members of a monophyletic clade of trionychids. Autapomorphies of the triturating surface and associated features in Khunnuchelys are interpreted as durophagous specializations.

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