Abstract

The rostral structure of thalattosaurs is reviewed on the basis of a re-investigation of the holotype of Nectosaurus halius and Thalattosaurus alexandrae. The askeptosaurid genera Askeptosaurus and Anshunsaurus share an elongated, parallel-sided rostrum that terminates in a blunt tip. A diastema separating the premaxillary from the maxillary teeth is absent. The claraziid genera Clarazia and Thalattosaurus share a relatively shorter rostrum that has convergent lateral margins and that terminates in a pointed tip. A diastema separating the premaxillary from the maxillary teeth is present. The well-preserved holotype of Nectosaurus halius shows a highly derived rostral structure. The maxilla is short with an anteriorly truncated (vertical) margin, a narrow but high ascending process, and a dorsally curving medial flange that is in natural articulation with the ventrally deflected vomer. These findings corroborate Peyer’s original reconstruction of Hescheleria with a nearly vertically placed premaxilla.

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