Abstract

Two ichthyosaurian specimens from the Upper Jurassic lithographic limestones of Bavaria, namely an almost complete skeleton with soft tissue impression and another partial one, are described for the first time. Both belong to the same taxon, which is mainly characterized by a long and slender snout; numerous small, delicate, packed, and well-anchored teeth; a medium size orbit; a reduced triangular squamosal in the cheek region; an angular largely exposed laterally reaching as far anteriorly as the surangular; a humerus with three distal facets for radius, intermedium and ulna; an extrazeugopodial element anterior to the radius; a very reduced hindlimb; packed polygonal paddle elements; and a bipartite pelvis with a distally greatly expanded puboischiatic complex. This combination of characters permits differentiation from all other known genera; moreover, it could be compared to the species inquirendae Ichthyosaurus leptospondylus Wagner, 1853a. A new genus, Aegirosaurus, is created and proposed as a new combination for this species. Aegirosaurus clearly belongs to the clade Ophthalmosauria because of an angular largely exposed laterally and reaching as far anteriorly as the surangular, and the occurrence of an extrazeugopodial element anterior to the radius and the associated digit distal to it. A systematic review of ichthyosaurs from the lithographic limestone of Bavaria (most of them destroyed during World War II) reveals the occurrence of probably three different taxa, namely Aegirosaurus, an indeterminate form close to Ophthalmosaurus or Caypullisaurus, and an indeterminate one possibly close to Nannopterygius.

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