New fossil from Brazil hints at the origins of the mysterious tanystropheid reptiles

A new species of Triassic reptile from Brazil is a near cousin of a mysterious group known as tanystropheids, according to a study released April eight, 2020 in the open-obtain journal PLOS A single by Tiane De-Oliviera of the Federal College of Santa Maria, Brazil and colleagues.

After the Permian mass extinction, 250 million several years back, reptiles took around world-wide ecosystems. Between the early groups to surface after this extinction function have been the tanystropheids, a group of long-necked animals whose life are nonetheless mysterious, but who have been even so effective in the Triassic Period of time. Nevertheless, the early evolution of this group is poorly recognized, as their stays are pretty scarce from the Early Triassic.

In this study, De-Oliviera and colleagues explain a new specimen of reptile from Early Triassic rocks of the Sanga do Cabral Formation in southern Brazil. Skeletal comparison implies this specimen, identified from stays of the hind leg, pelvis, and tail, is the closest identified relative of tanystropheids. The researchers determined these stays as belonging to a new species, which they named Elessaurus gondwanoccidens. The title derives in section from the Elvish title (Elessar) of a character from Lord of the Rings also identified as Aragorn or Strider, decided on as a reference to the fossil animal’s long legs.

Most tanystropheid fossils are identified in Center to Late Triassic rocks of Europe, Asia, and North The usa, and generally in maritime sediments. The existence of Elessaurus in continental deposits of Early Triassic South The usa implies that the origins of this group may possibly lie in the southern continents, and that their ancestors may possibly have lived on land right before later species adapted to aquatic lifetime. A clearer look at of the group’s origins will count on extra scarce fossils from this early time in their evolution.


Citation: De-Oliveira TM, Pinheiro FL, Inventory Da-Rosa ÁA, Dias-Da-Silva S, Kerber L (2020) A new archosauromorph from South The usa gives insights on the early diversification of tanystropheids. PLoS A single 15(four): e0230890.

Funding: This study was financed by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Exceptional – Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001. Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS sixteen/2551-0000271-1 to FLP seventeen/2551-0000816-two to LK) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq 407969/2016- 305758/2017-nine to FLP 313494/2018-five to AASR 306352/2016-eight to SDS 422568/2018- 309414/2019-nine to LK).

Competing Pursuits: The authors have declared that no competing passions exist.

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