Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology

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There are three species of crocodylian at the IVPP which have previously been assigned to Alligatoroidea—Alligator luicus , Eoalligator chunyii, and E. huiningensis. E. huiningensis is known from a single partial skull and jaws. There are more specimens of E. chunyii, all at the IVPP. The holotype of A. luicus is actually at a small museum in Linqu, Shanwang Province, but a cast of the skull is kept here. I couldn’t get in contact with anyone in Linqu in time to go myself, but I’m going to be collaborating with a student at the IVPP whose project involves redescribing the species (it was only ever a short blurb). We coded all of the above together. He’ll be going to Linqu to see the Aluicus holotype—which is an entire skeleton—but it’s unfortunately embedded in resin…apparently fossils from that formation are crumbly and someone made a poor decision to preserve it that way instead of using a thin, clear layer of glue. I hope he can get some extra information out of it.

Eoalligator huiningensis. Notice the very un-alligatorine notch near the front of the snout where the big 4th dentary tooth would slide into.

Eoalligator huiningensis. Notice the very un-alligatorine notch near the front of the snout that the big tooth in the lower jaw would slide into.

I also took pictures of every Alligator sinensis skull they had (the modern Chinese Alligator) plus some dried out baby crocodylians. I’ll add them to my morphometrics analyses to increase sample size.

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Baby Chinese alligator skull

While I was there, I also looked at a jaw from an animal called Wanosuchus. It’s just the jaw, and no one’s sure quite where it belongs, so I figured why not look at it while I have the chance.

No mandibular fenestra, so not a Eusuchian, but beyond that....eh?

No mandibular fenestra, so not a Eusuchian, but beyond that….*shrug*

I headed back to Beijing to fly out at the end of my China trip. I had half a day to spend in the city before leaving for the airport. I didn’t get around to it while looking at crocodylians, but I did partial coding of Lystrosaurus youngi before I had to catch a taxi since it hasn’t been published in a good-sized phylogenetic analysis yet. Once I review all the pictures I previously took, I’ll ask my other collaborator at the IVPP (the aformentioned one’s advisor and my host during the EAPSI program) to do the remaining codings.

Lystrosaurus youngi

Lystrosaurus youngi

 

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