An enigmatic new crocodile from the upper cretaceous of madagascar

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Material of a new mesoeucrocodylian, Mahajangasuchus insignis gen. et sp. nov. from the Late Cretaceous Maevarano Formation, Mahajanga Basin, of north-western Madagascar includes a complete left and partial right mandible, several isolated teeth, much of the postcranial skeleton, and numerous osteoderms. M. insignis differs from all known non-crocodylian crocodyliforms in possessing a broad, rounded anterior portion of the dentary with a very short mandibular symphysis, superficially resembling the condition found in nettosuchid crocodylians. Many features of the postcranial skeleton are concordant with those of other known Gondwanan crocodyliforms, whilst features of the teeth and mandible indicate close affinity with Trematochampsa and the South American peirosaurids. Indeed, a weakly supported sister-group relationship between M. insignis and Peirosauridae raises interesting questions regarding the biogeographical history of Madagascar. The potential non-monophyly of the trematochampsids, the sparse material by which they are known, and several unique features of M. insignis, combine to preclude assignment of M. insignis to a particular mesoeucrocodylian lineage. © The Palaeontological Association.

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Special Papers in Palaeontology

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