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In may 2007, the ULiège's Administrative Board (joined in June 2007 by the FUSAGx) decided to create an institutional repository and defined a strong institutional self-archiving policy to increase the visibility, accessibility and impact of the University's publications (ULiège mandate).

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Journal Article

Journal Article

Plasticity and convergence in the evolution of short-necked plesiosaurs  [2017]

Fischer, Valentin; Benson, Roger B. J.; Zverkov, Nikolai G.; Soul, Laura C.; et al. Vocatio (Belgium) [Corporate Author] Newton International Fellowship (Royal Society, UK) [Corporate Author] Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS [Corporate Author] Evolution and Diversity Dynamics Lab [Corporate Author]

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Plesiosaurs were the longest-surviving group of secondarily marine tetrapods, comparable in diversity to today’s cetaceans. During their long evolutionary history, which spanned the Jurassic and the Cretaceous (201 to 66 Ma), plesiosaurs repeatedly evolved long- and short-necked body plans [1,2]. Despite this postcranial plasticity, short-necked plesiosaur clades have traditionally been regarded as being highly constrained to persistent and clearly distinct ecological niches: advanced members of Pliosauridae (ranging from the Middle Jurassic to the early Late Cretaceous) have been characterised as apex predators [2–5], whereas members of the distantly related clade Polycotylidae (middle–Late Cretaceous) were thought to have been fast-swimming piscivores [1,5–7]. We report a new, highly unusual pliosaurid from the Early Cretaceous of Russia that shows close convergence with the cranial structure of polycotylids: Luskhan itilensis gen. et sp. nov. Using novel cladistic and ecomorphological data, we show that pliosaurids iteratively evolved polycotylid-like cranial morphologies from the Early Jurassic until the Early Cretaceous. This underscores the ecological diversity of derived pliosaurids and reveals a more complex evolutionary history than their iconic representation as gigantic apex predators of Mesozoic marine ecosystems suggests. Collectively, these data demonstrate an even higher degree of morphological plasticity and convergence in the evolution of
plesiosaurs than previously thought, and suggest the existence of an optimal ecomorphology for short-necked piscivorous plesiosaurs through time and across phylogeny.
From the journal
ISSN : 0960-9822

Bibliographic information

Language:
English
Type:
Journal Article
In AGRIS since:
2021
Volume:
27
Extent:
In press
Publisher:
Cell Press
All titles:
"Plasticity and convergence in the evolution of short-necked plesiosaurs"@eng
Other:
"peer reviewed"
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Bibliographic information

Language:
English
Type:
Journal Article
In AGRIS since:
2021
Volume:
27
Extent:
In press
Publisher:
Cell Press
All titles:
"Plasticity and convergence in the evolution of short-necked plesiosaurs"@eng
Other:
"peer reviewed"