|The new pliosaur site near Aramberri, north-eastern Mexico, during the 2003 dig. Photo: Dino Frey, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Karlsruhe.|
In collaboration with Marie-Céline Buchy (Universität Karlsruhe, Germany), Dr Eberhard ?Dino' Frey (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Germany), Dr Wolfgang Stinnesbeck (Universität Karlsruhe), Dr José Guadalupe López-Olivia (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico) and Martin Götte (Germany), I am currently working on the description of new pliosaur material from the Upper Jurassic La Casita Formation of north-eastern Mexico. This material represents the first diagnostic record of a sauropterygian in Mexico.
The recognition of the La Casita fossils led to the discovery of the skeleton of what could be the largest marine reptile ever reported ? an 18 metre long pliosaur from deposits of a similar age near the north-eastern Mexican town of Aramberri. The excavation of this material commenced in 2002 and will continue through until at least 2004.
Other research we are conducting includes a reassessment of the palatal anatomy of pliosaurs and the implications this has for the breathing mechanism they employed. Comparisons with material referred to Australia's largest pliosaur, Kronosaurus queenslandicus
, from the Early Cretaceous of Queensland, are proving central to all these investigations.
Buchy, M.-C., Frey, E. & Salisbury, S. W. 2006. Internal cranial anatomy of Plesiosauria (Reptilia, Sauropterygia): evidence for a functional secondary palate. Lethaia
, 39, 290-303. pdf
3. Buchy, M.-C. Frey, E., Salisbury, S. W., Stinnesbeck, W. López-Oliva, J. G. and Götte, M. 2006. An unusual pliosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from the Kimmeridgian (Upper Jurassic) of northeastern Mexico. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Monatshefte,
240 (2), 241-270.