A new large fossil species of Tiliqua (Squamata; Scincidae) from the Pliocene of the Wellington Caves (New South Wales, Australia)

Andrej Cernansky, Mark Hutchinson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Čerňanský, A. & Hutchinson, M.N., 2012. A new large fossil species of Tiliqua (Squamata; Scincidae) from the Pliocene of the Wellington Caves (New South Wales, Australia). Alcheringa, 1-6. ISSN 0311-5518. We describe an isolated frontal bone referable to a new species, Tiliqua laticephala (Scincidae), from the Pliocene Big Sink doline of the Wellington Caves, central eastern New South Wales, Australia. The bone is very robust, is unusually broad and thick, especially around the bases of the subolfactory processes and represents a large and heavily built lizard. The fossil has multiple fragmentary osteoderms in the frontal region, showing asymmetry in shape and thickness that do not correspond to the more regularly arranged anterior head shields of other scincoids. The specimen shares two unusual character states with extant Tiliqua, especially the large armoured species, T. rugosa. Other large skinks related to T. rugosa (other Tiliqua spp., Corucia zebrata, Egernia cunninghamii, Bellatorias major, Liopholis kintorei) are less similar in terms of frontal shape, thickness, sculpture, osteoderm ornamentation, and positioning of adjacent bones.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-136
    Number of pages6
    JournalAlcheringa
    Volume37
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

    Keywords

    • Cenozoic
    • frontal bone
    • Neogene
    • skink
    • Southern Hemisphere

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