Mosasaurine mosasaurs (Squamata, Mosasauridae) from northern Italy

Alessandro Palci, Michael Caldwell, Cesare Papazzoni, Eliana Fornaciari

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A review of the remains of mosasaurine mosasaurs from the upper Campanian-Maastrichtian of Italy is provided. The first discoveries of mosasaur material from Italy are represented by a series of isolated teeth from the Scaglia Rossa Formation north of Vittorio Veneto (late Campanian). These teeth show some similarities to Prognathodon, Liodon, and Eremiasaurus, but are not identical and probably represent a new taxon. A partial mosasaur skull found south of Reggio Emilia in 1886 is potentially a new species of Mosasaurus, although more material is needed to support this possibility. This specimen is temporarily referred to M. cf. hoffmanni. A second fragmentary mosasaur skull was accidentally discovered in 1892 north of Verona during the demolition of a school (inside one of the building stones). Based on its general morphology, size, and dentition, this second specimen can be considered as very closely related to M. hoffmanni, but its older age (early-middle Maastrichtian) suggests that it likely represents a new species of Mosasaurus. We refrain from erecting new taxonomic names for these specimens pending the discovery of new, more complete material upon which satisfactory diagnoses can be based. The paleobiogeographic distribution of Mosasaurus hoffmanni, M. cf. hoffmanni, M. beaugei, Liodon, and Prognathodon is reviewed briefly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-559
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2014


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