Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Cranial and post-cranial remains and phylogenetic relationships of the Gondwanan meiolaniform turtle Peligrochelys walshae from the Paleocene of Chubut, Argentina

  • Juliana Sterli (a1) (a2) and Marcelo S. de la Fuente (a1) (a3) (a4)

Abstract

Peligrochelys walshae is a meiolaniform turtle originally described based on four specimens represented by cranial remains found in the classic locality of Punta Peligro (Chubut, Argentina) in outcrops of the Salamanca Formation (Danian). Recent field work in the vicinity of Punta Peligro resulted in the discovery of almost 30 new specimens, represented by cranial and postcranial remains that can be assigned to P. walshae. In this contribution, we provide a detailed anatomical description of the new specimens, provide an emended diagnosis for the species, and explore its phylogenetic relationships based on all anatomical data available for the species. The new specimens bring valuable information about the anatomy of the skull and postcranium of P. walshae as well as for meiolaniforms in general. The 3D preservation of the skull bones allows us to provide a 3D reconstruction using novel techniques. The updated phylogenetic analysis confirms that P. walshae is part of the clade Meiolaniformes, which spans from the Early Cretaceous until the Holocene and contains the giant, horned turtles (Meiolaniidae). This phylogenetic analysis reinforces the previous hypothesis that the clade Meiolaniformes is dominated by Gondwanan taxa, but also includes some Laurasian representatives. Alternate phylogenetic positions of taxa included in Meiolaniformes in this analysis were tested using the Templeton test. The lineage leading to Peligrochelys walshae is the only meiolaniform non-meiolaniid lineage to have survived the K-Pg mass extinction; its study provides valuable information to evaluate the effects of the K-Pg extinction in turtles.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Ameghino, F., 1899, Sinopsis geológica paleontológica. Suplemento (adiciones y correcciones): La Plata, Censo Nacional, 13 p.
Anquetin, J., 2010, The anatomy of the basal turtle Eileanchelys waldmani from the Middle Jurassic of the Isle of Skye, Scotland: Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, v. 101, p. 6796.
Anquetin, J., Tong, H., and Claude, J., 2017, A Jurassic stem pleurodire sheds light on the functional origin of neck retraction in turtles: Scientific Reports, v. 7, / e 42376.
Baur, G., 1887, Ueber den Ursprung der Extremitäten der Ichthyopterygia: Bericht des Oberrheinischen Geologischen Vereins, v. 20, p. 1720.
Bona, P., 2006, Paleocene (Danian) chelid turtles from Patagonia, Argentina: taxonomic and biogeographic implications: Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie—Abhandlungen, v. 241, p. 303323.
Bona, P., and de la Fuente, M.S., 2005, Phylogenetic and paleobiogeographic implications of Yaminuechelys maior (Staesche, 1929) new comb., a large long-necked chelid turtle from the early Paleocene of Patagonia, Argentina: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 25, p. 569582.
Carballido, J.L., Rauhut, O.W., Pol, D., and Salgado, L., 2011, Osteology and phylogenetic relationships of Tehuelchesaurus benitezii (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Patagonia: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v.163, p. 605662.
Clyde, W.C., Wilf, P., Iglesias, A., Slingerland, R.L., Barnum, T., Bijl, P.K., Bralower, T.J., Brinkhuis, H., Comer, E.E., Huber, B.T., and Ibañez-Mejia, M., 2014, New age constraints for the Salamanca Formation and lower Río Chico Group in the western San Jorge Basin, Patagonia, Argentina: implications for Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction recovery and land mammal age correlations: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 126, p. 289306.
Danilov, I., Syromyatnikova, E., and Sukhanov, V., 2017, Testudinata, in Lapatin, A.V., and Zeklenkov, N.V., eds., Fossil Vertebrates of Russia and Adjacent Countries. Fossil Reptiles and Birds. Part 4: Moscow, Russian Academy of Sciences, Borissiak Paleontological Institute Moscow, p. 27395. [in Russian]
Datta, P.M., Manna, P., Ghosh, S.C., and Das, D.P., 2000, The first Jurassic turtle from India: Palaeontology, v. 43, p. 99109.
Evers, S.W., and Benson, R.B.J., 2019, A new phylogenetic hypothesis of turtles with implications for the timing and number of evolutionary transitions to marine lifestyles in the group: Palaeontology, v. 62, p. 93134.
Gaffney, E.S., 1979, Comparative cranial morphology of recent and fossil turtles: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, v. 164, p. 67376.
Gaffney, E.S., 1983, The cranial morphology of the extinct horned turtle, Meiolania platyceps, from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, v. 175, p. 361480.
Gaffney, E.S., 1985, The cervical and caudal vertebrae of the cryptodiran turtle, Meiolania platyceps, from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia: American Museum Novitates, v. 2805, p. 129.
Gaffney, E.S., 1996, The postcranial morphology of Meiolania platyceps and a review of the Meiolaniidae: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, v. 229, p. 1166.
Gaffney, E.S., and Meylan, P., 1992, The Transylvanian turtle, Kallokibotion, a primitive cryptodire of Cretaceous age: American Museum Novitates, v. 3040, p. 137.
Gaffney, E.S., Balouet, J.C., and Broin, F.D., 1984, New occurrences of extinct meiolaniid turtles in New Caledonia: American Museum Novitates, v. 2800, p. 16.
Gaffney, E.S., Archer, M., and White, A., 1992, Warkalania, a new meiolaniid turtle from the Tertiary Riversleigh deposit of Queensland, Australia: The Beagle, Records of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences, v. 9, p. 3548.
Gaffney, E.S., Kool, L., Brinkman, D.B., Rich, T.H., and Rich, P.V., 1998, Otwayemys, a new cryptodiran turtle from the early Cretaceous of Australia: American Museum Novitates, v. 3233, p. 128.
Gaffney, E.S., Rich, T.H., Vickers-Rich, P., Constantine, A, Vacca, R., and Kool, L., 2007, Chubutemys, a new eucryptodiran turtle from the Early Cretaceous of Argentina, and the Relationships of the Meiolaniidae: American Museum Novitates, v. 3599, p. 135.
Goloboff, P., Farris, J.S., and Nixon, K.C., 2003, TNT: Tree Analysis Using New Technology, version 1.1 (Willy Hennig Society Edition). Program and documentation, available at http://www.zmuc.dk/public/phylogeny/tnt.
Goloboff, P., Farris, J.S., and Nixon, K.C., 2008, TNT, a free program for phylogenetic analysis: Cladistics, v. 24, p. 774786.
Hay, O.P., 1908, The fossil Turtles of North America: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 75, 568 p.
Holroyd, P.A., and Hutchison, J.H., 2002, Patterns of geographic variation in latest Cretaceous vertebrates: evidence from the turtle component, in Hartman, J.H., Johnson, K.R., and Nichols, D.J., eds., The Hell Creek Formation and Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary in the Northern Great Plains: An Integrated Continental Record of the End of the Cretaceous: Geological Society of America Special Paper 361, p. 177190.
Holroyd, P.A., Wilson, G.P. and Hutchison, J.H., 2014, Temporal changes within the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene turtle faunas of northeastern Montana, in Wilson, G.P., Clemens, W.A., Horner, J.R., and Hartman, J.H., eds., Through the End of the Cretaceous in the Type Locality of the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and Adjacent Areas: Geological Society of America Special Paper 503, p. 299312.
Hutchison, J.H., and Holroyd, P.A., 2003, Late Cretaceous and early Paleocene turtles of the Denver Basin, Colorado: Rocky Mountain Geology, v. 38, p.121142.
Joyce, W.G., 2007, Phylogenetic relationships of Mesozoic turtles: Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, v. 48, p. 3102.
Joyce, W.G., 2017, A Review of the Fossil Record of Basal Mesozoic Turtles: Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, v. 58, p. 65113.
Joyce, W.G., Parham, J.F., and Gauthier, J.A., 2004, Developing a protocol for the conversion of rank-based taxon names to phylogenetically defined clade names, as exemplified by turtles: Journal of Paleontology, v. 78, p. 9891013.
Joyce, W.G., Sterli, J. and Chapman, S., 2014, The skeletal morphology of the solemydid turtle Naomichelys speciose from the Early Cretaceous of Texas: Journal of Paleontology, v. 88, p. 12571287.
Joyce, W.G., Rabi, M., Clark, J.M., and Xu, X., 2016, A toothed turtle from the Late Jurassic of China and the global biogeographic history of turtles: BMC Evolutionary Biology, v. 16, p. 129. doi: 10.1186/s12862-016-0762-5
Khosatzky, L.I., 1997, Big turtle from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia: Russian Journal of Herpetology, v. 4, p. 148154.
Klein, I.T., 1760, Klassification und kurze Geschichte der Vierfüßigen Thiere (translation by F.D. Behn): Lübeck, Jonas Schmidt, 381 p.
Lesta, P. J., and Ferello, R., 1972, Región extrandina de Chubut y norte de Santa Cruz, in Leanza, A., ed., Geología Regional Argentina: Córdoba, Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Córdoba, p. 601654.
Lyson, T.R., Joyce, W.G., Knauss, G.E., and Pearson, D.A., 2011, Boremys (Testudines, Baenidae) from the latest Cretaceous and early Paleocene of North Dakota: an 11-million-year range extension and an additional K/T survivor. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 31, p. 729737.
Maddison, W. P., and Maddison, D.R., 2018, Mesquite: a modular system for evolutionary analysis: Version 3.40 http://mesquiteproject.org
Maniel, I.J., and de la Fuente, M.S., 2016, A review of the fossil record of turtles of the clade Pan-Chelidae: Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, v. 57, p. 191227.
Mannion, P.D., Upchurch, P., Barnes, R.N., and Mateus, O., 2013, Osteology of the Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropod dinosaur Lusotitan atalaiensis (Macronaria) and the evolutionary history of basal titanosauriforms: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 168, p. 98206.
Nopcsa, F., 1923, On the geological importance of the primitive reptilian fauna of the uppermost Cretaceous of Hungary; with a description of a new tortoise (Kallokibotion): Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, v. 79, p. 100116.
Owen, R., 1886, Description of some fossil remains of two species of a megalanian genus (Meiolania) from “Lord Howe's Island”: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, v. B179, p. 181191.
Pérez-García, A., and Codrea, V., 2017, New insights on the anatomy and systematics of Kallokibotion Nopcsa, 1923, the enigmatic uppermost Cretaceous basal turtle (stem Testudines) from Transylvania: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 182, p. 419443.
Rougier, G.W., de la Fuente, M.S., and Arcucci, A.B., 1995, Late Triassic turtles from South America: Science, v. 268, p. 855858.
Shah, R.V., 1963, The neck musculature of a cryptodire (Deirochelys) and a pleurodire (Chelodina) compared: Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, v. 129, p. 343368.
Staesche, K., 1929, Schildkrötenreste aus der oberen Kreide Patagoniens: Palaeontographica, v. 72, p. 103112.
Sterli, J., 2008, A new, nearly complete stem turtle from the Jurassic of South America with implications for turtle evolution: Biology Letters, v. 4, p. 286289.
Sterli, J., 2015, A review of the fossil record of Gondwanan turtles of the clade Meiolaniformes: Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, v. 56, p. 2145.
Sterli, J., and de la Fuente, M.S., 2011a, Re-description and evolutionary remarks on the Patagonian horned turtle Niolamia argentina Ameghino, 1899 (Testudinata; Meiolaniidae): Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 31, p. 12101229.
Sterli, J., and de la Fuente, M.S., 2011b, A new turtle from the La Colonia Formation (Campanian–Maastrichtian), Patagonia, Argentina with remarks on the evolution of the vertebral column in turtles: Palaeontology, v. 54, p. 6378.
Sterli, J., and de la Fuente, M.S., 2013, New evidence from the Palaeocene of Patagonia (Argentina) on the evolution and palaeo-biogeography of Meiolaniformes (Testudinata, new taxon name): Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, v. 11, p. 835852.
Sterli, J., de la Fuente, M.S., and Umazano, A.M., 2015a, New remains and new insights on the Gondwanan meiolaniform turtle Chubutemys copelloi from the Lower Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina: Gondwana Research, v. 27, p., 978994.
Sterli, J., de la Fuente, M.S., and Krause, J.M., 2015b, A new turtle from the Palaeogene of Patagonia (Argentina) sheds new light on the diversity and evolution of the bizarre clade of horned turtles (Meiolaniidae, Testudinata): Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 174, p. 519548.
Sterli, J., de la Fuente, M. S., and Rougier, G.W., in press, New remains of Condorchelys antiqua (Testudinata) from the early-middle Jurassic of Patagonia: anatomy, phylogeny, and paedomorphosis in the early evolution of turtles: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, doi 10.1080/02724634.2018.1480112.
Sukhanov, V.B., 2000, Mesozoic turtles of Middle and Central Asia, in Benton, M.J., Shishkin, M.A., Unwin, D.M., and Kurochkin, E.N., eds., The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, p. 309367.
Sullivan, P.M., and Joyce, W.G., 2017. The shell and pelvic anatomy of the Late Jurassic turtle Platychelys oberndorferi based on material from Solothurn, Switzerland: Swiss Journal of Palaeontology, v. 136, p. 323343.
Suzuki, S., and Chinzorig, Ts., 2010, A catalog of Mongolochelys collected by the HMNS-MPC Joint Paleontological Expedition: Hayashibara Museum Natural Sciences Research Bulletin, v. 3, p. 119131.
Templeton, A.R., 1983, Phylogenetic inference from restriction endonuclease cleavage site maps with particular reference to the evolution of humans and the apes: Evolution, v. 37, p. 221244.
Vlachos, E., Randolfe, E., Sterli, J., Leardi, J.M., 2018, Changes in the diversity of turtles (Testudinata) in South America from the Late Triassic to the present: Ameghiniana, v. 55, p. 619643.
Wagner, A., 1853, Beschreibung einer fossilen Schildkröten undetlicher anderer Reptilien-Überreste aus den lithographischen Schiefern und dem grünen Sandsteine von Kehlheim: Abhandlungen der bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, mathematisch-physikalische Klasse, v. 7, p. 241264.
Wilson, J., 2002, Sauropod dinosaur phylogeny: critique and cladistic analysis: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v 136, p. 215275.
Woodward, A.S., 1888, Note on the extinct reptilian genera Megalania, Owen and Meiolania, Owen: Annals and Magazine of Natural History, v. 6, p. 8589.
Ye, Y., and Pi, X., 1997, A new genus of Chengyuchelyidae from Dashanpu, Zigong, Sichuan: Vertebrata PalAsiatica, v. 35, p. 182188. [in Chinese]

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Cranial and post-cranial remains and phylogenetic relationships of the Gondwanan meiolaniform turtle Peligrochelys walshae from the Paleocene of Chubut, Argentina

  • Juliana Sterli (a1) (a2) and Marcelo S. de la Fuente (a1) (a3) (a4)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.