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|Title:||A forged ‘chimera’ including the second specimen of the protostegid sea turtle Santanachelys gaffneyi and shell parts of the pleurodire Araripemys from the Lower Cretaceous Santana Group of Brazil|
|Author(s):||Scheyer, Torsten Michael|
Oliveira, Gustavo R.
Romano, Pedro S. R.
Ferreira, Gabriel S.
|Abstract:||Fossils of Cretaceous sea turtles adapted to an open marine lifestyle remain rare finds to date. Furthermore, the relationships between extant sea turtles, chelonioids, and other Mesozoic marine turtles are still contested, with one key species being Santanachelys gaffneyi Hirayama, 1998, long considered the earliest true sea turtle. The species is an Early Cretaceous member of Protostegidae, a controversial clade either placed within or closely related to Chelonioidea or, alternatively, along the stem lineage of hidden-neck turtles (Cryptodira) and representing an independent open marine radiation. Santanachelys gaffneyi is one of the most completely preserved early protostegids and is therefore critical for establishing the global phylogenetic position of the group. However, the single known specimen of this taxon is yet to be described in detail. Here we describe a second specimen of Santanachelys gaffneyi from its type horizon, the Romualdo Formation (late Aptian) of the Santana Group of the Araripe basin, NE Brazil. The skeletal elements preserved include the posterior part of the skull, neck vertebrae, shoulder girdle, anterior-most and left/central part of the carapace with few peripherals, and plastron lacking most of the hyoplastra. The remaining part of the carapace was apparently completed by fossil dealers using an anterior part of the pleurodiran Araripemydidae, tentatively identified as a shell portion of cf. Araripemys barretoi, a more common Santana fossil turtle, among other indeterminate turtle shell fragments. The purpose of this paper is to report the repatriation of the specimen to Brazil and to provide a preliminary description.|
|Open Access:||Open access publication|
|License:||(CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0|
|Journal Title:||Swiss journal of palaeontology|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Publikationen der MLU|