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Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico

Edited by Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva, Kenneth Carpenter, and Eberhard Frey

Publication Year: 2014

This overview of dinosaur discoveries in Mexico synthesizes current information about the geography and environment of the region during the Mesozoic when it was the western margin of the ancient continent of Pangea. The book summarizes research on various groups, including turtles, lepidosauromorphs, plesiosaurs, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and last but not least, dinosaurs. In addition, chapters focus on trackways and other trace fossils and on K/P boundary (the Chicxulub crater, beneath the Gulf of Mexico, has been hypothesized as the site of the boloid impact that killed off the dinosaurs). Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles from the Mesozoic of Mexico is an up-to-date, informative volume on an area that has not been comprehensively described until now.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Life of the Past

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Dinosaurs and other Mesozoic reptiles of Mexico have long been under-appreciated despite their first discovery more than  years ago. The first Mexican paleontological studies were mainly conducted on invertebrates and mammals. Other vertebrates did not draw research attention until...

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1. History of the Discoveries of Dinosaurs and Mesozoic Reptiles in Mexico

Jose Ruben Guzman-Gutierrez and Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva

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pp. 1-12

The oldest records for the discovery of prehistoric gigantic bones in what is today Mexico begins with the mythology of pre-Hispanic Aztecs who believed in the existence of giants they called “Quinametzin” or “Quinametin” (Maldonado-Köerdell, 1948; see also Mayor, 2005). Later, during the Spanish conquest, some documents chronicle the discovery of...

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2. Paleogeography and Paleoenvironment of Mexico during the Mesozoic

Wolfgang Stinnesbeck and Eberhard Frey

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pp. 13-29

We provide an overview on the geotectonic and paleogeographical development of northeastern Mexico during the Mesozoic, emphasizing the sediment record with findings of reptiles. We also briefly address other regions of Mexico with important coeval discoveries of reptilian remains...

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3. Turtles of the Mesozoic of Mexico

Donald B. Brinkman

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pp. 30-43

Turtles are typically abundant and diverse members of fossil assemblages of the Cretaceous providing contextual information about assemblages in which they are found. Of special interest is their relevance to interpretations of paleobiogeography. Lehman (1987, 1997), based in part...

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4. Mesozoic Lepidosauromorphs of Mexico: A Review and Discussion of Taxonomic Assignments

Víctor Hugo Reynoso and J. Alberto Cruz

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pp. 44-78

Squamates and rhynchocephalians are the most diverse group of vertebrate after birds. Today, there are about 7,000 terrestrial and marine species worldwide. Squamates (lizards, snakes, dibamids, and amphisbaenians) and sphenodontians (tuataras) are grouped as Lepidosauria...

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5. Plesiosaurs, Reptiles between Grace and Awe

Eberhard Frey and Wolfgang Stinnesbeck

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pp. 79-98

Plesiosauria are an enigmatic group of Sauropterygia. The literal translation of the term Plesiosauria means “almost a lizard” because these animals were long interpreted to be intermediate between Ichthyosauria, the fish lizards, and the true land reptiles, especially Testudines (De la Beche...

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6. Mexican Ichthyosaurs

Eberhard Frey and Wolfgang Stinnesbeck

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pp. 99-109

During the latest Jurassic and throughout most of the Cretaceous Period, much of what is now Mexico was covered by the Paleo-Gulf of Mexico. Toward the east this sea was connected with an intercontinental ocean, the central Atlantic and the Tethys Ocean, which separated Laurasia...

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7. Overview of Mesozoic Crocodyliforms from Mexico

Gerardo Carbot-Chanona

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pp. 110-125

Crocodyliformes were more diverse in the Mesozoic than at present and included marine, amphibious, and terrestrial forms. Traditionally, this group included the “Protosuchia” and “Mesosuchia,” now known to be paraphyletic, and the monophyletic group Eusuchia (Clark, 1994)...

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8. Mexican Pterosaurs—Rare Jewels in the Fossil Record

Eberhard Frey and Wolfgang Stinnesbeck

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pp. 126-142

Pterosauria were a unique group of flying reptiles and the first known vertebrates to achieve flapping flight. The earliest pterosaurs come from Late Triassic of Italy, and they became extinct during the late Maastrichtian together with the non-avian dinosaurs (Wellnhofer, 1991; Unwin...

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9. Mexican Saurischian Dinosaurs

Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva and Kenneth Carpenter

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pp. 143-155

The Saurischia is defined as a stem-based taxon that includes all Dinosauria that are closer to Allosaurus than to Stegosaurus (Gauthier, 1986; Padian and May, 1993; Sereno, 1999; Langer, 2004). Saurischia is composed of two major lineages, the herbivorous Sauropodomorpha and...

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10. The Ornithischian Dinosaurs of Mexico

Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva and Kenneth Carpenter

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pp. 156-180

The Ornithischia is defined as a stem-based taxon that includes all dinosaurs closer to Triceratops horridus Marsh, 1889 than to either Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758), or Saltasaurus loricatus Bonaparte and Powell, 1980 (Butler et al., 2008). The Late Triassic Pisanosaurus represents...

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11. A Summary of the Mesozoic Vertebrate Tracks of Mexico

Victor Manuel Bravo-Cuevas and Rubén Rodríguez-de la Rosa

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pp. 181-192

A trace fossil represents indirect evidence of biological activity and behavior of a particular organism and may include tracks, trails, burrows, borings, fecal and non-fecal pellets, and, root impressions (Benton and Harper, 2009). Tracks represent one of the most significant types of indirect

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12. The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Boundary in Mexico

Wolfgang Stinnesbeck and Eberhard Frey

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pp. 193-212

Dramatic changes in both terrestrial and marine biota occurred repeatedly during the Phanerozoic. During short periods of the geological time, biodiversity underwent major incisions, with the dramatic loss of taxa both on continents and in the oceans and the collapse of entire...


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pp. 213-216

E-ISBN-13: 9780253012715
E-ISBN-10: 0253012716
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253011831

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 10 color illus., 93 b&w illus., 1 map
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Life of the Past