Colymbosaurines from the Upper Jurassic of European Russia and their implication for palaeobiogeography of marine reptiles

Abstract

Plesiosaur specimens from the Upper Jurassic of European Russia are mainly referable to the genus Colymbosaurus Seeley, 1874, based on elongated propodials with extensive posterodistal expansion, and relatively short mid-cervical vertebrae. However, a historical specimen described by Bogolubov (1911) and subsequently revised as Plesiosauria indet. (Storrs et al. 2000) was hitherto the only and ambiguous evidence for the presence of Colymbosaurus in the Upper Jurassic of European Russia. Here, we provide descriptions of several specimens from the Volgian of European Russia referable to Colymbosaurus sp. and Colymbosaurinae indet. The presence of Colymbosaurus in the Late Jurassic (Volgian/Tithonian) of the Middle Russian Sea makes it possible to formulate hypotheses on herpetophauna exchange between NW Europe, Svalbard and European Russia. Found only in these basins, Colymbosaurus is a unifying element of marine herpetofauna in the Panboreal palaeobiogeographic superrealm.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Yu.K. Volodina and O.E. Borodina (YKM), I.A. Starodubtseva (SGM), A.I. Klukina and P.V. Bogdanov (SDM) and M. Riley (CAMSM) for the opportunity to study the museum materials and their help that make our research as easy as possible. Attentive reviews of Espen Knutsen, Aubrey Roberts, Richard Forrest and an anonymous reviewer helped us sufficiently improve this work.

Funding

This research was supported by the state programs no. 0135-2018-0035 (Geological Institute, Russian Acad. Sci.; N. Zverkov and M. Rogov) and partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project nos. 18-05-01070 (MAR) and 18-35-00221 (NGZ) and by the Basic Research Program of the Presidium of RAS no. 8, project no. 0135-2018-0042 (MAR and NGZ).

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Arkhangelsky, M.S., Zverkov, N.G., Rogov, M.A. et al. Colymbosaurines from the Upper Jurassic of European Russia and their implication for palaeobiogeography of marine reptiles. Palaeobio Palaeoenv 100, 197–218 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-019-00397-0

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Keywords

  • Colymbosaurinae
  • Colymbosaurus
  • Palaeobiogeography
  • Jurassic
  • Volgian
  • Russia