ABSTRACT鈥擱ecords of Early Triassic marine reptiles, when they first emerged after the end Permian mass extinction, are rare. During an excavation at Majiashan, Chaohu, Anhui Province, a new sauropterygian specimen was found co-occurring with the ichthyopterygian Chaohusaurus from the Upper Member of the Nanlinghu Formation, of Olenekian (Spathian, Early Triassic) age, for which a new taxon, Majiashanosaurus discocoracoidis, gen. et sp. nov., is erected. This skeleton is exposed in ventral view, with the last three cervical vertebrae together with 19 dorsal, three sacral, and more than 18 caudal vertebrae preserved. The cervical centra are keeled ventrally, and cervical ribs are double-headed, carrying a free anterior process. The transverse processes of the dorsal vertebrae are not distinctively elongated. The dorsal ribs are single-headed, and the clavicles articulate on the anteromedial aspect of the scapula. The humerus is curved. These features allow assignment to a new sauropterygian taxon. The interclavicle has no posterior process, and the scapula is of typical eosauropterygian shape, with a broad and ventrally expanded glenoidal portion that is separated from a narrow posterodorsal blade by a distinct constriction. The coracoid is round and plate-like without a waist. This feature is different from that of all other known eosauropterygians, but resembles that of placodonts.
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T.-F. Hu prepared the specimen. Projects 41372016, 40920124002, and 40672002 were supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Project 123102 was supported by State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences). Project 20120001110072 was supported by the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education. The research was also supported by the Project of Protection for Geological Heritage from the Department of Land and Resource of Anhui Province to G.C. D.Y.J. was supported by the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-07-0015). Editor R. O鈥橩eefe, reviewers N. Fraser and J. Neenan, and an anonymous reviewer offered very helpful advice and comments.
Handling editor: Robin O鈥橩eefe.