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Augustasaurus is a genus of aquatic sauropterygian reptile belonging to the plesiosaur order. Pistosaurus and Augustasaurus are the only known members of the family Pistosauridae,[1] thought to be a sister group of the order Plesiosauria.[2] The only known species of Augustasaurus is Augustasaurus hagdorni , which was first described in 1997.

EtymologyEdit

The first part of Augustasaurus' name comes from the Augusta Mountains of northwestern Nevada,[3] where its fossil bones were first discovered.[1] The second part of the name is the Greek word sauros (σαυρος), which means "lizard" or "reptile."[3] The type species, Augustasaurus hagdorni, was named in honor of the paleontologist Hans Hagdorn.[3]

DescriptionEdit

Augustasaurus' skull shares many general characteristics with its relative, Pistosaurus, such as tall, blade-like upper temporal arches.[1] The skull's elongated rostrum tapers to a dull point, the anterior premaxillary and maxillary teeth have been described as "fang-like",[1] and the squamosal makes a box-like suspensorium.[1]


The dorsal neural spines of Augustasaurus are low with rugose tops[4]. Its coracoids are large plates similar to those in other plesiosaurs[5]. However, the coracoid foramen are missing from Agustasaurus, in a way similar to those in the plesiosaur Corosaurus.[5] Its cervical ribs have anterior process,[6] and like most plesiosaurs, Augustasaurus' vertebrae have "thickened transverse processes".[6]

DistributionEdit

Augustasaurus is known from the Augusta Mountains of northwestern Nevada (United States). The holotype specimen was found in the Favret Formation, which dates from the mid-Triassic period, of Pershing County, Nevada.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Article: pp. 577–592. THE SKULL OF THE PISTOSAUR AUGUSTASAURUS FROM THE MIDDLE TRIASSIC OF NORTHWESTERN NEVADA.OLIVIER RIEPPEL, P. MARTIN SANDER, and GLENN W. STORRS. 1997
  2. ^ Acta Zool. Fennica 213: 1–63 ISBN 951-9481-58-3 ISSN 0001-7299 Helsinki 11 December 2001 © Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2001 A cladistic analysis and taxonomic revision of the Plesiosauria (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) Frank Robin O’Keefe. Pg.3
  3. ^ a b c "Plesiosaur.com entry on Augustasaurus". http://www.plesiosaur.com/database/genusIndividual.php?i=32. Retrieved on 2008-07-16. 
  4. ^ O’Keefe. Pg.52
  5. ^ a b O'Keefe Pg. 5
  6. ^ a b O'Keefe. Pg. 51
  7. ^ O'Keefe Pg.9

External linksEdit

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