Article: A new pachyostotic squamate reptile from the Cenomanian of France
Jean-Claude Rage and Didier Néraudeau
Cenomanian beds from western France have yielded a new pythonomorph squamate (Reptilia) that is described here as Carentonosaurus mineaui gen. et sp. nov. This fossil is referred to non-mosasaurid mosasauroid lizards, i.e. to 'aigialosaurs'. It has been found in sediments of marine origin and its anatomy confirms that it was an aquatic lizard. It is characterized by a combination of characters that has not been reported, thus far, for squamates. Moreover, its vertebral column includes non-pachyostotic cervical vertebrae and highly pachyostotic dorsal vertebrae as in several other 'aigialosaurs'. This new taxon is perhaps restricted to the upper Cenomanian. It lived in shallow and rather warm water of the inner shelf. It is worth mentioning that nearly all pachyostotic squamates are concentrated in the Cenomanian and/or lower Turonian deposits of the present European-North African-Middle East portion of the Tethys. A parallel is drawn between the high percentage of pachyostotic squamates and the fact that this period corresponds to both the largest transgression of the Phanerozoic and the warmest period in the whole of the Mesozoic and Caenozoic.