Article: A long-bodied lizard from the Lower Cretaceous of Japan
Platynotan lizards underwent a dramatic Late Cretaceous radiation into marine habitats. Beginning with small-bodied forms, the lineage culminated with the mosasaurs, large predatory lizards with a world-wide distribution in the Santonian-Campanian. Moreover, the marine squamate radiations of the Cenomanian-Turonian are remarkable in having produced a range of long-bodied, reduced-limbed swimmers (dolichosaurs, adriosaurs, coniasaurs and limbed snakes) that seem to have thrived in the shallow coastal environments of the Western Tethys region. Until now, none of these long-bodied aquatic squamates has been recorded prior to the Cenomanian, none has been recovered from a non-marine locality and none is known from Asia. Here we describe a small, gracile, long-bodied mosasauroid lizard from a swampy continental deposit in the Lower Cretaceous of Japan.