Article: A new metriorhynchid crocodilian (Mesoeucrocodylia: Thalattosuchia) from the Kimmeridgian (Upper Jurassic) of Wiltshire, UK
Laura E. Wilkinson, Mark T. Young and Michael J. Benton
Recent revision of the marine metriorhynchid crocodilians indicates that a partial skull previously assigned to the species Metriorhynchus superciliosus and newly discovered postcranial elements from the Kimmeridge Clay of Westbury, Wiltshire belong to a new species of metriorhynchid. This material is herein described and referred to a new species of the genus Dakosaurus, characterised by four apomorphies: the size and shape of the enlarged supratemporal fossae; relatively large teeth, and half the number in relatives; the robust and unornamented cranium; and the angle that the prefrontal makes with the long axis of the skull. In a new phylogenetic analysis, Dakosaurus carpenteri sp. nov. is the basal member of a clade containing also D. maximus and D. andiniensis: it is not so short-snouted and its teeth are not so few and large as in the other two species, but the new form illustrates the ecological transition among metriorhynchids from a piscivorous diet to high-order carnivory.