South of Sassenfjorden, southeast side of Mount Knerten (Pliosaurus funkei type) (Jurassic of Norway)

Where: Spitsbergen, Norway (78.3° N, 16.2° E: paleocoordinates 69.5° N, 15.7° E)

• coordinate stated in text

• outcrop-level geographic resolution

When: Dorsoplanites ilovaiskyi–Dorsoplanites maximus ammonoid zone, Slottsmøya Member (Agardhfjellet Formation), Tithonian (152.1 - 145.0 Ma)

• Approximately 30 metres below the Myklegardfjellet Bed, Slottsmøya Member, Agardhfjellet Formation. Dorsoplanites ilovaiskyi to Dorsoplanites maximus ammonite zones, Middle Volgian (Tithonian; Nagy & Basov, 1998; Collignon & Hammer, 2012; Gradstein et al. in press).

•To further quantify the stratigraphic occurrence of the vertebrate remains, a laterally continuous, sideritic horizon rich in ammonites (especially Dorsoplanites sp.) and bivalves, and a yellow silt bed were used as upper and lower marker beds, respectively, against which the stratigraphic position of each skeleton was measured. The yellow silt bed was set as 0 m. The Dorsoplanites marker bed occurs 27 m above this yellow layer and 21 m below the top of the Slottsmøya Member (Myklegardfjellet Bed; see Hammer et al., 2012), and occurs in the Middle Volgian D. maximus or D. ilovaiskyi zone. The vertical position of each vertebrate specimen was recorded with a Leica TCR 110 total station with <1 cm error at 100 metre distance and later corrected with respect to dip. Both specimens described here (PMO 214.135 and PMO 214.136) occur at almost exactly the same stratigraphic level within the member, at approximately 14 metres below the Dorsoplanites bed, and 14 metres above the yellow silt layer (Hurum et al. 2012, table 1).

Environment/lithology: deep-water; concretionary, sideritic, black, gray, silty mudstone and dolomite

• The Slottsmøya Member was deposited in an open marine environment under oxygen-deficient settings (Bjarke 1978; Nagy et al., 1988; Dypvik et al., 1991b). Paleogeographic reconstructions for Svalbard during the Kimmeridgian to Valanginian interval place paleoshorelines several hundred kilometres to the north and west (Dypvik et al., 2002).
• The Slottsmøya Member, which is 70-90 metres in thickness in the study area, consists of dark-grey to black silty mudstone, often weathering to paper shale, discontinuous silty beds, with local occurrences of red to yellowish sideritic concretions as well as siderite and dolomite interbeds (Dypvik et al., 1991a; Hammer et al., 2011; Collignon & Hammer, 2012).

Size class: macrofossils

Collected by Bjørn Funke as part of PMO expedition in 2007

Collection methods: surface (in situ),

• PMO, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo collection

Primary reference: E. M. Knutsen, P. S. Druckenmiller, and J. H. Hurum. 2012. A new species of Pliosaurus (Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria) from the Middle Volgian of central Spitsbergen, Norway. Norwegian Journal of Geology 92:235-258 [R. Benson/R. Benson]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 134742: authorized by Roger Benson, entered by Roger Benson on 15.10.2012

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

 Sauropterygia - Pliosauridae
Pliosaurus funkei n. sp. Knutsen et al. 2012 plesiosaur
Holotype: PMO 214.135: partial skeleton consisting of the anterior portions of the upper and lower jaws, including premaxillary and dentary teeth; one nearly complete cervical centrum and two partial cervical centra; three pectoral centra with neural arches; fifteen dorsal centra and eight neural arches; a complete right coracoid; the right forelimb including the humerus, epipodials, three mesopodials, and phalanges; numerous rib fragments and gastralia.