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Taniwhasaurus oweni

Reptilia - Squamata - Mosasauridae

Taxonomy
Taniwhasaurus oweni was named by Hector (1874). It is not a trace fossil. Its type locality is Amuri Bluff, which is in a Campanian/Maastrichtian basinal (siliciclastic) sandstone in the Conway Formation of New Zealand.

It was synonymized subjectively with Mosasaurus mokoroa by Welles and Gregg (1971).

Synonyms
Synonymy list
YearName and author
1874Tylosaurus haumuriensis Hector
1874Taniwhasaurus oweni Hector pp. 353-354 figs. PLl. XXXI
1991Taniwhasaurus oweni Fordyce p. 1174
1991Tylosaurus haumuriensis Fordyce p. 1174
2005Taniwhasaurus oweni Caldwell et al. pp. .394-400 figs. 2-10

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RankNameAuthor
kingdomAnimalia()
Triploblastica
Nephrozoa
Deuterostomia
phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
subphylumVertebrata
superclassGnathostomata
Osteichthyes()
Sarcopterygii
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
subclassTetrapodomorpha()
Tetrapoda()
Reptiliomorpha
Anthracosauria
Batrachosauria()
Cotylosauria()
Amniota
Sauropsida
RankNameAuthor
classReptilia
subclassEureptilia()
Romeriida
Diapsida()
Eosuchia()
Neodiapsida
SauriaGauthier 1984
Lepidosauromorpha(Benton 1983)
superorderLepidosauria()
orderSquamata
Episquamata
ToxicoferaVidal and Hedges 2005
superfamilyMosasauria(Marsh 1880)
familyMosasauridae
Russellosaurina(Bell 1997)
subfamilyTylosaurinaeWiliston 1895
genusTaniwhasaurus
speciesoweni

If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.

Diagnosis
ReferenceDiagnosis
J. Hector 1874"The dorsal vertebne, of which seven are preserved, are procoelian, and characterized by their bodies having a greater anterior than posterior diameter, the cup end having a much greater diameter than the ball which it receives. The plane of each articular surface is, moreover, displaced obliquely backwards with reference to the general axis of the vertebral column. Surrounding the ball end of the vertebra is a very distinct capsular ridge and groove. The neural arches are continuous with the anterior portions of the centra, and articulate by bold transverse processes, the anterior being the longer in each case. A slight overhanging continuation of the anterior margin of the spine over the neural canal seems to indicate a rudimentary zygosphene.
The ribs appear to have articulated with a rough surface, placed on the anterior and upper part of the centra. A few fragments of ribs are preserved, and show the articular head to have had a convex surface. The inferior two-thirds of the circumference of the centra presents an even striated surfaca The centra are compressed laterally, but not constricted....
The paddle bones are very remarkable, and differ altogether from anything else in the collection. The humerus is extremely short in proportion to its width, having a flattened form, and strong irregular much-recurved anconal processes.... The carpals are remarkably thin and flattened, their borders being raised and roughened. Only a few fragments of phalanges are preserved, from which they appear to have been rather elongate cylindrical bones expanded at both ends. The head is preserved in two portions from the orbit forwards, but a part is wanting in the middle."
M. W. Caldwell et al. 2005Tylosaurine mosasaur with prefrontal excluding maxilla from contact with frontal; broad overlap of prefrontal and postorbitofrontal above orbit, excluding frontal from orbital margin; frontal shield-shaped rather than triangular; narial opening beginning above third to fourth maxillary tooth position; 13 to14 teeth in maxilla; at least 15 dentary teeth; predental rostrum of premaxilla with dorsal sagittal crest; small predental process on anterior tip of dentary; distal end of suprastapedial process strongly deflected anteriorly and medially, squared off rather than pointed; infrastapedial process small.