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Luskhan

Reptilia - Sauropterygia - Pliosauridae

Taxonomy
Luskhan was named by Fischer et al. (2017) [Luskhan itilensis is characterized by the following autapomorphies: seven premaxillary teeth (unique within Thalassophonea); procumbent, nearly horizontal first premaxillary tooth; wide and strongly swollen interalveolar space between the first and second premaxillary alveoli; squamosal/quadrate suture expanding posteriorly into a hook-like, rugose process on the squamosal; exoccipitals meet ventromedially and thereby exclude the basioccipital from participating in the floor of the foramen magnum (at least posteriorly); deep lateral sulcus ventrally on the lateral surface of the dorsal lamella of the pterygoid; enlarged atlantal intercentrum swollen posteroventrally, with longitudinal ventral ridge; ventromedially expanded atlantal arches excluding the odontoid from the neural canal; tongue-like ventral process of the 3rd cervical centrum extending far anteroventrally to cover the ventral exposure of the axial centrum; anteromedial process of the coracoid extends ventrally rather than anteriorly, forming a 90° angle with coracoid plate; dorsoventrally short dorsal process of the scapula, extending approximately only as far dorsally as the distance posteriorly from the base of the scapular blade to the scapulocoracoid contact (unique among thalassophoneans; present otherwise in elasmosaurids e.g. [12]); epipodial elements are reduced, being comparable in size to tarsals; humeral tuberosity higher dorsally than ventral expansion of humeral capitulum; ulna longer than radius; absence of an epipodial foramen (unique among pliosaurids); intermedium contacting only the fibula proximally, and so bearing only a single proximal facet (the distal tarsals are not offset with respect to proximal tarsals in Marmornectes + Thalassophonea [2,13,14], but the intermedia of these species still bear a facet for the tibia, unlike in Luskhan itilensis); fibula much longer anteroposteriorly than tibia.]. Its type is Luskhan itilensis. It was considered monophyletic by Fischer et al. (2017).

It was assigned to Brachaucheninae by Fischer et al. (2017).

Synonymy list
YearName and author
2017Luskhan Fischer et al.

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RankNameAuthor
kingdomAnimalia()
Triploblastica
Nephrozoa
Deuterostomia
phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
subphylumVertebrata
superclassGnathostomata
Osteichthyes()
Sarcopterygii
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
subclassTetrapodomorpha()
Tetrapoda()
Reptiliomorpha
Anthracosauria
Batrachosauria()
RankNameAuthor
Cotylosauria()
Amniota
Sauropsida
classReptilia
subclassEureptilia()
Romeriida
Diapsida()
orderSauropterygia
Pistosauria(Baur 1890)
Plesiosauria(de Blainville 1835)
familyPliosauridaeSeeley 1874
Thalassophonea
subfamilyBrachaucheninae(Williston 1925)
genusLuskhan

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
V. Fischer et al. 2017Luskhan itilensis is characterized by the following autapomor- phies: seven premaxillary teeth (unique within Thalassophonea); procumbent, nearly horizontal first premaxillary tooth; wide and strongly swollen interalveolar space between the first and sec- ond premaxillary alveoli; squamosal/quadrate suture expanding posteriorly into a hook-like, rugose process on the squamosal; exoccipitals meet ventromedially and thereby exclude the ba- sioccipital from participating in the floor of the foramen magnum (at least posteriorly); deep lateral sulcus ventrally on the lateral surface of the dorsal lamella of the pterygoid; enlarged atlantal intercentrum swollen posteroventrally, with longitudinal ventral ridge; ventromedially expanded atlantal arches excluding the odontoid from the neural canal; tongue-like ventral process of the third cervical centrum extending far anteroventrally to cover the ventral exposure of the axial centrum; anteromedial process of the coracoid extends ventrally rather than anteriorly, forming a 90 angle with coracoid plate; dorsoventrally short dorsal pro- cess of the scapula, extending approximately only as far dorsally as the distance posteriorly from the base of the scapular blade to the scapulocoracoid contact (unique among thalassophoneans; present otherwise in elasmosaurids; epipodial ele- ments are reduced, being comparable in size to tarsals; humeral tuberosity higher dorsally than ventral expansion of humeral capitulum; ulna longer than radius; absence of an epipodial fora- men (unique among pliosaurids); intermedium contacting only the fibula proximally, and so bearing only a single proximal facet (the distal tarsals are not offset with respect to proximal tarsals in Marmornectes + Thalassophonea, but the intermedia of these species still bear a facet for the tibia, unlike in Luskhan itilensis); and fibula much longer anteroposteriorly than tibia.