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Reptilia - Meiolaniidae

Synonymy list
YearName and author
1887Meiolaniidae Lydekker
1987Meiolaniidae de Broin p. 132
1988Meiolaniidae Carroll
1992Meiolaniidae Gaffney et al.
1992Meiolaniidae Megirian
1996Meiolanidae Gaffney
2004Meiolanidae Joyce et al.
2007Meiolaniidae Gaffney et al.
2011Meiolaniidae Sterli and de la Fuente
2012Meiolaniidae Anquetin p. 34 fig. 10
2013Meiolaniidae Sterli and de la Fuente
2014Meiolaniidae de la Fuente et al.
2015Meiolaniidae Rhodin et al.
2015Meiolaniidae Sterli
2015Meiolaniidae Sterli et al.

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phylumChordataHaeckel 1847
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
Testudinata(Oppel 1811)
familyMeiolaniidaeLydekker 1887
familyMeiolaniidaeLydekker 1887

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.

J. Sterli 2015Representatives of Meiolaniidae are diagnosed relative to more basal meiolaniforms by the presence of a contact between the quadratojugal and the squamosal below cavum tympani, presence of squamosal horns, absence of an antrum postoticum, presence of an intrapterygoid slit through which the arteria palatina enters the skull, presence of a bony flooring for the canalis carotici interni posterior to the bifurcation of the cerebral and palatine branches, formation of the foramen posterior canalis carotici interni by the pterygoid and the presence of a tail club and tail rings.
No measurements are available
Composition: phosphaticsubp
Environment: terrestrialf
Locomotion: actively mobilec
Comments: From Sterli (2015): In his detailed contribution about the postcranial anatomy, Gaffney (1996) compared Me. platyceps with testudinids and suggested that both taxa have many similar postcranial structures, probably because meiolaniids were adapted to terrestrial habitats. Among others, both taxa have short coracoids, a large angle between the dorsal process of the scapula and acromion, similarly shaped olecranon and sigmoid notches, spherical femoral heads, limb osteoderms, a reduced digital formula in the manus of 2-2-2-2-2, short phalanges and vaulted carapaces (Gaffney 1996). Other characteristics cited as evidence for terrestrial habits are the presence of tail rings and tail clubs (Joyce and Gauthier 2004) and the histology of the shell (Scheyer 2007). However, given that several meiolaniids are known from isolated oceanic islands, it is apparent that they occasionally dispersed across water, likely by analogy to extant giant tortoises. The likely presence of osteoderms in other meiolaniforms makes it likely that the entire clade was terrestrial.f
Created: 2017-04-29 07:47:51
Modified: 2017-04-29 07:47:51
Source: f = family, c = class, subp = subphylum
References: Kiessling 2004, Sterli 2015, Carroll 1988, Hendy et al. 2009

Age range: base of the Middle Eocene to the top of the Holocene or 48.60000 to 0.00000 Ma

Collections (24 total)

Time interval Ma Country or state Original ID and collection number
Middle Eocene48.6 - 37.2Argentina (Chubut) Crossochelys corniger (39295) Gaffneylania auricularis (142929) Meiolaniidae indet. (185026) Niolamia argentina (185027)
Middle Eocene - Late/Upper Eocene48.6 - 33.9Australia (Queensland) Meiolaniidae indet. (143208)
Late/Upper Oligocene - Early/Lower Miocene28.4 - 15.97Australia (South Australia) Meiolaniidae indet. (135688 137261)
Late/Upper Oligocene - Early/Lower Miocene28.4 - 15.97Australia (Queensland) Warkalania carinaminor (143358)
Altonian19.0 - 15.9New Zealand (South Island) Testudines indet. (153884)
Middle Miocene15.97 - 11.608Australia (Queensland) Meiolaniidae indet. (181913)
Middle Miocene15.97 - 11.608Australia (Northern Territory) Meiolania brevicollis (92839)
Pliocene5.333 - 2.588Australia (New South Wales) Meiolaniidae indet. (95862)
Pleistocene2.588 - 0.0117Australia (Queensland) Meiolania oweni (135914) Meiolaniidae indet. (136724)
Pleistocene2.588 - 0.0117New Caledonia (Isle of Pines) Meiolania mackayi (185433)
Pleistocene2.588 - 0.0117Australia (New South Wales) Meiolania platyceps (185435 185436 185437 185438 185439) Meiolania platyceps, Meiolania minor, Ceratochelys sthenurus (185430)
Middle Pleistocene - Late/Upper Pleistocene0.781 - 0.0117Australia (Queensland) Meiolania platyceps (183080)
Late/Upper Pleistocene0.126 - 0.0117New Caledonia (Lifu) Meiolaniidae indet. (185432)
Holocene0.0117 - 0.0New Caledonia Meiolaniidae indet. (13221)