Shepherds Chine (Cretaceous of the United Kingdom)

Where: England, United Kingdom (50.6° N, 1.4° W: paleocoordinates 40.9° N, 9.3° E)

• coordinate estimated from map

• small collection-level geographic resolution

When: Shepherd's Chine Member (Vectis Formation), Late/Upper Barremian (130.0 - 125.5 Ma)

• Late Barremian (Lower Cretaceous) part of the Shepherds Chine Member of the Vectis Formation.

•The new Vectis Formation plesiosaurian is enclosed in a fine-grained sideritic mudstone nodule. Several bands of mudstone nodules occur in the Shepherds Chine Member. One of these descends to beach level at the mouth of Shepherds Chine and crops out just a few metres from where the largest block was collected, and may have yielded the new specimen. Kerth & Hailwood (1988) showed that a reliably established reverse polarity magnetozone, dubbed by them the Vectis magnetozone, occurred within the Shepherds Chine Member, and that it corresponds either with the Lower Aptian reverse polarity Chron CM-0 or with the Lower Barremian Chron CM-1, with the former being regarded as more likely (Kerth & Hailwood 1988). The Barremian–Aptian transition thus occurs within the Shepherds Chine Member. The new specimen probably originates from the lower, late Barremian part of the unit.

• bed-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: estuary or bay; fine-grained, concretionary, sideritic mudstone

• At the top of the formation, the Shepherds Chine Member is mudstone dominated: it preserves a low-salinity invertebrate assemblage and represents an exposed regime of broad mudflats and coastal lagoons (Radley 2004, 2006).
• fine-grained sideritic mudstone nodule

Size class: macrofossils

Collected by Warwick Fowler, Hazel Underwood, Langhan Turner in 1995

Collection methods: surface (float), mechanical,

• MIWG, "Dinosaur Isle" Museum of Isle of Wight Geology, Sandown, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom

•The specimen comprises three accessioned blocks, each of which was collected independently (a fourth block, containing six partial vertebrae, is currently in private hands). The first block was collected by Mr Warwick Fowler near the top of the beach and close to the reach of the sea. It is worn by erosion and contains only a single partial vertebra, a partial rib and an unidentifiable bone fragment. The second block (‘block one’ in the description) – the largest, and the one containing the majority of elements – was collected by one of the authors (LT) from among a jumble of blocks within the stream bed, approximately 11 m from the chine mouth and 4 m to the west. The third block, containing additional vertebrae and dorsal ribs, was collected further down the beach by Mrs Hazel Underwood. The material in the blocks is thought to represent a single articulated specimen because all of the elements indicate an individual of the same size, no elements are repeated and the blocks and parts of the specimen approximately fit together

Primary reference: R. B. J. Benson, H. F. Ketchum, D. Naish and L. E. Turner. 2013. A new leptocleidid (Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria) from the Vectis Formation (Early Barremian–early Aptian; Early Cretaceous) of the Isle of Wight and the evolution of Leptocleididae, a controversial clade. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 11(2):233-250 [R. Benson/R. Benson/R. Benson]more details

Purpose of describing collection: taxonomic analysis

PaleoDB collection 137200: authorized by Roger Benson, entered by Roger Benson on 12.12.2012

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

 Sauropterygia - Leptocleididae
Vectocleidus pastorum n. gen. n. sp.
Vectocleidus pastorum n. gen. n. sp. Benson et al. 2013 plesiosaur
The holotype (MIWG 1997.302), a partial postcranial skeleton