Vertebrate evolution has led to the convergent appearance of many groups of originally terrestrial animals that now live in the sea. Among these groups are familiar mammals like whales, dolphins, and seals. There are also reptilian lineages (like plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, thalattosaurs, and others) that have become sea creatures. Most of these marine reptiles, often wrongly called "dinosaurs", are extinct. This edited book is devoted to these extinct groups of marine reptiles. These reptilian analogs represent useful models of the myriad adaptations that permit tetrapods to live in the ocean.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features @bul:* First book in more than 80 years devoted exclusively to fossil marine reptiles * Documents the most current research on extinct marine reptiles * Prepared by the world's most prominent experts in the field * Well illustrated


Ideal for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and researchers in vertebrate evolution and paleontology. This book should also have significant retail potential for sophisticated amateur vertebrate paleontologists.

Table of Contents

M.A. Taylor, Foreword. Ichthyosauria: J.M. Callaway, Introduction. P.M. Sander, The paleobiogeography of Shastasaurus. J.M. Callaway, A New Look at Mixosaurus. C. McGowan, A Transitional Ichthyosaur Fauna. R. Motani, Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Tooth Implantation in Ichthyosaurs. Sauropterygia: O.C. Rieppel, Introduction. O.C. Rieppel and H. Hagdorn, Paleobiology of Middle Triassic Sauropterygia in Central and Western Europe. G.W. Storrs, Morphologic and Taxonomic Clarification of the Genus Plesiosaurus. K. Carpenter, Comparative Cranial Anatomy of Two North American Cretaceous Plesiosaurs. Testudines: E.L. Nicholls, Introduction. R. Hirayama, Distribution and Diversity of Cretaceous Chelonoids. D.K. Elliott, G.V. Irby, and J.H. Hutchison, Desmatochelys Iowa, a Marine Turtle from the Upper Cretaceous. R.T.J. Moody, The Paleogeography of Marine and Coastal Turtles of the North Atlantic and Trans-Saharan Regions. Mosasauridae: G.L. Bell, Jr., Introduction. G.L. Bell, Jr., Phylogenetic Revision of North American and Adriatic Mosasauridea. A. Sheldon, Ecological Implications of Mosasaur Bone Microstructure. Crocodylia: S. Hua and E. Buffetaut, Introduction. R.K. Denton, Jr., J.L. Dobie, and D.C. Parris, The Marine Crocodile, Hyposaurus, in North America. Faunas, Behavior, and Evolution: J.A. Massare, Int


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© 1997
Academic Press
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Electronic ISBN:

About the authors

Jack Callaway

Affiliations and Expertise

Texas A&M International University, Laredo, U.S.A.

Elizabeth Nicholls

Elizabeth Nicholls is Curator of Marine Reptiles at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. She graduated in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley (1968), where she first became interested in fossil marine reptiles while working for S.P. Welles. Subsequent degrees (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) were completed at the University of Calgary. Her study focus there was Cretaceous marine reptiles ofthe Western Interior Seaway. Her research includes publications on dinosaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, thalattosaurs, and Cretaceous sea turtles.

Affiliations and Expertise

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada


@qu:"Editors Callaway and Nicholls demonstrate, though, that fossil marine reptiles have played critical roles in the historical development of vertebrate paleontology and evolutionary theory. Their book compiles articles on various ancient marine reptile groups written by primary experts in the field... Recommended for any upper-division undergraduate or graduate-level library collection with strong emphasis on paleontology, evolution, and/or vertebrate morphology." @source:--M.A. WILSON, College of Wooster in CHOICE @qu:"Ancient Marine Reptiles provides an encyclopedic overview of major research accomplishments and frontiers in this new age. Editors Jack Callaway and Elizabeth Nicholls are important figures whose research collectively encompasses the majority of major marine reptile taxa and employs a broad range of methodologies. This volume will be a useful general reference to students and researchers seeking an introduction to the morphology, systematics, and faunal compositions of Mesozoic marine reptiles and will orient the reader to the range of research philosophies embraced by specialists in the field. Several contributions seem destined to become heavily cited [and] a lively interest in the reconstruction of evolutionary history is apparent through most of the volume. Callaway and Nicholls should be warmly thanked for placing contemporary marine reptile paleontology in the context of a scientific campaign that has continued for nearly two centuries and profoundly affected the general course of evolutionary sciences." @source:--SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY @qu:"Ancient Marine Reptiles provides an invaluable reference for anyone with research interests in the structure and phylogeny of extinct marine reptiles. It presents a significant amount of new information for the first time. The book is attractively produced (including a stunning cover painting), well-referenced, and well-il