A new finding corresponding to material of a Spanish sauropterygian individual is described here.
Nothosaurus is a sauropterygian taxon known by several species, whose fossils have been found in the Middle and lower Upper Triassic of Europe, China, Israel and Tunisia (Rieppel and Wild, 1996; Rieppel et al., 1997; 1999; Rieppel, 2000; 2001; Albers and Rieppel, 2003; Li and Rieppel, 2004; Albers, 2005; Jiang et al., 2006; Shang, 2006; Bickelmann and Sander, 2008; Klein and Albers, 2009; Ji et al., 2014; Liu et al., 2014; Klein et al., 2015).
Just as important is the 'debut' of top predators - such as the long-snouted bony fish Saurichthys, the ichthyosaur Mixosaurus, the sauropterygian
Nothosaurus and the prolacertiform Dinocephalosaurus - that fed on fishes and small predatory reptiles.
The second locality, Can Serra de l'Arca, yielded an incomplete specimen of a pachypleurosaurid sauropterygian. It preserves the thoracal region with extremely pachyostotic neural arches and vertebral centra, pachyostotic ribs and a probable distal fragment of a femur (see Sanz, 1983 for further details).
Vilanova de la Sal area (Lleida Province), Pyrenean basin: Some fish remains and a partially articulated sauropterygian skeleton were collected in this new site.
Although the phylogenetic position of choristoderes within Diapsida has yet to be resolved, all of the proposed positions (stem-neodiapsid, basal archosauromorph, sauropterygian
relative etc) would predict an origin in the Late Permian or earliest Triassic.
The team from the Wits University in South Africa studied fossils of reptiles called sauropterygians
from millions of years ago and found several similarities to current day aquatic animals with regards to their inner ears.
Having drawn this link in three lineages of extinct marine reptiles - mosasaurs, sauropterygians
, and ichthyosaurs - the scientists said that genetic, or chromosomal, sex determination may have played a surprisingly strong role in adaptive radiations and the colonization of the world's oceans by a diverse array of species.