Skull shape and feeding strategy in Sphenodon and other Rhynchocephalia (Diapsida: Lepidosauria)

@article{Jones2008SkullSA,
  title={Skull shape and feeding strategy in Sphenodon and other Rhynchocephalia (Diapsida: Lepidosauria)},
  author={Marc E. H. Jones},
  journal={Journal of Morphology},
  year={2008},
  volume={269}
}
The Rhynchocephalia are a group of small diapsid reptiles that were globally distributed during the early Mesozoic. By contrast, the only extant representatives, Sphenodon punctatus and S. guntheri (Tuatara), are restricted to New Zealand off‐shore islands. The Rhynchocephalia are widely considered to be morphologically uniform but research over the past 30 years has revealed unexpected phenotypic and taxonomic diversity. Phylogenetically “basal taxa” generally possess relatively simple conical… 
Dentary tooth shape in Sphenodon and its fossil relatives (Diapsida: Lepidosauria: Rhynchocephalia).
  • M. E. Jones
  • Medicine, Biology
    Frontiers of oral biology
  • 2009
TLDR
These three categories correspond to food processing as inferred from tooth wear (puncturing+crushing, grinding+shredding and tearing+cutting, respectively) as the teeth of basal taxa generally conform to the first category.
The head and neck muscles associated with feeding in Sphenodon (Reptilia: Lepidosauria: Rhynchocephalia)
TLDR
An up-to-date consensus view of osteology and musculature in Sphenodon that is relevant to feeding is provided and the complex muscle arrangement is displayed using a range of different imaging techniques and a variety of different angles.
Tooth and cranial disparity in the fossil relatives of Sphenodon (Rhynchocephalia) dispute the persistent ‘living fossil’ label
TLDR
The tuatara is shown to be the only survivor of a diverse Mesozoic radiation whose subsequent decline remains to be explained and exhibits a significant phylogenetic signal in skull shape that compares well with that computed for other extinct vertebrate groups.
Microanatomy and life history in Palaeopleurosaurus (Rhynchocephalia: Pleurosauridae) from the Early Jurassic of Germany
TLDR
Bone histological data of the Jurassic pleurosaurid Palaeopleurosaurus is presented, showing osteosclerosis (i.e. bone mass increase) in its gastralia, and some osteos sclerosis in its rib but no increase in bone mass in the femur, supporting a gradual skeletal specialization for an aquatic way of life.
The Head and Neck Anatomy of Sea Turtles (Cryptodira: Chelonioidea) and Skull Shape in Testudines
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The cranial anatomy in two sea turtles, the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and Kemp’s ridley, is described for a better understanding of sea turtle functional anatomy and morphological variation.
New sphenodontian (Reptilia: Lepidosauria) from a novel Late Triassic paleobiota in western North America sheds light on the earliest radiation of herbivorous lepidosaurs
Abstract. Herbivory is a common ecological function among extant lepidosaurs, but little is known about the origin of this feeding strategy within Lepidosauria. Here we describe a sphenodontian
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TLDR
Phylogenetic analysis recovered Fraxinisaura rozynekae among Lepidosauromorpha and as the sister taxon of the Middle to Late Jurassic Marmoretta oxoniensis, but currently existing character-taxon matrices do not allow confident resolution of the interrelationships of these and other early Mesozoic lepidosauromorph reptiles.
A new rhynchocephalian (Reptilia: Lepidosauria) from the Late Jurassic of Solnhofen (Germany) and the origin of the marine Pleurosauridae
TLDR
The insight Vadasaurus provides into the origin of the enigmatic pleurosaurs exemplifies the potential of Rhynchocephalia for generating and informing broad-based questions regarding the interplay of development, morphology, ecology and macroevolutionary patterns.
Colobops: a juvenile rhynchocephalian reptile (Lepidosauromorpha), not a diminutive archosauromorph with an unusually strong bite
TLDR
The skull of Colobops was strongly dorsoventrally compressed post-mortem, with most bones out of life position, and the cranial anatomy is consistent with that of other rhynchocephalian lepidosauromorphs, not rhynchosaurs.
A basal sphenodontian (Lepidosauria) from the Jurassic of Patagonia: new insights on the phylogeny and biogeography of Gondwanan rhynchocephalians
TLDR
A new rhynchocephalian taxon from the Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Argentina is described, representing the first Jurassic record of the group in South America and suggesting some degree of endemism during the initial stages of the breakup of Pangaea.
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