JOURNAL ARTICLE

Osteology of the Late Triassic aetosaur Scutarx deltatylus (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia)

William G Parker
PeerJ 2016, 4: e2411
27635359
Aetosaurians are some of the most common fossils collected from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of Arizona, especially at the Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO). Aetosaurians collected from lower levels of the park include Desmatosuchus spurensis, Paratypothorax, Adamanasuchus eisenhardtae, Calyptosuchus wellesi, and Scutarx deltatylus. Four partial skeletons collected from the park between 2002 and 2009 represent the holotype and referred specimens of Scutarx deltatylus. These specimens include much of the carapace, as well as the vertebral column, and shoulder and pelvic girdles, and a new naming convention proposed for osteoderms descriptions better differentiates portions of the carapace and ventral armor. A partial skull from the holotype specimen represents the first aetosaur skull recovered and described from Arizona since the 1930s. The key morphological feature distinguishing Scutarx deltatylus is the presence of a prominent, triangular boss located in the posteromedial corner of the dorsal surface of the dorsal paramedian osteoderms. Scutarx deltatylus can be distinguished from closely related forms Calyptosuchus wellesi and Adamanasuchus eisenhardtae not only morphologically, but also stratigraphically. Thus, Scutarx deltatylus is potentially an index taxon for the upper part of the Adamanian biozone.

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