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Matsumoto R.,Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History Odawara | Evans S.E.,University College London
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2015

Choristoderes are a group of extinct freshwater reptiles that were distributed throughout Laurasia from the Middle Jurassic to the Miocene. They are inferred to have had a lifestyle similar to that of extant gavialid crocodiles, but they differed from crocodiles in retaining an extensive palatal dentition. All choristoderes had teeth on the vomers, palatines and pterygoids, and teeth are rarely present on the parasphenoid. Palatal teeth are conical, as in the marginal dentition, and form longitudinal and transverse rows. Detailed examination of different genera shows that the orientation of the palatal tooth crowns changes with their position on the palate, supporting the view that they are involved in intra-oral food transportation, presumably in combination with a fleshy tongue. Moreover, observed variation in palatal tooth shape and the width of palatal tooth batteries may provide additional clues about diet. The European Simoedosaurus lemoinei has sharper palatal teeth than its North American counterpart, S. dakotensis, suggesting a preference for softer prey - a conclusion consistent with the more gracile teeth and narrower snout. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

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