THE LOST WORLD OF GEORGES CUVIER: MOSASAURIDS FROM THE CAMPANIAN MEUDON CHALK (FRANCE)

Nathalie Bardet, Alain Galoyer

Resumen


The Late Campanian white Chalk of Meudon, a city located in the suburbs of Paris (France), has yielded during the 19th century several mosasaurid remains consisting mainly in isolated teeth, most being nowadays lost. These specimens, which history is associated to the most famous French palaeontologists of that time like Georges Cuvier, Paul Gervais and Albert Gaudry, represent the earliest mosasaurid discoveries from France. As such, they are precious and unique witnesses of a lost world. In this paper, an historical approach has been privileged, focusing on the history of their discovery and how they were originally perceived and interpreted by Cuvier and others. On a systematical point of view, the material is referred mostly to indeterminate species of the tylosaurine genus Hainosaurus but also of the plio- platecarpine Plioplatecarpus and possibly of the mosasaurine Prognathodon, attesting of the occurrence of the three major clades of mosasaurids in this Late Campanian marine vertebrate fauna of France. 


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