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2014 | 59 | 4 |
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Reinterpretation of the Spanish Late Jurassic “Hispaniachelys prebetica” as an indeterminate plesiochelyid turtle

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A partial postcranial skeleton (carapace, plastron, and other poorly preserved elements) of a turtle, from the late Oxfordian of the Betic Range of Spain, has recently been assigned to a new taxon, Hispaniachelys prebetica. This is one of the few European turtle taxa reported from pre-Kimmeridgian levels, and the oldest turtle so far known from southern Europe. The character combination identified in that taxon (including the presence of cleithra, and single cervical scale) did not allow its assignment to Plesiochelyidae, a group of turtles very abundant and diverse in the Late Jurassic of Europe. The revision of the single specimen assigned to this taxon led to the reinterpretation of some of its elements, being reassigned to Plesiochelyidae. This study confirms the presence of Plesiochelyidae in the Oxfordian. However, because the Spanish taxon does not present a unique combination of characters, it is proposed as a nomen dubium.
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