All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Stephen Watts

Advisory Committee Members

Dana Ehret

Ken Marion

Thane Wibbels

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Within this thesis are two separate articles, each representing a distinct chapter. The first chapter is a redescription of the ‘toxochelyid’-grade marine turtle Ctenochelys acris Zangerl, 1953. This redescription, based on several nearly complete specimens from the early Campanian Mooreville Chalk of Alabama, reveals multiple previously undescribed autapomorphic characteristics of this species and contributes significantly to our understanding of ‘toxochelyid’ alpha taxonomy. The second chapter is comprised entirely of the results of multiple cladistic analyses of the ‘toxochelyid’-grade taxa that produce a hypothesized phylogenetic system of classification for this clade. 108 characters from the cranium, carapace, plastron, and appendicular skeleton were coded for three of the best described species considered ‘toxochelyid’-grade [Toxochelys latiremis Cope, 1873; Ctenochelys stenoporus (Hay, 1905); Ctenochelys acris Zangerl, 1953] (Hirayama, 1997), and for the outgroup taxa Plesiochelys etalloni Gaffney, 1975; Xinjiangchelys wusu (Rabi et al., 2013); Ordosemys brinkmania (Danilov and Parham, 2007); Pacifichelys urbinai Parham and Pyenson, 2010; Chelydra serpentina Linneaus, 1758; Kinosternon flavescens Agassiz, 1857; Chelonia mydas Linneaus, 1758; Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli, 1761; Puppigerus camperi (Gray, 1831); Santanachelys gaffneyi Hirayama, 1998; Protostega gigas Cope, 1872; Calcarichelys gemma, Zangerl, 1953; Corsochelys haliniches Zangerl, 1960; Desmatochelys lowii Williston, 1894; and a hypothetical primitive taxon.

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