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Jon A. Baskin - Texas A&M University-Kingsville

  1. This site focuses on Mesozoic archosaurs, especially non-avian dinosaurs, from Texas
    1. Texas non-avian dinosaurs systematics and geologic time.
    2. Trackways
    3. Theropods
    4. Sauropods
    5. Ornithischians
  2. For Texas Mesozoic archosaurs, such as pterosaurs, crocodylians, and phytosaurs, which are not dinosaurs, scroll down or click here

  3. Some information on Texas marine reptiles which are not archosaurs is also presented.  Scroll down or click here.

  4. Bibliography

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The definitive and necessary reference: Lone Star Dinosaurs by Louis Jacobs. College Station: Texas A& M University Press. 1995. 160p.

The Lone Star dinosaur exhibit sponsored by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the Shuler Museum of Paleontology at Southern Methodist University is based on Dr. Louis Jacobs' book, Lone Star Dinosaurs (1995, Texas A&M University Press), featuring the original artwork of Karen Carr, whose official website is at: www.karencarr.com.

Discover Texas Dinosaurs by Charles E. Finsley.

Product description from Amazon.com: "Go behind the scenes and into the vaults of Texas dinosaur study. Through photos and narrative, many of Texas' most dedicated scientists show you actual specimens of native and nonnative dinosaur material. This book features photos of the fossilized bones of Texas dinosaurs and the dinosaur exhibits in every major museum in Texas."

Oceans Dallas by Louis Jacobs, Michael Polcyn, Kathie Poth, Norm Poth, and Paul Ballou tells the story of rocks and fossils in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during the late Cretaceous.

Texas dinosaurs are also discussed and illustrated on Texas Parks and Wildlife / kids' page.  The dinosaurs of Texas lists them

A list of Texas dinosaurs from Dinodata also lists Texas dinosaurs by formation and provides links to further information.

The archosaurs from North-Central Texas are summarized in Jacobs and Winkler (1998).

Lundelius (1986) includes a summary of Cretaceous fossils from the Balcones Fault trend.

Texas Dinosaurs: Life and Death in the Big Bend -- an exhibit from the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science

North Texas Fossils -- Photographs by Lance Hall of mainly Cretaceous fossils from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.



Superorder Dinosauria
     Order Saurischia
          Suborder THEROPODA
               Infraorder Herrerasauria
                    ? Herrerasauria incertae sedis
                         Protoavis texensis
                         Spinosuchus caseanus (may not be a dinosaur)
                    Family Herrerasauridae
                         Caseosaurus crosbyensis
               Infraorder Carnosauria
                    Superfamily Allosauroidea
                         Acrocanthosaurus atokensis
               Infraorder Coelurosauria
                    Superfamily Tyrannosauroidea
                         Family Tyrranosauridae
                              Tyrannosaurus rex
                         Saurornitholestes cf. langstoni
                         cf. Deinonychus spp.
                         Richardoestesia cf. gilmorei
                         Richardoestesia isoceles
                       Leptorhynchos gaddisi

                         Ichthyornis dispar
                        Flexomornis howei

       Suborder Sauropodamorpha
               Infraorder SAUROPODA
                    Family Titanosauridae
                         Astrophocaudia slaughteri 
                         Sauroposeidon proteles 
                         Alamosaurus sanjuanensis

     Order Ornithischia
           Suborder FABROSAURIA
                 Family Fabrosauridae
                      Technosaurus smalli
                      Tecovasaurus murryi (may not be a dinosaur)
           Suborder ORNITHOPODA
                 Family Hypsilophodontidae
                      new species near  Hypsilophodon foxi
                 Family Iguanodontidae
                      Tenontosaurus dossi
                      Tenontosaurus tilletti
                 Family Hadrosauridae
                     Protohadros byrdii
                     Gryposaurus sp. (Kritosaurus cf. navajovius)
                     cf. Edmontosaurus sp.
                     Angulomasticator daviesi
                     unnamed hadrosaur 

           Suborder Thyreophora
                 Infraorder ANKYLOSAURIA
                      Family Nodosauridae
                           Texasetes pleurohalio
                           Pawpawsaurus campbelli
                           Edmontonia rugosidens
                           unnamed ankylosaurs
           Suborder Marginocephalia
                 Infraorder PACHYCEPHALOSAURIA
                        Family Pachcephalosauridae
                             Texacephale langstoni.
                 Infraorder CERATOPSIA
                        Family Ceratopsidae
                             Chasmosaurus (or Agujaceratops) mariscalensis
                             Torosaurus cf. latus
                             Bravoceratops polyphemus

                             undetermined genus and species

Texas Dinosaurs by Time

|late LATE CRETACEOUS          Big Bend Region  -  West Texas         |
|                  |        Black Peaks Formation                     |
|  Maastrichtian   |        Javelina Formation   El Picacho Formation |
|                  |         Aguja Formation     San Carlos Formation |
|   Campanian      |         Pen Formation                            |
|                  |                                                  |
|   Santonian      |                                                  |
|   Coniacian      |                                                  |

Tyrannosaurus rex?
Alamosaurus sanjuanensis
Gryposaurus sp.
cf. Edmontosaurus sp.

Angulomastacator daviesi
Texacephale langstoni

Chasmosaurus (or Agujaceratops) mariscalensis
cf. latus
Bravoceratops polyphemus

Edmontonia longiceps
unnamed nodosaurids

Longrich, Sankey and Tanke (2010, table 1) list the following dinosaurian taxa from the Aguja Formation

    Tyrannosauridae indet.
    Ornithomimid A
    Ornithomimid B
    Ornithomimid C
    Caenagnathidae indet.
    cf. Saurornitholestes sp.
Paraves incertae cedis
    Richardoestesia sp.
    Kritosaurus sp.
    Lambeosaurinae indet.
    Agujaceratops mariscalensis
    Texacephale langstoni
    New genus and species

Longrich, Barnes, Clark, and Millar (2013, table 2) list the following dinosaurian taxa from the Aguja Formation

Dinosaurian fauna Sources for data
     Tyrannosauridae indet.

     TMM 40819-1, teeth
     cf. Struthiomimus 
     Ornithomimus sp. nov. 
     gen. et sp. nov. (miniature giant ornithomimid)
     TMM 43057-165, manual ungual
     TMM 43057-424, pedal ungual
     TMM 42335-71, pedal ungual
     Leptorhynchos gaddisi

     This paper
     This paper
     Saurornitholestes sp. nov.
     Rowe et al. (1992)
Paraves incertae sedis 
     Ricardoestesia sp.
     Rowe et al. (1992)
     gen. et sp. nov.
     AMNH 3072
     Angulomastacator daviesi
     Lehman (1989)
    Wagner and Lehman (2009)  
     Texacephale langstoni 
         Longrich, Sankey and Tanke (2010)
         TMM 42532 (this specimen comes from the San Carlos Formation, a lateral equivalent of the Aguja)
     Agujaceratops mariscalensis
       Lehman (1989)

|early LATE CRETACEOUS    North-Central Texas  |
|      Turonian           |                    |
|    Cenomanian           | Woodbine Formation |

Protohadros byrdii
unnamed nodosaurid
unnamed hadrosaur
cf. Richardoestesia

|late EARLY CRETACEOUS       North-Central Texas     | 
|   |     |     |       |                            |
|_________|     |       |                            |
|   |     |     |  W    |                            |
|   |     |     |  A  G |                            |
|   |     |     |  C  r |    Paw Paw Formation       |
|   |     |     |  H  o |                            |
|   |     |     |  I  u |                            |
|   |     |     |  T  p |                            |
| E |  A  |  C  |  A    |                            |
| a |  L  |  O  |       |                            |
| r |  B  |  M  |       |                            | 
| l |  I  |  A  |_______|____________________________|     
| y |  A  |  N  |                                    |
|   |  N  |  C  |       Fredericksburg Group         |
| C |     |  H  |                                    |
| R |     |  E  |____________________________________|
| E |     |  E  | T    |                  |  A       |
| T |     |     | r  G | Paluxy Fm        |  n       |
| A |     |  S  | i  r |                  |  t  F    |
| C |_____|  E  | n  o | Glen Rose Fm     |  l  m    |
| E |  A  |  R  | i  u |                  |  e       |
| O |  P  |  I  | t  p | Twin Mountains Fm|  r       |
| U |  T  |  E  | y    |                  |  s       |
| S |  I  |  S  |      |                             |
|   |  A  |     |      |                             |
|   |  N  |     |      |                             |

Acrocanthosaurus atokensis
cf. Deinonychus
Sauroposeidon proteles
Astrophocaudia slaughteri
new species near Hypsilophodon foxi
Tenontosaurus dossi
Tenontosaurus tilletti

Texasetes pleurohalio
Pawpawsaurus campbelli
unnamed nodosaurids

|LATE TRIASSIC              Texas Panhandle, West Texas         |
|                  |                                            |
|    Rhaetian      |                                            |
|__________________|                                            |
|                  |   Dockum Group                             |
|    Norian        |                     Bull Canyon Member     |
|__________________|                                            |
|                  |                     Tecovas Member         |
|    Carnian       |                     Colorado City Member   |
|                  |                     Camp Springs Member    |

Caseosaurus crosbyensis (may not be a dinosaur, but is likely a dinosauriform)
Protoavis texensis (in part)
Spinosuchus caseanus (may not be a dinosaur)
Technosaurus smalli (may not be a dinosaur)
prosauropod indet. (may not be a dinosaur)
Tecovasaurus murryi (may not be a dinosaur)

Nesbitt and others (2007) reviewed the putative record of late Triassic record dinosaurs in North America.  The only taxon from Texas that they assigned to the Dinosauria is Protavis texensis (in part).







Caseosaurus Hunt, Lucas, Heckert & Lockley, 1998

Type and only species: Caseosaurus crosbyensis Hunt, Lucas, Heckert, Sullivan & Lockley, 1998



Protoavis Chatterjee, 1991

Type and only species: Protoavis texensis Chatterjee, 1991



Spinosuchus von Huene, 1932

Type and only species: S. caseanus von Huene, 1932






Type and only species: A. atokensis  Stovall and Langston, 1950



Mounted Acrocanthosaurus skeleton (NCSM 14345) at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  Image from Wikipedia.  This skeleton from southeastern Oklahoma is the most complete ever excavated, with 54% of its bones represented.

Flesh reconstruction and line drawing of the skull of Acrocanthosaurus atokensis (NCSM 14345) in left lateral view.  Emily McGrew illustrated the flesh reconstruction of the skull of Acrocanthosaurus atokensis for figure 2 of Eddy and Clark (2011)

LSDINACRO.JPG (55829 bytes)

© Karen Carr, used by permission of Louis L. Jacobs; click to enlarge



Tyrannosaurus Osborn, 1905

Tyrannosaurus rex Osborn, 1905 (type)

Texas Locality

Texas material.

Saurornitholestes Sues, 1970

Sauronitholestes cf. langstoni Sues, 1970

Texas Locality

Texas material.

cf. Deinonychus


Texas Localities

Richardoestesia Currie, Rigby, and Sloan, 1990


Type species: Richardoestesia gilmorei Currie, Rigby, and Sloan, 1990, described from a pair of lower jaws found in the Dinosaur Park Formation, upper Judith River Group.

Texas Material

Richardoestesia cf. gilmorei
Richardoestesia isosceles Sankey, 2001

Chirostenotes Gilmore 1924


Longrich and others (2013) describe a femur and ungual phalanx from the Aguja Formation as belonging to ?Chirostenotes sp.

Leptorhynchos Longrich and others 2013


Type species: Leptorhynchos elegans (Parks 1933) from the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Park Formation

Texas material: Leptorhynchos gaddisi Longrich and others, 2013 from the Aguja Formation.

Theropoda indet.

Class Aves

Subclass Ichthyornithes

Ichthyornis Marsh 1872

Type and only species: Ichthyornis dispar Marsh, 1872

 Parris and Echols (1992)  described and discussed specimens from the Coniacan (Ector Chalk and Gober Formations) and Campanian (Pfugerville Formation) of Texas, which they assigned to  Ichthyornis dispar and I. antecessor. Clarke (2004) recognized a single species of Ichthyornis.

Subclass Enantiornithes

Flexomornis howei Tykoski & Fiorillo, 2010



Sauroposeidon Wedel, Cifelli, and Sanders, 2000


Type and only species: Sauroposeidon proteles Wedel, Cifelli, and Sanders, 2000
Senior synonym of  Paluxysaurus jonesi Rose 2007



            Image from Roland T. Bird's, 'A Dinosaur Walks into the Museum,' published in Natural History, February 1941. reprinted with permission.

LSDINPLEURO.JPG (70436 bytes)

 Karen Carr, used by permission of Louis L. Jacobs

Tidwell and Carpenter (2003) described the braincase and partial skeleton of a juvenile titanosauriform sauropod from the Glen Rose Formation in Blanco County that is not diagnostic at the genus level (D"Emic, 2013). 

Astrophocaudia D'Emic, 2013.



 Cedarosaurus  Tidwell et al., 1999
Type species. Cedarosaurus weiskopfae Tidwell et al. 1999.

Alamosaurus Gilmore, 1922


Alamosaurus, from Wikipedia - Bogdanov, 2006







Technosaurus Chatterjee, 1984.

Type and only species:  T. smalli Chatterjee, 1984 (type)

Location and age: Dockum Group, Texas Panhandle, Norian (late Triassic).


Tecovasaurus Hunt & Lucas, 1994

Type and only species: T. murryi Hunt & Lucas, 1994 (type)







Hypsilophodont - new species, similar to Hypsilophodon foxi (see Winkler and others, 1988; Winkler and Murry, 1989)




©  Karen Carr, used by permission of Louis L. Jacobs.  Karen Carr's image for Lone Star Dinosaurs shows a group of  these small hypsilophodonts cavorting in front of a Tenontosaurus.   This temporary display at the Dallas Museum of Natural History shows a skeleton of this as-yet, unnamed primitive ornithopod.





LSDINTENONT.JPG (54154 bytes)

©  Karen Carr, used by permission of Louis L. Jacobs; click to enlarge

Tenontosaurus dossi Winkler and others, 1997.



Tenontosaurus tilletti?



Hadrosaur tree from Wikipedia. Click on image to enlarge.


Subfamily Hadrosaurinae

Protohadros  Head, 1998

Type and only species: Protohadros byrdii Head 1998



Main and Fiorello (2003) report finding hadrosaur postcrania along the shores of Lake Grapevine from the Woodbine Formation.

Kritosaurus Brown, 1910 or Gryposaurus Lambe, 1914

Texas species:


Subfamily Lambeosaurinae

Angulomastacator Wagner and Lehman 2009

Type and only species: Angulomastacator daviesi Wagner and Lehman, 2009

Location: upper shale member, Aguja Formation


Suborder Marginocephalia

Family Pachycephalosauridae

Skeletal reconstruction of Stegoceras. From Wikipedia

Texacephale langstoni Longrich, Sankey and Tanke 2010

Type and only species: Texacephale langstoni Longrich, Sankey and Tanke 2010

Location: upper shale member, Aguja Formation

?Stegoceras sp. and Pachcephalosauridae incertae sedis

Lehman (2010) described several fragmentary frontoparietal domes from the San Carlos and Aguja Formations as belonging to more than one taxon: one similar to Stegoceras or Gravitholus, the other an indeterminate pachycepahalosaurid.  The paper was in press at the time Texacephale (Longrich and others, 2010) was described.  In a note added in proof, Lehman (2010) states that none of his specimens can be referred with confidence to Texacephale, and casts doubt on the significance of the features used to diagnose Texacephale. Jasinski and Sullivan (2011) agree that Texacephale langstoni is not based on diagnostic material and is "therefore a nomen dubium."

Teeth from the Aguja Formation assigned to cf. Troodon (Rowe et al., 1992) have been re-identified as belonging to an indeterminate pachycephalosaurid (Sankey, 2001).




Chasmosaurus or Agujaceratops

Chasmosaurus mariscalensis Lehman, 1989
Agujaceratops mariscalensis Lucas, Sullivan, and Hunt 2006



Agujaceratops mariscalensis, illustration by ArthurWeasley

Torosaurus Marsh, 1891, perhaps now Triceratops Marsh, 1889

Torosaurus cf. utahensis (Gilmore, 1946)



Bravoceratops Wick and Lehman 2013

Bravoceratops polyphemus Wick and Lehman 2013


Genus and species undetermined Lehman 1996

“El Picacho ceratopsian”


Suborder Thyreophora




Pawpawsaurus Lee, 1996

Type and only species: Pawpawsaurus campbelli Lee, 1996

Texasetes Coombs, 1995

Type and only species: Texasetes pleurohalio Coombs, 1995.

Nodosauridae indet.

Edmontonia Sternberg, 1928

Edmontonia longiceps Sternberg 1928

Type specimen: NMC 8531, a partial skeleton, Horsehoe Canyon Formation, Alberta, Canada, Maastrichtian, latest Cretaceous).

Texas location: Aguja Formation, Campanian (Judithian), late Cretaceous

Coombs (1978) diagrammatically illustrated  a partial skull (AMNH 3076) from the Aguja Formation that he referred to Panoplosaurus sp. Carpenter (1990) reported Edmontonia sp. and Panoplosaurus sp. from the Aguja Formation. Coombs and Maryaska. (1990) referred the Aguja specimens to E. rugosidens.  Lee (1996) referred AMNH 3076 to Edmontonia.  Vickaryous (2006) assigned the Texas material (including AMNH 3076) of Edmontonia to E. longiceps, a species related to, but geologically younger than E. rugosidens.




dinofoot.gif (75327 bytes)

Dinosaur footprint in Glen Rose Formation near Tarpley, Texas. Click on image to enlarge


New dinosaur track site near Glen Rose, Texas discovered by Lance Hall and Roz Morgan of the Dallas Paleontological Society.  DPS member Roger Fry is shown measuring dinosaur footprints.  Click on small images to enlarge.

Other Texas Mesozoic Life

Other Texas Archosauriforms

Classification follows Brusatte and others (2010) and/or Nesbitt (2011).  Brusatte and others recognize stem archosauriforms and two major groups of archosaurs, the Avemetarsalia (including pterosaurs and dinosauromorphs) and Crurotarsi (including phytosaurs, aetosaurs, crocodylomorphs, and ornithosuchids, and rauisuchians).    Nesbitt includes the phytosaurs in the basal archosauriforms.

Basal Archosauriformes (from Nesbitt, 2011)

Vancleavea campi Long and Murry, 1995.   Tecovas Formation, Dockum Group, Texas.


Order Pterosauria

Pterosaurs soared over the oceans of Texas more than 100 million years ago.


Quetzalcoatlus northropi

Life restoration of a group of giant azhdarchids, Quetzalcoatlus northropi, foraging on a Cretaceous fern prairie.  Figure 9 in Mark P. Witton and Darren Naish.  2008.  A reappraisal of azhdarchid pterosaur functional morphology and paleoecology. 
 PLoS ONE 3(5): e2271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002271

Tupuxara sp.

Uktenadactylus wadleighi

Aetodactylus halli Myers, 2010a

Myers 2010b reported cf. Pteranodon from the Coniacian Atco Formation in the Austin Group: "Flying Texas reptile, World's Oldest Pteranodon?"

Azhdarichiidae indet.

Pterosauria indet.


Order Phytosauria

Triassic phytosaurs resemble modern alligators which inhabit southeast Texas today, but the resemblance is only superficial. For example, the nostrils of an alligator are on the tip of the snout, while the nostrils of a phytosaur are between its eyes. The similarity of appearance results from convergent evolution - adaptation to a similar kind of lifestyle by different kinds of animals.

Rutiodon from Wikipedia. Illustration by Nobu Tamura.

Family Phytosauridae

Stocker (2010) identifies the following phytosaurs from Texas.

  • Angistorhinus sp.
  • Paleorhinus sawini, P. bransoni, and P. sp.
  • A possible third taxon, TMM 31173-120, previously referred to Leptosuchus (=Rutiodon) crosbiensis by Long and Murry (1995)

Nesbitt (2011) includes Pseudopalatus pristinus Mehl, 1928  from the Bull Canyon Formation of the Dockum Group.



Family Stagonolepidae

  • Coahomasuchus kahleorum  Heckert and Lucas, 1999.
    • Howard County, Texas, Colorado City Formation, Dockum Group, late Carnian, late Triassic
  • Desmatosuchus smalli 
    • Bull Canyon Formation, Dockum Group (Small, 1989; 2002; Parker, 2005)
  • Sierritasuchus macalpini  Parker et al., 2008.
    • Tecovas Formation (Dockum Group) in Potter County, Texas
    • Long and Murry (1995) assigned this specimen to Desmatosuchus haplocerus
  • Tecovasuchus chatterjeei Martz and Small, 2006.
    • Tecovas Formation
  • Paratypothorax sp.  Long and Murry, 1995
  • Typothorax coccinarum (Small, 1989; 2002; Parker, 2005)
    • Post (Miller) Quarry, Garza County, Bull Canyon Formation, Dockum Group, Norian, late Triassic

Nesbitt (2011) includes

  • the aetosaur Longosuchus meadei (Sawin, 1947), sensu Hunt and Lucas, 1990 Otis Chalk area, and
  • and the sister taxon of the aetosaurs Revueltosaurus callenderi Hunt, 1989 Bull Canyon Formation of the Dockum Group


(crocodile classification: Brochu, 1997, Jour. Vert. Paleont., 17:679-697; 2003, Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 31:357-397.)

Paluxysuchus newmani, gen. et sp. nov. Adams, 2013

the ‘Glen Rose form’ Langston, 1973, 1974

Pachycheilosuchus trinquei Rogers, 2003

Woodbineosuchus byersmauricei Lee, 1997

Terminonaris cf. T. robusta

Goniopholis cf. G. kirtlandicus


  • Aguja Formation (Sankey, 2008)

Deinosuchus rugosus Holland, 1909  (=Phobosuchus riograndensis Colbert and Bird, 1954)

Mostly plaster reconstructed Deinosuchus skull that was exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History.  Image from Wikipedia.  The discovery, naming, and history of this specimen are briefly discussed in Wikipedia.

(crocodile classification: Brochu, 1997, Jour. Vert. Paleont., 17:679-697; 2003, Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 31:357-397.)



  • A diverse assemblage of middle to late Triassic crurotarsans.
  • Poposaurus gracilis Mehl, 1915
  • Poposaurus langstoni (Long and Murry, 1995)

Texas Locations

  • Post Quarry, Garza County, Bull Canyon Formation, Dockum Group, Norian, late Triassic (Parker, 2005), Tecovas and Copper Canyon Formations, Dockum Group, Norian, late Triassic.
  • Weinbaum and Hungerbuhler (2007) referred Postosuchus kirkpatricki  (Chatterjee, 1985) to Poposaurus gracilis.
  • Weinbaum and Hungerbuhler (2007) referred Lythrosuchus langstoni  (Long and Murry, 1995) to Poposaurus langstoni.

Postosuchus Chatterjee, 1985


  • Post Quarry, Garza County, Bull Canyon Formation, Dockum Group, Norian, late Triassic


  • Weinbaum and Hungerbuhler (2007) noted that some of the material referred to Postosuchus kirkpatricki by Chatterjee belongs to Poposaurus gracilis.
  • Weinbaum (2011) described the skull of Postosuchus kirkpatricki.
  • Weinbaum (2013) described the postcranial skeleton of Postosuchus kirkpatricki.


Type and only species

  • S. inexpectatus Chatterjee, 1993


  • Post Quarry, Garza County, Bull Canyon Formation, Dockum Group, Norian, late Triassic


  • Chatterjee (1993) described this taxon, based on skull fragments, an edentulous dentary, and a dorsal vertebra, as an ornithomimosaurian theropod.  Long and Murry (1995) suggested that it was a ?rauisuchian that they named Chatterjeea elegans.   Nesbitt and Norell (2006) synonymized Chatterjeea elegans with S. inexpectatus.
  • Hunt and others (1998) noted that Shuvosaurus lacks any dinosaurian synapomorphies and tentatively supported Long and Murry's interpretation.  Rauhut (1997) suggested it is an early coelophysid.  Nesbitt and Norell (2006) concluded that Shuvosaurus is related to the early suchian crocodylian Effigia, a toothless form convergent with the ornithomimids.  Weinbaum and Hungerbuler (2007) considered it a "rauisuchid" closely related to Poposaurus.


Texas location

  • Colorado City Formation of the Chinle Group (Heckert, Lucas, and Spielmann, 2012)


  • Osteoderms from Texas identified as Doswellia kaltenbachi by Long and Murry (1995, p. 2, figs 19a–m, 20, 21) are specifically indeterminate (Heckert, Lucas, and Spielmann, 2012)

Mesozoic marine Reptiles that are not archosaurs


These aquatic sauropterygian lepidosauromorphs of the Mesozoic epicontinental seaways have four paddle-shaped (Wing-fins of Adams, 1998) limbs.  Both long necked (plesiosauroids or elasmosaurs) and short necked forms (pliosauroids) are present in Texas.   In a published abstract of his unpublished 1981 thesis, Storrs (1983) states that five genera of plesiosaurs have been described from Texas.  The abstract briefly discusses the four valid genera: Trinacromerum, Thalassomedon, ?Alzadasaurus, and Polyptychodon.

Polytychodon hudsoni is a short necked plesiosaur.  It was found in the Eagle Ford Formation during the excavation for the old Braniff terminal at DFW airport (Oceans Dallas p.12 ). 

Plesiosaur Unearthed During Preliminary Excavation for the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28009/. Accessed October 11, 2009.

Libonectes morgani (Welles 1949) is a very long-necked elasmosaurid plesiosaur from the Britton Formation, Eagle Ford Group, near Cedar Hill, Dallas County, Texas.

Ceraunosaurus brownorum Thurmond (1968) is a short-necked pliosaur from the Lake Waco Formation (Cenomanian).  Storrs (1981, 1983) states that this genus "is an obvious specific variant of Tricanomerum."

Brachauchenius lucasi, a very large pliosaur, was first collected in Kansas (Williston, 1903). A second specimen (UNSM 2361) was collected from the Eagle Ford formation near Austin, Texas (Williston, 1907).  A skull from Kansas is about  1.5 m. long.

Trinacromerum bonneri Adams is known from the latest Cretaceous Taylor Marl, as well as the type locality in South Dakota.  Trinacromerum is a pliosaur, all high speed swimmers, of which this is the fastest.


These are giant marine, varanoid lizards, that may be ancestral to snakes.  Their diet included ammonites. Recently, Tomoki Kase (Geology, 1998) indicated that the putative puncture marks are weakened areas of the shell where limpets attached to the dead ammonites' shells.  This has been disputed and evidence for mosasaur predation on ammonites has been strongly supported  (Tsujita and Westermann, 2001,Palaeogeography,Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology; Kauffman, 2004, PALAIOS). Additional information can be found at Oceans of Kansas and from Ben Creisler at Dinosauria on Line.

Tylosaurus proriger.


Mosasaurus maximus: the Onion Creek mosasaur, another large marine lizard, about 9 meters long. The largest specimen (from New Jersey) is 13 meters long.


Dallasaurus turneri

Russellosaurus coheni Bell and Polcyn (2005)

  • This new genus is described by Polcyn and Bell (2005b) from Cedar Hill, Dallas County, Texas.  This 92 Ma species is represented by the oldest well-preserved mosasaur skull from North America.


Ichthyosaurs are the most fully-aquatic reptiles.  They are now classified as primitive diapsids

Main and Fiorello (2002) note in an abstract that the common Cretaceous genus Platypterygius is known from the Grayson Marl (lower Cretaceous) in Tarrant County.  Platypterygius has a better fossil record in Australia


Adams D.A. 1997. Trinacromerum bonneri, New species, last and fastest pliosaur of the Western Interior Seaway. Texas Journal of Science, 49(3): 179-198.

Adams 2013 A New Neosuchian Crocodyliform from the Lower Cretaceous (Late Aptian) Twin Mountains Formation of North-Central Texas. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33:85-101.

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Winkler, D. A.,  Jacobs, L. L., Lee, Y-N., and Murry, P. A. 1995.  Sea level fluctuation and terrestrial faunal change in north-central Texas.  Sixth symposium on Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems and biota; short papers. p. 175-177

Winkler, D. A.,  Jacobs, L. L., Branch, J. R., Murry, P. A., Downs, W. R., and Trudel, P.. 1988.  The Proctor Lake dinosaur locality, lower Cretaceous of Texas.  Hunteria, 12: 1-8.

Winkler, D. and P. A. Murry. 1989.  Paleoecology and hypsilophodontid behavior at the Proctor Lake dinosaur locality (early Cretaceous) Texas.  Geological Society of America, Special Paper 238:55-61.

Winkler, D. A, Murry, P. A., and Jacobs, L. L.  1990.  Early Cretaceous (Comanchean) vertebrates of central Texas.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology,  10:. 95-116.

Winkler, D.,  P. A. Murry, and L. L. Jacobs. 1997.  A new species of Tenontosaurus (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) from the early Cretaceous of Texas.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 17:330-348.

Woodward, H. N. and Lehman, T. M. 2009. Bone histology and micro-anatomy of Alamosaurus sanjuanensis (Sauropoda: Titanosauria) from the Maastrichtian of Big Bend National Park, Texas. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29: 807-821.


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