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Lizards from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian) Antlers and Cloverly Formations

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The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
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Abstract

Abstract Recent discoveries from the Aptian–Albian Antlers (Oklahoma) and Cloverly (Montana, Wyoming) formations provide significant additions to the Early Cretaceous record of lizards in North America. The lizards from the Antlers Formation include two teiids (one named), an anguimorphan, and a series of fragmentary jaws with “paramacellodid”-like teeth. The lizards from the Cloverly Formation include a new species of Paramacellodus and many indeterminate jaw fragments. The apparent lack of shared lizard taxa between the two units calls into question their temporal equivalence, which is based on similarity of dinosaur taxa. Although apparently distinct, the lizard faunas of both units are very similar to that of the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation in being composed primarily of “paramacellodid” or “paramacellodid”-like taxa. It appears that there was a period of relative stasis in the evolution of lizards in North America between the Late Jurassic and Aptian–Albian, paralleling a similar trend in Europe between the Late Jurassic and the Barremian (or later). Reported lizards from the Aptian–Albian of Mongolia present a level of taxonomic diversity much different than that of the same time period in Oklahoma, Montana, and Wyoming, but more like that of the Late Cretaceous of North America, suggesting that taxonomic groups common to the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary occurred earlier in Asia than in North America.

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