Contectopalatus

Name: Contectopalatus.
Phonetic: Kon-tek-toe-pal-ah-tus.
Named By: Michael W.‭ ‬Maisch‭ & ‬Andreas T.‭ ‬Matzke‭ ‬-‭ ‬1998.
Synonyms: Ichthyosaurus atavus,‭ ‬Mixosaurus atavus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Ichthyosauria,‭ ‬Mixosauridae.
Species: C.‭ ‬atavus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Roughly about‭ ‬5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Germany.
Time period: Carnian of the Triassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull.

       Contectopalatus was originally described as a species of Ichthyosaurus,‭ ‬the type genus of the Ichthyosauria that in the early days of palaeontology was treated as a catch all wastebasket taxon for any and all ichthyosaur fossils.‭ ‬Later study saw Ichthyosaurus atavus assigned to the Mixosaurus genus upon the grounds of overall similarity to the genus Mixosaurus.‭ ‬The fossils of Mixosaurus atavus however were of an ichthyosaur that was significantly larger than other Mixosaurus fossils,‭ ‬and a‭ ‬1998‭ ‬study by Maisch and Matzke saw these fossils established as a new ichthyosaur genus,‭ ‬Contectopalatus.‭ ‬Others have questioned this new genus since it was named,‭ ‬though at the time of writing Contectopalatus is still widely regarded as a distinct genus.‭ ‬The main reason for this is that the skull of Contectopalatus has a distinctly higher sagiital crest than Mixosaurus.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Observations on Triassic ichthyosaurs.‭ ‬Part III:‭ ‬a crested predatory mixosaurid from the Middle Triassic of the Germanic Basin.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie,‭ ‬Abhandlungen‭ ‬209‭(‬1‭)‬:105-134‭ ‬-‭ ‬Michael W.‭ ‬Maisch‭ & ‬Andreas T.‭ ‬Matzke‭ ‬-‭ ‬1998.
-‭ ‬The mixosaurid ichthyosaur from the Middle Triassic Contectopalatus of the German Basin Lethaia‭ ‬33.‭ ‬71-74.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Michael W.‭ ‬Maisch‭ & ‬Andreas T.‭ ‬Matzke‭ ‬-‭ ‬2000.
-‭ ‬The cranial osteology of the middle Triassic ichthyosaur Contectopalatus from Germany‭ ‬-‭ ‬Palaeontology,‭ ‬Vol.‭ ‬44,‭ ‬Part‭ ‬6,‭ ‬pp.‭ ‬1127-1156,‭ ‬1‭ ‬pl.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Michael W.‭ ‬Maisch‭ & ‬Andreas T.‭ ‬Matzke.‭ ‬-‭ ‬2001.



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