Article: The chelonian Rhinochelys Seeley from the Upper Cretaceous of England and France
Janice I. Collins
The Cretaceous chelonian genus Rhinochelys Seeley 1869, which is based on skull material, has been reinvestigated. The foundations for Lydekker's original specific descriptions are shown to be inadequate and new diagnostic features for the genus and species are established. Only three British species are recognized: the type species R. pulchriceps (Owen 1851), R. elegans Lydekker 1889, and R. cantabrigiensis Lydekker 1889. R. amaberti Moret 1935 from La Fauge Valley, near Grenoble, France, is compared with the British species. A general description of the skulls and mandibles is given. The taxonomic position of Rhinochelys is assessed and the genus is referred to the family Protostegidae, subfamily Chelospharginae. The skulls are compared with those of other Cretaceous turtle genera of the Protostegidae and Cheloniidae and a relationship is suggested. It is suggested that carapace and plastral material originally described as Chelone (Cimochelys) benstedi (Mantell 1841) probably belongs to Rhinochelys.