Article: A new Pliensbachian icthyosaur from Dorset, England
Christopher McGowan and Angela C. Milner
The first ichthyosaur to be recorded from the Pliensbachian Stage of the English Lower Liassic is described as Leptonectes moorei sp. nov., extending the geological range of Leptonectes to the Pliensbachian. According to criteria for assessing the maturity of ichthyosaurs, it is concluded that L. moorei is an immature individual of a relatively small, slender and short snouted species close to the earlier long-snouted L. tenuirostris (Conybeare) which ranges from the Rhaetian to the Sinemurian. The presence of a short-snouted leptonectid in the Pliensbachian suggests two contrasting patterns of rostral morphology within the clade Leptonectidae in the latest Early Jurassic, rostral reduction within the genus Leptonectes and rostral elongation in ExcalibosaurusEurhinosaurus.