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Diplocynodon (Crocodylia, Alligatoroidea): old collections, new perspectives.




Massimo Delfino

Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via Valperga Caluso 35, 10125 Torino, Italy;


Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Edifici ICP, Campus de la UAB s/n, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain


Tuesday 9th July - 11.00 am

Earth Sciences seminar room


Diplocynodon was probably the most common Cenozoic crocodylian of Europe: remains referred to this genus were collected in more than 200 localities ranging in age from the late Paleocene (MP6; Mont Berru / Cernay-les-Reims) to the late Miocene (MN 6 in Central Europe; MN 9 in Southern Europe). Even if remains, often fragmentary, from Africa, North America and Asia were originally referred to this genus, it is likely that it was a European endemism. According to the modern phylogenies, Diplocynodon is a basal alligatoroid. Of the ten species of Diplocynodon that are considered valid at present, some have been described in the last decades, but others were erected even before than the genus was introduced in the literature by Pomel in 1847. This is the case of Diplocynodon hantoniensis (Wood, 1846) from the late Eocene of Hordle Cliff, originally referred to Alligator or to Crocodylus (as Crocodilus hastingsiae Owen, 1847). After the publications by Owen (1847, 1850) and Huxley (1859) the material from Hordle Cliff was never described in detail and most of the updated information on the morphology of D. hantoniensis derives indirectly from the character codings used for the cladistic analysis since 1992. The Synthesys project that I am developing here at NHM has the goal of redescribing the abundant remains of D. hantoniensis in order to provide an updated, solid comparative basis for the revision of the taxonomy and phylogeny of Diplocynodon.



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