Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Albanerpetontid amphibians from the Upper Cretaceous of Middle Asia

James D. Gardner and Alexander O. Averianov

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 43 (3), 1998: 453-467

We review the fossil record of Asian albanerpetontids. The three dentaries previously attributed to the two species of Nukusurus Nessov, 1981 (lower Cenomanian and Coniacian, Uzbekistan) are from albanerpetontids, but none are distinctive below the familial level. We thus designate the names Nukusurus, N. insuetus Nessov, 1981, and N. sodalis Nessov, 1997 as nomina dubia within the Albanerpetontidae. Two dentaries (lower Cenomanian, Uzbekistan) described herein for the first time supplement the known record of Asian albanerpetontids. The holotype atlas and only specimen of the supposed albanerpetontid Bishara backa Nessov, 1997 (upper Santonian-?Campanian, Kazakhstan) is shown to be from a salamander, not an albanerpetontid. Our study recognizes Albanerpeton (Cretaceous-Miocene, North America and Europe) and Celtedens (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous, Europe) as the only valid albanerpetontid genera. Limited evidence favors one or more dispersals from Europe or North America to Asia in the medial Cretaceous as the major biogeographic event in the history of Asian albanerpetontids.

Key words: Albanerpetontidae, Bishara, Cretaceous, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Nukusurus, Uzbekistan.

James D. Gardner [], Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9 Canada. Alexander O. Averianov [], Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab 1, Saint Petersburg, 199034 Russia.

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