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Daniel Madzia and Marcin Machalski

Abstract

Brachauchenine pliosaurids were a cosmopolitan clade of macropredatory plesiosaurs that are considered to represent the only pliosaurid lineage that survived the faunal turnover of marine amniotes during the Jurassic- Cretaceous transition. However, the European record of the Early to early Late Cretaceous brachauchenines is largely limited to isolated tooth crowns, most of which have been attributed to the classic Cretaceous taxon Polyptychodon. Nevertheless, the original material of P. interruptus, the type species of Polyptychodon, was recently reappraised and found undiagnostic. Here, we describe a collection of twelve pliosaurid teeth from the upper Albian-middle Cenomanian interval of the condensed, phosphorite-bearing Cretaceous succession at Annopol, Poland. Eleven of the studied tooth crowns, from the Albian and Cenomanian strata, fall within the range of the morphological variability observed in the original material of P. interruptus from the Cretaceous of England. One tooth crown from the middle Cenomanian is characterized by a gently subtrihedral cross-section. Similar morphology has so far been described only for pliosaurid teeth from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Even though it remains impossible to precisely settle the taxonomic distinctions, the studied material is considered to be taxonomically heterogeneous.