A new lizard-like reptile (Diapsida: Lepidosauromorpha) from the Middle Jurassic of England



The Middle Jurassic (Late Bathonian) Mammal Bed at Kirtlington, Oxfordshire, has yielded a rich assemblage of small vertebrates including mammals, frogs, salamanders and small reptiles. This paper describes the skull of a new diapsid reptile, Marmorelta oxoniensis, which was common within the fauna. The skull is gracile with large orbits and relatively long external nares. The frontals and parietals are single in the adult and almost separated on the roof of the skull by the postfrontals. The temporal region shows a mosaic of primitive and derived character states. The quadrate was firmly held to the skull by a large squamosal and a small, free, quadratojugal was retained. However, reduction of the anterior process of the quadratojugal and of the posterior process of the jugal left the lower temporal fenestra broadly open. Comparison with other diapsids leads to the conclusion that Marmoretta was a lepidosauromorph, most probably the sister taxon of Lepidosauria.