Opetiosaurus Bucchichi. Eine neue fossile Eidechse aus der unteren Kreide von Lesina in Dalmatien

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A. On the head:

b. o. basioccipital

s. o. supraoccipital

exo. exoccipital

pa. parietal

fo. pa. foramen parietal

sut. fr.-par. frontoparietal suture

po. f. postfrontal [postorbitofrontal]

pr. f. prefrontal

p. p. parietal process [supratemporal process]

p. parot. parotic process

pal. palatine

pt. pterygoid

tr. transversum [ectopterygoid]

su. orb. supraorbital [palpebral?]

s. t. supratemporal of Parker (=mastoid of Owen, Cuvier and others) [squamosal]

sq. squamosal [supratemporal]

q. quadrate of Huxley and others (=Pos tympanic of Cuvier, Owen and others)

na. nasal

mx. maxilla

pmx. premaxilla

ju. jugal

md. mandible

ar. articular

su. an. surangular

an. angular

op. opercular (=splenial of Owen)

d. dentary

cor. coronoid

col? columella [epipterygoid]

B. Vertebral column and ribs:

ce. cervical vertebrae

ce1 to ce3. first to third cervical vertebrae, attached to the skull

ce4 to ce8. fourth to eighth cervical vertebrae

hy. hypapophysis

co. ce. cervical ribs

do1 to do20. dorsal vertebrae

co. do. dorsal ribs

co. i. costae intermediae

co. st. costae sternales

sa1. first sacral vertebra

sa2. second sacral vertebra

ca. caudal vertebra

ca1 to ca7. first to seventh caudal vertebrae, the counterpart Fig. 2, Plate III

ca8 to ca14. eighth to fourteenth caudal vertebrae, the counterpart Fig. 3, Pl. III

ca15 to ca20. fifteenth to twentieth caudal vertebrae, the counterpart Fig. 4, Pl. III

ca21 to ca31. lost piece of the caudal vertebral column

ca32 to ca47. on the part, the negative portion of the caudal vertebral column (=impression

of the positive found on the counterpart)

ca48 to ca100? end-piece of the caudal vertebral column

n. neurapophysis

nsp. neural spines

p. tr. transverse processes

h. haemapophysis

hsp. haemal spines
C. Shoulder girdle and forelimb:

ssc’. right ?suprascapula

sc’. right scapula; sc. remnants of the left shoulder

cr’. right coracoid

hu’. right humerus, hu. left

ra’. right radius, ra. left

ul’. right ulna, ul. left

cp’. carpus of the right hand, cp. the left

mcp’. metacarpus of the right hand, mcp. the left

ph’. phalanges of the right hand, ph. of the left

ph. u’. ungual phalanges of the right hand, ph. u. of the left
D. Pelvis and hind-limb:

il’. right ilium, il. left

fe’. right femur, fe. left

ti’. right tibia, ti. left

fi’. right fibula, fi. left

ta’. right tarsus, ta. left

mta’. right metatarsus, mta. left

ph. p’. right phalanges, ph. p. left

ph. p. u’. ungual phalanges of the right, ph. p. u. of the left
Plate III.

A. Kornhuber: Opetiosaurus Bucchichi, a new fossil lizard from the lower chalk of Lesina in Dalmatia


Figures of the pieces of the counterpart of the fossil, which for the most part contain the remaining pieces as positives, that is, the osseous substance.

Plate III.

On Plate III, the four smaller pieces of stone fragments, which, in the locality of their discovery, lay on the pieces of the part that are figured photographically on Pl. I, were represented lithographically; these were entombed with the pieces of the part and left behind on them impressions (negatives) of the bony remains.

Fig. 1, the largest of the four counterpart pieces, shows the head in dorsal view, i.e., with the flat surfaces. It shows the occipital parts with the first three cervical vertebrae attached; the skull roof and the orbital region; the suspensorium, which bears the quadrate together with the mandible, which, in turn, shows tooth impressions; an impression of the roof of the mouth and of the columella. Next to it [the skull?] lies a piece of the caudal vertebral column (positive) from the 32nd to 48th vertebrae; in the picture, the anterior vertebrae with their processes lie in the lower right [“rechts unten”; sic?], the posterior ones in the upper left [“links nach oben”; sic?], where the especially well-preserved upper and lower spinous processes are seen. See more detailed comments thereon in the text, pages 4 and 5 [original pagination; approximately the same here] and cf. the outline-figure in reference to the head on Pl. II.

Fig. 2 is a smaller counterpart piece that belongs to the anterior-most section of the caudal vertebral column, where the most interfering destruction has taken place. It shows three vertebrae (positive), which are to be reckoned the 3rd, 4th and 5th caudal vertebrae. Cf. the text on page 13 [original pagination; here, page 14].

Fig. 3 and 4 are two precisely matching pieces of the counterpart which also contain caudal vertebrae (positive), in particular from the 8th to the 21st. The fracture along which they contact each other runs, as on the part, through the 15th caudal vertebra. The piece of Fig. 4 terminates, in the picture, on the left with the 20th caudal vertebra and with the place where the half of the 21st vertebra was located, though it is no longer present. Impressions or negatives on the part again correspond to the positives of these two pieces of the counterpart. The cleft, which corresponds to the entirely lost piece of the slab on which eleven vertebrae were preserved, follows the end of the counterpart fragment No. 4, at the lower left in the picture. See more detailed comments on this in the text on page 13 [original pagination and here].


All figures, 1 through 4, of this Plate III are drawn from the originals, at a scale corresponding to their natural size (1:1) on the stone and reproduced by printing.


* Kornhuber uses native German words for the bones here, and some usages, when translated, appear to be mistakes. He confuses the supratemporal and squamosal (see Pl. 2). By “supraorbital” he possibly means the palpebral. What he calls the “postfrontal” is a fusion of the postfrontal and postorbital.

† He really only means that the left parietal (=supratemporal) process is broken, not both. As noted before, “squamosal” here is really the supratemporal bone. His “supratemporal,” again, is really the squamosal.

** Presumably he refers to the interclavicle.

Yes, he really did include this.

1 [1,1] Through Bucchich’s agency the Royal Imperial Geological Institute has previously obtained Hydrosaurus lesinensis Krnhbr. [Kornhuber] 1869; fishes: Belonostomus and Holcodon lesinensis 1882; and the fern Sphenopteris lesinensis 1895. Among Recent animal species, Bucchich discovered sponges: Tethya Bucchichi O. Schmidt 1885, Amphoriscus Bucchichi V. v. Ebner 1887, Amphoriscus Gregorii v. Lendenfeld 1891; furthermore worms: Myzostoma Bucchichi v. Wagner 1886; crustaceans: Nicea Bucchichi Heller 1865; insects: Orellia Bucchichi v. Frauenfeld 1867, Rhacocleis Bucchichi v. Brunner 1882; and fishes: Gobius Bucchichi F. Steind. 1870. Mr. Bucchich has also participated most enthusiastically and successfully during the [18]60s in the experiments begun by Prof. O. Schmidt on the artificial cultivation of sponges in Porto Socolizza north of Lesina. Products of these lines received their due attention at exhibitions in Graz and Trieste.

2 [2,1] See Dr. U. Söhle: “Preliminary notice on the stratigraphic-geologic relationships of the island of Lesina” in Verhandl[ungen] d[er] k[aiserlich]-k[öniglichen] R[eichs]a[nstalt] 1889, p. 319, and Jahrbuch [of the same] 1900, p. 36: Söhle, “Geognostic-paleontological description of the island of Lesina.”

3 [2,2] Heckel: Denkschriften der Wiener Akademie, v. 1 – Partsch in Petter's Dalmatia, v. 1, p. 18.

4 [2,3] Abbé Giovanni Battista (Alberto) Fortis: Viaggio in Dalmatia, 2 vols. Venice 1774. – Translated into German [by] Bern 1775.

5 [2,4] l.c.

6 [2,5] Heckel J. and Kner R.: “New contributions to the knowledge of the fossil fishes of Austria” in: Denkschriften der Wiener Akademie, math[ematisch]-naturw[issenschaftliche] Cl[asse], vol. 19, 1861.

7 [2,6] Bassani Fr.: “Preliminary communications on the fish fauna of the island Lesina” in: Verhandlungen d. k. k. geol. R.-A. 1879, p. 161–168, and “Descrizioni dei Pesci fossili di Lesina” in: Denkschriften der Wiener Akademie, math.-naturw. Cl., v. 45, 1882, p. 195–288, Pl. I–XVI.

8 [2,7] Societas hist.-nat. croatica, v. 1, p. 126; “Rad” jugosl. akademije, v. 72, p. 28, Zagreb 1884, and Glasnik hrvatskoga naravosl. društva, Godina I, 1886.

9 [2,8] Kornhuber A.: “On a new fossil saurian from Lesina” in: Verhandl. d. k. k. geol. R.-A. 1873, v. 5, no. 4, p. 73–90, Pl. XXI–XXII.

10 [2,9] Cornaglia et Chiozza: “Cenni geologici sull' Istria” in: Giornale dell' Istituto Lombardo de sc., lett. ed art. 1851, v. 3, Pl. I.

11 [3,1] loc. cit.

12 [3,2] See: Aigialosaurus in: Societas hist.-nat. croatica, [Vol.] 7 (reprint), Agram 1892, p. 8.

13 [3,3] Jahresbericht der k. k. geol. R.-A. for 1890 in: Verhandlungen 1891, p. 13, and Stache G., The Liburnian level. Abhandl[ungen] d. k. k. geol. R.-A., vol. 13, no. 1.

14 [3,4] Stache, in the last-named place, p. 40.

15 [3,5] Abhandl[ungen] der. k. k. geol. R.-A., v. 5, no. 4, Vienna 1873.

16 [4,1] Denkschriften d[er] Wiener Akad[emie], v. 11, p. 188, note 2.

17 [5,1] In its normal position the columella [=epipterygoid] abuts on the parietal and, directed downwards, sits on the pterygoid. Its morphological significance is uncertain. Calori, loc. cit. p. 178, saw it as the outer root of the proc[essus] pterygoideus (= pr[ocessus] tr[ansversalis] of the second cranial [sic.] vertebra). According to E. Gaupp (“Die Columella” etc., Anat[omischer] Anz[eiger], volume 6, 1891) it is homologous with the proc[essus] ascendens of the quadrate in salamanders.

18 [5,2] In order to visualize clearly the positional relationships discussed in the text, think of laying Fig. 1 of Pl. III upon the head in Pl. I in such a way that the corresponding illustrated parts of the skull come into complementary contact.

19 [5,3] Cf. Fr. Siebenrock: “The skeleton of Lacerta Simonyi Steind. etc.”, in the Sitz[ungs]b[erichte] d[er] k[aiserlichen] Akad[emie] d[er] Wiss[enschaft], math[ematisch]-naturw[issenschaftliche] Classe, v. 103, part 1, p. 5, Vienna 1894, in which this question is discussed with characteristically exquisite clarity.

20 [5,4] See: C. L. Nitzsch, “On the movement of the upper jaw of the lizard-like amphibians” in: Meckel’s Deutsch[es] Archiv für Physiologie, v. 7, 1822.

21 [7,1] As in our fossil, a true joint at the symphysis is also lacking in other Varanidae, and in Pythonomorpha, Ophidia, and in Ichthyosaurus, but not in Lacertilia generally, nor in Chelonia, Sauropterygia and Crocodilia.

22 [8,1] Ossemens fossiles, 3rd ed., v. 5, part 2, Tab. 18 and 19. Cf. Owen, Odontography, v. 1, Pl. 72, Fig. 5 and text p. 258. London 1840–1845.

23 [8,2] Cope, Edw[ard], Transactions of [the] Americ[an] Philos[ophical] Soc[iety], P. I, p. 216.

24 [8,3] Marsh, O. C., Odontornithes. A monograph of the exstinct [sic] toothed birds of North-America. New-Haven 1880.

25 [8,4] loc. cit. page 217

26 [8,5] Cretaceous Reptiles of North-America, Pl. XX, Fig. 3, and p. 50

27 [8,6] Bulletin of the U. S. geologic[al] and geograph[ical] Survey of [the] Territor[ies]. 1878, vol. 4, p. 299–311

28 [8,7] Quartely [sic] Journal of [the] Geological Society. London 1877, p. 682.

29 [8,8] Cf. Cope, Bulletin etc. 1870, p. 303 and 304, and 1878, l. c.

30 [9,1] C. Bergmann: “On dorsolumbar and lumbosacral transitional ribs” in: Zeitschrift für rationelle Medicin, Ser. 3, v. 14.

31 [9,2] Fr. Siebenrock: The skeleton of Lacerta Simonyi etc. Sitzber. d. k. Akad. d. Wiss., v. 103, Part I, p. 262-264.

32 [9,3] Ossemens fossiles, v. 5, part 2, p. 284

33 [9,4] Accad. di Bologna 1857, vol. 8, p. 163, and l. c. 1858, p. 346.

34 [13,1] On Pl. I and II, which are produced at a somewhat smaller scale than the original, in particular at a ratio of 54:61, and so nearly 9:10, this length appears correspondingly smaller.

35 [13,2] R. Owen: On the Anatomy of Vertebrates. Vol. I. Fishes and Reptiles. London 1866, p. 59.

36 [13,3] C. Gegenbaur: Grundzüge der vergleichenden Anatomie. 2nd ed. Leipzig 1870, p. 610.

37 [15,1] Because of an error in the illustration of the outline plate (II), one phalanx too many was represented in the fifth finger of the right hand, i.e., four instead of three.

38 [17,1] Owen: On the Anatomy of Vertebrates, London 1866, [Vol.] I, pag[e] 190.

39 [17,2] Gegenbaur C.: Untersuchungen zur vergl[eichenden] Anatomie der Wirbelthiere, [Vol.] I, 1864; and by the same author: Grundzüge der vergl[eichenden] Anatomie, Leipzig 1870, p. 699.

40 [17,3] Hoffmann C. K.: Beiträge zur vergl[eichenden] Anatomie der Wirbelthiere. VI. Ueber den Tarsus bei den Sauriern [Contributions to the Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates, VI: On the tarsus in the Sauria]; in Niederländ[isches] Archiv für Zoologie, Vol. IV, 1877-1878; and in Bronn’s Klassen und Ordnungen des Thierreiches [Classes and Orders of the Animal Kingdom], Vol. IV, 1884.

41 [18,1] See Cope Ed[ward]: Bulletin of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, Vol. IV, No. 1, Washington 1878.

42 [18,2] Cope Edw[ard], in Proceedings of the American Philos[ophical] Society, June 1869, and in Transactions of the American Philos[ophical] Soc[iety], Vol. 14, Part 1, 1870.

43 [18,3] The presence of a foramen parietale, as in our animal, likewise constitutes, according to Owen R. (Palaeontology, London 1861, p. 306), a characteristic feature of most Lacertilia.

44 [19,1] See Kramberger, Dr. Carl Gorjanović-: “Aigialosaurus, a new lizard from the chalk layers of the island of Lesina,” in the “Radder südslavischen Akademie für Kunst und Wissenschaft in Agram, Vol. 109, p. 96-123, Tom. I and II, translated in the transactions [“Schriften”] of the Societas historico-naturalis croatica of Agram, vol. 7, p. 74-106, reprint 1-33.

45 [19,2] loc. cit. Agram (Zagreb) 1892.

46 [20,1] cf. Brühl C. B.: Zootomisch[er] Atlas, 14th ed., Pl. 58, 54, Fig. 23 (in Uromastix [sic])

47 [20,2] see Siebenrock Fr.: The skeleton of the Agamidae. Wiener Akademie, Sitz[ungs]ber[ichte], vol. 104, part I. Nov. 1895, and Cope, Edw[ard] loc. cit. p. (1151) 93.

48 [20,3] The name “Ophiosauria” is also entirely synonymous with and etymologically the same as Pythonomorpha, namely, snake-lizards = with the form of a snake (as a suborder of the scaled lizards)

49 [20,4] loc. cit. p. (102) 29

50 [20,5] The length of Tylosaurus dispelor, discovered in the Smoky Hills of Kansas a few years ago and which is now on exhibition in the American natural history museum of Washington, is supposed to measure as much as 270 feet, and including the missing caudal vertebrae 300 feet.

51 [20,6] The shoulder girdle and the forelimbs were first proven by Ed[ward] Cope and described in Proceed[ings of the] Boston Soc[iety] in January 1869. In J[anuary] 1871 O. Marsh, in the American Journal of Science and Arts, p. 472, first described the pelvis of Pythonomorpha and noted the presence of hind-limbs. The latter simultaneously also addressed Ed[ward] Cope in a letter to J. P. Lesby in the Proceedings of the American Philos[ophical] Society 1871, p. 168.

52 [20,7] The hypapophyses, which Edw[ard] D. Cope presents in U[nited] St[ates] Geological Survey of the Territories, Vol. II, 1875, cont[inued by?] The Vertebrata of the cretaceous formations of the West, Washington: Gouvernement [sic] printing office 1875 on Pl. 18, especially in Fig. 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b and others, haven’t the remotest similarity to the structures joined to the cervical vertebrae, which Kramberger indicates for his Aigialosaurus and which, as was noted, have the impression of cervical ribs.

53 Le sei vertebre cervicali distinguonsi perfettamente, come di solito, dalle dorsali per le spine o creste inferiori prodotte dalla parte posteriore delle faccie inferiori de’loro corpi, le quali creste portano nell’ apice una epifisi; creste più lunghe nella seconda, terza e quarta vertebra, che nelle altre. Calori, “Sullo scheletro del Monitor terrestris Aegypti Cuv[ier]” in: Memorie dell’ Accademia di Bologna, Vol. 8, 1857, p. 163. And also in Lacerta ocellata and L. viridis, loc. cit. 1858, p. 346.

54 [20,9] In Bronn’s Klassen und Ordnungen des Thierreiches, Vol. 6, Part 3. Reptilien II. Eidechsen und Wasserechsen. Leipzig 1900, p. 467.

55 [21,1] Kornhuber, Hydrosaurus lesinensis in: Abhandl. d. k. k. geol. R.-A., Vol. 5, No. 4, p. 81.

56 [21,2] Brühl gives these the name transverse processes (parapophyses of Owen) in his “Table of osteological terms[”], Zootomisch[er] Atlas, No. I.

57 [20,3] Owen R.: On Anatomy of Vertebrates. Vol. I, p. 27, and Vol. II, Tab[le?] III, p. 587.

58 [21,4] Siebenrock F.: “The skeleton of Lacerta Simonyi etc.” Wiener Akad[emie] Sitz[ungs]b[erichte], Vol. 103, Part I, p. 262.

59 [21,5] Rep[ort] of the U. S. Geol[ogical] Survey of the Territ[ories] II, 1875, Pl. 37 of species of Mosasaurus in various positions and shapes; Cope Edw[ard], in Transactions of the Americ[an] Philos[ophical] Soc[iety] I, p. 187.

60 [21,6] Anatomie comparée, 2nd ed., Vol. II, p. 528. Paris 1837.

61 [21,7] Clason E.: “The morphology of the acoustic organ of lizards”; in: C. Hasse’s Anatomische Studien, part 2, 1871, p. 309; likewise Siebenrock F.: “The skeleton of Lacerta SimonyiWiener Ak. Sitz.-Ber. Math. Cl., Vol. 103, I, 1894, p. 25.

62 [21,8] See the precise illustration in Parker W. K.: On the structure and development of the skull in the Lacertilia. I. On the skull of the common lizards, in: Philos[ophical] Transactions of the royal Society of London, Vol. 170, 1879, Pl. 42, Fig. 3, and Pl. 43, Fig. 3. Also Calori, Prof. Cav. Luigi, in: Memorie dell’ Accademia di Bologna 1858, Vol. 9, Pl. 21, gives an exact figure from Lacerta viridis, and also his illustrations of Stellio vulgaris, same place, Vol. 10, Pl. 22, just like Platydactylus muralis, Vol. 9, Pl. 19, are reminiscent of the form of our fossil. Very conspicuously similar, as well, is the form in the Teju lizard, see Cuvier: Oss. foss., 3rd ed., Pl. 16, Fig. 12., and more or less clearly also in many others (Sauvegarde d’Amerique, Dragonne, Skink, Podinema Teguizin....).

63 [21,9] Cf. Blanchard E.: Organisation du règne animal: Reptiles, Pl. 14, Fig. 2 and 3, on Platydactylus muralis, and also Pl. 16, Fig. 1 and 3, on Stellio vulgaris and Pl. 30 on Lacerta muralis.

64 [21,10] “On the reptilian ord[er] Pythonomorpha &c.” Proc[eedings of the] Boston Soc[iety of] Nat[ural] Hist[ory], January 1869, Vol. 12, p. 250; further, in Trans[actions] of [the] Americ[an] Philos[ophical] Soc[iety], Vol. 14, Part I, 1870, p. 176; then in: Rep[ort] of the U. S. Geol[ogical] Survey of the Territ[ories], Vol. II, 1875, p. 113, 114; and in: Bulletin of the U. S. Geolog[ical] and Geogr[aphical] Survey of the Territ[ories], Vol. 4, No. 1 (1878), p. 305-308.

65 [21,11] Cope Edw.: Rep. U. S. geol. Surv. of Territ., 1875, Vol. II: The Vertebrata of the cretaceous formations of the West, p. 115.

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