Soft-Shelled Turtles (Trionychidae) from the Bissekty formation (Late Cretaceous: Late Turonian) of Uzbekistan: Shell-Based Taxa
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In this paper we describe previously unpublished trionychid turtle material, consisting of numerous shell fragments, from the Late Cretaceous (late Turonian) Bissekty Formation of the Dzharakuduk locality in Uzbekistan. This material is assigned to two shell-based taxa: Aspideretoides cf. riabinini and "Trionyx" cf. kansaiensis. The material which cannot be confidently attributed to these two taxa is identified as Trionychidae indet. In addition to these shell-based trionychid taxa, the Dzharakuduk turtle assemblage includes two skull-based taxa of trionychids (Khunnuchelys kizylkumensis and Trionychini indet.). The trionychids from the Bissekty Formation are most similar to trionychids from the younger (Santonian - early Campanian) Bostobe Formation of Kazakhstan, represented by three shell-based taxa (Aspideretoides riabinini, Paleotrionyx riabinini and "Trionyx" kansaiensis), and one skull-based taxon (Khunnuchelys sp.). We provide an improved understanding of the subtle similarities and differences between four closely related Cretaceous turtle assemblages of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.