Tethysaurus nopcsai gen. et sp. nov. is described on the basis of both cranial and postcranial material from the Late Cretaceous (Early Turonian) of the Goulmima region, southern Morocco. This new mosasauroid is mainly characterized by a parietal table ending posteriorly in two pointed pegs; jugal with a large ascending ramus; splenial with a large and notched dorsomedial process; surangular exposed medially ventral to the coronoid; large paracotylar and parazygosphenal foramina on vertebrae. A phylogenetic analysis shows that Tethysaurus is the sister-group of Mosasauridae. It fills the gap between the aigialosaurids (mainly Cenomanian) and the mosasaurids (known from the Middle-Late Turonian to the Latest Maastrichtian).
Squamata, Mosasauroidea, Late Cretaceous, Turonian, Morocco, new taxon