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Temporal range: Triassic
Askeptosaurus fossile.JPG
Skeleton of Askeptosaurus italicus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Thalattosauria
Superfamily: Askeptosauroidea
Family: Askeptosauridae
Kuhn-Schnyder, 1952

See text.

Askeptosauridae is a family of thalattosaurs within the superfamily Askeptosauroidea. Fossils have been found from Italy, Switzerland, and China. Askeptosaurids are distinguished from other thalattosaurs by their long necks and narrow skulls.[1]


Askeptosauridae was named in 1952 to include the genus Askeptosaurus.[2] In 2000, the genus Anshunsaurus, which includes two species, was added to the family.[3] In a 2005 phylogenetic analysis, Endennasaurus was included within Askeptosauridae.[4] Later that year a new study placed Endennasaurus outside Askeptosauridae as a basal member of Askeptosauroidea.[1] More recent studies have placed the genus Miodentosaurus from China in the family as well. Below is a cladogram modified from Wu et al. (2009) showing the phylogenetic relationships of askeptosaurids:[5]


Endennasaurus acutirostris


Anshunsaurus huangguoshuensis

Anshunsaurus wushaensis

Askeptosaurus italicus

Miodentosaurus brevis


  1. ^ a b Liu, J.; Rieppel, O. (2005). "Restudy of Anshunsaurus huangguoshuensis (Reptilia: Thalattosauria) from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou, China" (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 3488: 1–34. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2005)488[0001:roahrt];2. ISSN 0003-0082.
  2. ^ Kuhn-Schnyder, E. (1952). "Die Triasfauna der Tessiner Kalkalpen. XVII. Askeptosaurus italicus Nopcsa". Schweizerische Paläontologische Abhandlungen. 69: 1–52.
  3. ^ Rieppel, O.; Liu, J.; Bucher, H. (2000). "The first record of a thalattosaur reptile from the Late Triassic of southern China (Guizhou Province, PR China)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 20 (3): 507–514. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2000)020[0507:TFROAT]2.0.CO;2.
  4. ^ Müller, J. (2005). "The anatomy of Askeptosaurus italicus from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, and the interrelationships of thalattosaurs (Reptilia, Diapsida)". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 42: 1347–1367. doi:10.1139/e05-030.
  5. ^ Wu, X.-C.; Cheng, Y.-N.; Sato, T.; Shan, H.-Y. (2009). "Miodentosaurus brevis Cheng et al., 2007 (Diapsida: Thalattosauria): its postcranial skeleton and phylogenetic relationships" (PDF). Vertebrata PalAsiatica. 47 (1): 1–20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2011-04-23.