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New dicynodonts (Therapsida, Anomodontia) and updated tetrapod stratigraphy of the Permian Ruhuhu Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania

New dicynodonts (Therapsida, Anomodontia) and updated tetrapod stratigraphy of the Permian Ruhuhu Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania
New dicynodonts (Therapsida, Anomodontia) and updated tetrapod stratigraphy of the Permian Ruhuhu Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania
Permian tetrapod fossils were discovered in the Tanzanian Ruhuhu Formation in 1963, but they have received far less attention than the tetrapods of the overlying Usili (formerly Kawinga) Formation. Here, we describe two dicynodonts collected in the Ruhuhu Formation in 2008. Abajudon kaayai, gen. et sp. nov., is represented by a partial skull and mandible and is characterized by autapomorphic upper teeth that are triangular in cross-section, have procurved tips, and bear a deep groove on the mesial surface. Although it shows similarities to taxa such as Endothiodon and Chelydontops, the exact relationships between A. kaayai and other dicynodonts are uncertain. The second specimen also consists of a partial skull and mandible. We refer it to cf. Endothiodontia based on the medial placement of the long maxillary tooth rows, the presence of depressions on the palatine pad, a long posterior dentary sulcus, and similarities of the mandibular dentition. Tetrapods occur in three fossiliferous horizons in the Ruhuhu Formation. The likely Middle Permian lower horizon includes dinocephalians, temnospondyls, and the dicynodonts described here. The middle horizon includes a new, tusked species of Endothiodon and at least one other dicynodont. The upper horizon appears to sample an assemblage similar to that of the Usili Formation and therefore may be of Late Permian age. The discovery of Middle Permian fossils in Tanzania and Zambia provides the opportunity to test whether southern Gondwana was characterized by a cosmopolitan tetrapod fauna for an extended period of time before the biogeographic restructuring caused by the end-Permian mass extinction.
basal anomodont, karoo basins, phylogenetic position, gondwana vertebrates, taxonomic revision, cranial anatomy, mass extinction, assemblage zone, beaufort group, von huene
0272-4634
1408-1426
Angielczyk, Kenneth D.
cb862bab-0d00-4457-99de-baee33083258
Huertas, Sébastien
ca6d004b-986f-47c3-ada8-39f413748b0c
Smith, Roger M.H.
7db14543-9732-4381-af17-0e92ede24e34
Tabor, Neil J.
587935e1-ae6d-4a3d-a275-a1ffe851cb09
Sidor, Christian A.
dbfdcaa8-c944-44b6-9949-2ff9b7741336
Steyer, Jean-Sébastien
8f469506-b85c-4a82-8c84-8184645b0cef
Tsuji, Linda A.
5da5042c-ba85-49a4-81c8-8a6f2e8e374f
Gostling, Neil J.
4840aa40-cb6c-4112-a0b9-694a869523fc
Angielczyk, Kenneth D.
cb862bab-0d00-4457-99de-baee33083258
Huertas, Sébastien
ca6d004b-986f-47c3-ada8-39f413748b0c
Smith, Roger M.H.
7db14543-9732-4381-af17-0e92ede24e34
Tabor, Neil J.
587935e1-ae6d-4a3d-a275-a1ffe851cb09
Sidor, Christian A.
dbfdcaa8-c944-44b6-9949-2ff9b7741336
Steyer, Jean-Sébastien
8f469506-b85c-4a82-8c84-8184645b0cef
Tsuji, Linda A.
5da5042c-ba85-49a4-81c8-8a6f2e8e374f
Gostling, Neil J.
4840aa40-cb6c-4112-a0b9-694a869523fc

Angielczyk, Kenneth D., Huertas, Sébastien, Smith, Roger M.H., Tabor, Neil J., Sidor, Christian A., Steyer, Jean-Sébastien, Tsuji, Linda A. and Gostling, Neil J. (2014) New dicynodonts (Therapsida, Anomodontia) and updated tetrapod stratigraphy of the Permian Ruhuhu Formation (Songea Group, Ruhuhu Basin) of southern Tanzania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 34 (6), 1408-1426. (doi:10.1080/02724634.2014.880448).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Permian tetrapod fossils were discovered in the Tanzanian Ruhuhu Formation in 1963, but they have received far less attention than the tetrapods of the overlying Usili (formerly Kawinga) Formation. Here, we describe two dicynodonts collected in the Ruhuhu Formation in 2008. Abajudon kaayai, gen. et sp. nov., is represented by a partial skull and mandible and is characterized by autapomorphic upper teeth that are triangular in cross-section, have procurved tips, and bear a deep groove on the mesial surface. Although it shows similarities to taxa such as Endothiodon and Chelydontops, the exact relationships between A. kaayai and other dicynodonts are uncertain. The second specimen also consists of a partial skull and mandible. We refer it to cf. Endothiodontia based on the medial placement of the long maxillary tooth rows, the presence of depressions on the palatine pad, a long posterior dentary sulcus, and similarities of the mandibular dentition. Tetrapods occur in three fossiliferous horizons in the Ruhuhu Formation. The likely Middle Permian lower horizon includes dinocephalians, temnospondyls, and the dicynodonts described here. The middle horizon includes a new, tusked species of Endothiodon and at least one other dicynodont. The upper horizon appears to sample an assemblage similar to that of the Usili Formation and therefore may be of Late Permian age. The discovery of Middle Permian fossils in Tanzania and Zambia provides the opportunity to test whether southern Gondwana was characterized by a cosmopolitan tetrapod fauna for an extended period of time before the biogeographic restructuring caused by the end-Permian mass extinction.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 4 November 2014
Published date: November 2014
Keywords: basal anomodont, karoo basins, phylogenetic position, gondwana vertebrates, taxonomic revision, cranial anatomy, mass extinction, assemblage zone, beaufort group, von huene
Organisations: Centre for Biological Sciences

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Local EPrints ID: 385753
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385753
ISSN: 0272-4634
PURE UUID: d722688a-8fc1-49a9-8723-58f5d464cc06

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Date deposited: 12 Jan 2016 13:03
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:51

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Contributors

Author: Kenneth D. Angielczyk
Author: Sébastien Huertas
Author: Roger M.H. Smith
Author: Neil J. Tabor
Author: Christian A. Sidor
Author: Jean-Sébastien Steyer
Author: Linda A. Tsuji

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