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Re: P/T extinction linked to global warming
<<IIRC there is also a fragment of the jaw margin with the base of a tusk.>>
Thulborn T & Turner S (2003), The last dicynodont: an Australian Cretaceous
relict, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 270, p.985-993.
The paper was freely accessible on line, and presumably still is. I don't
happen to have the address. Taking a quick look at my copy, they found the
fossils in the wilds of the Queensland Museum, Brisbane. They'd been
collected in 1914, arrived in the Museum in 1915 and kind of got forgotten.
There are six fragments of skull. The most revealing is indeed a bit of
left maxilla with the base of a tusk. There's also a postcanine tooth.
This is apparently not unknown in dicynodonts. The authors state it's more
similar with Dicynodon and Kannemeyeria than Lystrosaurus. They term the
latter 'grotesquely short-snouted'.
The authors are fully aware that citing the presence of some kind of
dicynodont in the Lower Cretaceous is unprecedented, and they know the
things are supposed to have died out about 100 million years earlier.
However, they conclude this one refused to take part in the extinction.
I'm in no position to offer a worthwhile opinion. It struck me as being a
well-constructed study. Regardless of likelihood, they seem to make a good
case. They tried to find more conventional alternatives, but were left
with the interpretation of dicynodont. If anybody can provide a more
convincing explanation, I'd imagine they'd be pleased to hear it.