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Sweet cynodont Thursday
It's time for a bit of blues...
I woke up this morning,
and /Yanoconodon/ came smiling on,
Had a wash, brushed my teeth and went to the Permian,
and found another new, sweet song...
You know the oldest cynodonts are things like /Procynosuchus/ and /Dvinia/?
A couple of families bursting onto the stages of South Africa and Russia at
about the same time? It's typical of the fossil record producer to miss the
beginning of an exciting new group's career. They almost always forget to
press the record switch until the first concert's finished, the floor's been
swept, and the band are doing their first global tour. Well,
/Procynosuchus/ and Co now aren't the earliest known cynodonts. An older
record's been heard playing in a Karoo Basin Disco. This beat's been belted
out by a more basal cynodont from the /Tropidostoma/ Assemblage Zone, and
it's several million years earlier than the first record of procynosuchids.
Welcome to 'slender notch jaw', aka /Charassognathus gracilis/ Botha, Abdala
& Smith, 2007, a somewhat squashed 5cm skull, partial dentaries and bits of
associated skeleton including an articulated leg. Known to its friends as
SAM-PK-K10369, this fine new talent can be heard in performance at the
Iziko: South African Museum, Cape Town. It was arrested from a road cutting
of highway R353 in Western Cape Province.
Botha J, Abdala F & Smith R (2007), The oldest cynodont: new clues on the
origin and diversification of the Cynodontia, Zoological Journal of the
Linnean Society, 149, p.477-492.