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Paleozoic tetrapod papers

From: Ben Creisler

A few recent non-dino papers that may be of interest to some.

NOTE: Although "ops" by itself is a feminine noun in Greek, the
correct  gender for compound generic names that end in -ops is
masculine under ICZN rules ( I have contacted one of the
authors about correcting the species name  "neglecta" to neglectus.

Rainer R. Schoch & Hans-Dieter Sues (2013)
A new dissorophid temnospondyl from the Lower Permian of north-central Texas.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2013.04.002,

Dissorophidae form a clade of terrestrially adapted temnospondyls,
which were widely distributed in Euramerica and Asia during the
Permian. After a long phase of neglect, study of exquisitely preserved
new material of the Early Permian Cacops from Oklahoma has prompted
reconsideration of other dissorophids, such as the Early Permian
Conjunctio from New Mexico. Here we report on a specimen previously
referred to Conjunctio from the Nocona Formation of north-central
Texas. It actually represents a distinct new taxon, for which the
binomen Scapanops neglecta is proposed. It represents a small
dissorophid with derived characters combining to give a unique skull
configuration: extremely short skull table, jaw joint situated well
anterior to occiput, large orbits with wide interorbital distance, and
a preorbital region more than twice as long as the postorbital region.
The external nares are elongate, and the outline of the skull is
ovoid, widest at mid-level of the orbits. S. neglecta shares with
eucacopines the presence of a rounded internarial fenestra and an
anteroposteriorly short supratemporal. Phylogenetic analysis places
Scapanops at the base of the clade Eucacopinae, more crownward than
Conjunctio and as the sister-taxon to a grouping comprising Cacops,
Kamacops, and Zygosaurus.

Timothy R. Smithson & Jennifer A. Clack (2013)
Tetrapod appendicular skeletal elements from the Early Carboniferous
of Scotland.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)

Tetrapod postcranial bones are described from Scotland: from the
Limestone Coal Group (Early Carboniferous, Serpukhovian) at the Dora
open cast site, Fife, and from beds equivalent to the Burdiehouse
Limestone (Early Carboniferous, Visean) on the island of Inchkeith,
Firth of Forth. The elements from Dora are derived relative to
Devonian and Tournaisian tetrapods in having a diamond-shaped
interclavicle with no parasternal process, a humerus with a
triangular-shaped entepicondyle, a rod-like ilium lacking a post-iliac
process and a gracile femur with a prominent internal trochanter but
no adductor blade. These bones share characters with their homologues
in colosteids and temnospondyls and may be attributable to Doragnathus
woodi. The femur from Inchkeith most closely resembles that of the
embolomere Proterogyrinus scheelei.


Olson's Gap dispute

Michael Benton's 2012 paper challenging the existence of the so-called
Olson's Gap in the Permian fossil record is available for free at:


The September issue of Geology has a comment and a reply, both in open access.

Spencer G. Lucas (2013)
No gap in the Middle Permian record of terrestrial vertebrates: COMMENT
Geology  41: e293

Michael J. Benton (2013)
No gap in the Middle Permian record of terrestrial vertebrates: REPLY
Geology. 41:e294