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Nigerpeton (Permian temnospondyl) skull described



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com



OK--this is not Mesozoic and not dino-related. However, some people on
the DML are interested in temnospondyls and Permian tetrapods.  Plus
Christian Sidor from the University of Washington and the Burke Museum
is local for me in Seattle...



Christian A. Sidor (2013)
The vertebrate fauna of the Upper Permian of Niger – VIII. Nigerpeton
ricqlesi (Temnospondyli: Cochleosauridae) and tetrapod biogeographic
provinces.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2013.05.005
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631068313000729


The Moradi Formation of northern Niger preserves a rare glimpse of
tetrapods inhabiting the low paleolatitude regions of Pangea during
Late Permian times. In contrast to the broadly distributed and
dicynodont-dominated Karoo fauna known from southern Pangea (e.g.,
South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi), recent work has shown
that (1) Moradi tetrapods are endemic, and (2) the taxonomic
composition of the Moradi fauna is unlike that of any other Upper
Permian fauna. In this contribution, I describe new cranial material
of the derived cochleosaurid Nigerpeton ricqlesi. I also compare the
Moradi tetrapod assemblage to five other Upper Permian assemblages
with bipartite taxon–locality occurrence networks. At the genus level,
the Moradi appears unconnected to any other locality, which
underscores its endemic nature. In contrast, southern Pangean
assemblages display high levels of connectedness and low percentage of
endemic genera (except for the Karoo Basin of South Africa, which is
likely the result of its more intense sampling). I infer that the
fauna of the Moradi Formation was not part of the same faunal province
that dominated southern Pangea, but evidence for linking it to the
faunal assemblage of the Ikakern Formation of Morocco is currently
equivocal.