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Neosaurus (sphenacodontid synapsid) from France



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new non-dino online paper that may be of interest:


Jocelyn Falconnet (2013)
The sphenacodontid synapsid Neosaurus cynodus, and related material,
from the Permo-Carboniferous of France.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2012.0105
http://app.pan.pl/article/item/app20120105.html


Sphenacodontid synapsids were major components of Early Permian
ecosystems. Despite their abundance in the North American part of
Pangaea, they are much rarer in Europe. Among the few described
European taxa is Neosaurus cynodus (Gervais, 1869), from the La Serre
Horst, Eastern France. This species is represented by a single
specimen, and its validity has been questioned. A detailed revision of
its anatomy shows that sphenacodontids were also present in the Lodève
Basin, Southern France. The presence of several synapomorphies of
sphenacodontids – including the teardrop-shaped teeth – supports the
assignment of the French material to the Sphenacodontidae, but it is
too fragmentary for more precise identification. The discovery of
sphenacodontids in the Viala Formation of the Lodève Basin provides
additional information about their ecological preferences and
environment, supporting the supposed semi-arid climate and floodplain
setting of this formation. The Viala vertebrate assemblage includes
aquatic branchiosaurs and xenacanthids, amphibious eryopoids, and
terrestrial diadectids and sphenacodontids. This composition is very
close to that of the contemporaneous assemblages of Texas and
Oklahoma, once thought to be typical of North American lowland
deposits, and thus supports the biogeographic affinities of North
American and European continental Early Permian ecosystems.