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Parapytanga, new temnospondyl from the Permian of Brazil

Ben Creisler

A new online paper (in open access):

Adriana Strapasson, Felipe L. Pinheiro, and Marina B. Soares (2014)
On a new stereospondylomorph temnospondyl from the Middle/Late Permian
of Southern Brazil.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica in press

A new temnospondyl is described from the Middle/Upper Permian sequence
of the Paraná Basin (Rio do Rasto Formation) in southern Brazil. The
material consists of disarticulated cranial and postcranial elements,
preserved in association. The cranial elements include part of the
orbital region of the skull roof, the basicranium, a number of
endocranial elements, stapes and a right hemimandible. The postcranial
elements include vertebrae, ribs, pectoral girdle elements, a right
femur and a cluster of scales. The new species displays a rhinesuchid
pattern, which is similar to the South African rhinesuchids from the
Upper Permian Beaufort Group of the Karoo Basin, but differs from them
by the presence of a robust and elongated epipterygoid with a
blade-like anterior process in addition to elongated and deeper
muscular pockets on the parasphenoid, which allow the assignment of
this specimen to a new species. However, the phylogenetic analysis
grouped the material described herein and Australerpeton cosgriffi
(Barberena, 1998) inside Stereospondylomorpha, in a transitional
position between the Laurasian assemblages and South African
temnospondyls. This result supports a connection between the Brazilian
and Eastern European Permian fauna and provides important data for
future biostratigraphic studies.