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Captorhinids from Early Permian of Oklahoma (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper in open access:

Aaron R. H. LeBlanc, Amanpreet K. Brar, William J. May & Robert R. Reisz (2015)
Multiple tooth-rowed captorhinids from the Early Permian fissure fills
of the Bally Mountain locality of Oklahoma.
Vertebrate Anatomy Morphology Palaeontology 1(1): 35-49

Captorhinids were Paleozoic eureptiles that originated in the Late
Pennsylvanian in Laurasia and dispersed across the major landmasses of
Pangaea by the Late Permian. Their evolutionary success as omnivorous
and herbivorous members of Permian terrestrial communities has been
attributed to the evolution of multiple marginal tooth rows. Multiple
tooth rows evolved at least twice within Captorhinidae: once in the
omnivorous Captorhinus aguti and again in the diverse subfamily of
herbivorous moradisaurines. The earliest known moradisaurines
co-occured with C. aguti in Lower Permian strata of Texas; however C.
aguti is also known from much older fissure fills in the famous Dolese
Brothers quarry near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, suggesting that C. aguti
preceded any other multiple-rowed captorhinid. Here we report on new
material of multiple-rowed captorhinids from the Lower Permian fissure
fills of the Bally Mountain locality in Oklahoma, only 35 miles from
Richards Spur. Some of this material is referrable to Captorhinikos
valensis, which was previously only known from younger strata in
Texas, making this species the geologically and phylogenetically
oldest moradisaurine. Furthermore, we determined that Ca. valensis
co-existed with C. aguti at Bally Mountain and we explore the
potential for niche partitioning in these early captorhinids. Lastly,
we assess the potential temporal and environmental differences between
Bally Mountain and Richards Spur, in order to explain the abundance of
herbivorous moradisaurines at Bally Mountain and the complete lack of
moradisaurines at the neighbouring Richards Spur locality.