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Stanocephalosaurus amenasensis, new mastodonsauroid species from Triassic of Algeria



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:

Anissa Dahoumane, Ahmed Nedjari, Rachid Aït-Ouali, Philippe Taquet,
Renaud Vacant & Jean-Sébastien Steyer (2016)
A new Mastodonsauroid Temnospondyl from the Triassic of Algeria:
Implications for the biostratigraphy and palaeoenvironments of the
Zarzaïtine Series, northern Sahara.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
doi:10.1016/j.crpv.2015.09.005
http: // www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631068315001803


We describe a new species of mastodonsauroid temnospondyl from
Algeria, Stanocephalosaurus amenasensis nov. sp., on the basis of two
exquisite skulls from a Lagerstätte found in the lowermost formation
of the Zarzaïtine Series, Illizi Basin, in the area of “La Reculée”,
In Amenas region, Algeria. The new species is characterized by
subtriangular nostrils with concave lateral borders; small orbits;
postfrontals posteriorly very wide; very elongate parietals; smoothly
concave posterior margin of the skull; ovoid anterior palatal
vacuities; very posteriorly pointed choanae; oval interpterygoid
fenestrae; and a short anterior extension of the cultriform process of
the parasphenoid. S. amenasensis is different than the Algerian taxa
previously erected by Lehman (1971)–“Parotosaurus lapparenti” and
“Wellesaurus bussoni”–which we consider nomina dubia. It enlarges the
distribution of the genus in northern Gondwana and supports the
Early-Middle Triassic age of the lowermost formation of the Zarzaïtine
Series. It also suggests that the local palaeoclimate was very
seasonal and these aquatic amphibians died massively in a dewatering
sebkha.