Agustín G. Martinelli, Christian F. Kammerer, Tomaz P. Melo, Voltaire D. Paes Neto, Ana Maria Ribeiro, Átila A. S. Da-Rosa, Cesar L. Schultz & Marina Bento Soares (2017)
The African cynodont Aleodon (Cynodontia, Probainognathia) in the Triassic of southern Brazil and its biostratigraphic significance.
PLoS ONE 12(6): e0177948.
In this contribution we report the first occurrence of the enigmatic African probainognathian genus Aleodon in the Middle-early Late Triassic of several localities from the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. Aleodon is unusual among early probainognathians in having transversely-expanded postcanine teeth, similar to those of gomphodont cynognathians. This genus was previously known from the Manda Beds of Tanzania and the upper Omingonde Formation of Namibia. The Brazilian record of this genus is based upon multiple specimens representing different ontogenetic stages, including three that were previously referred to the sectorial-toothed probainognathian Chiniquodon theotonicus. We propose a new species of Aleodon (A. cromptoni sp. nov.) based on the specimens from Brazil. Additionally, we tentatively refer one specimen from the upper Omingonde Formation of Namibia to this new taxon, strengthening biostratigraphic correlations between these strata. Inclusion of A. cromptoni in a phylogenetic analysis of eucynodonts recovers it as the sister-taxon of A. brachyrhamphus within the family Chiniquodontidae. The discovery of numerous specimens of Aleodon among the supposedly monospecific Chiniquodon samples of Brazil raises concerns about chiniquodontid alpha taxonomy, particularly given the extremely broad geographic distribution of Chiniquodon. The discovery of Brazilian Aleodon and new records of the traversodontid Luangwa supports the hypothesis that at least two subzones can be recognized in the Dinodontosaurus Assemblage Zone.