Field of Science

Archeopelta arborensis a New Doswellidid Archosauriform from the Triassic of Brazil

Desojo, J. B., Ezcurra, M. D., and C. L. Schultz. 2011. An unusual new archosauriform from the Middle–Late Triassic of southern Brazil and the monophyly of Doswelliidae. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 161, 839–871. DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00655.x

Abstract - Until now the Doswelliidae was considered a monospecific family including Doswellia kaltenbachi from the Late Triassic of North America. The phylogenetic position of this taxon remained enigmatic until recently, when a sister-group relationship with the Proterochampsidae was suggested. In the present contribution we describe the new doswelliid species Archeopelta arborensis gen. et sp. nov. from the Middle–Late Triassic of Brazil. A cladistic analysis recovered Archeopelta, Doswellia, and Tarjadia within a monophyletic group of basal archosauriforms, the Doswelliidae. The monophyly of this family is supported by the presence of osteoderm ornamentation that is coarse, incised, and composed of regular pits and the presence of an unornamented anterior articular lamina. Archeopelta is more closely related to Doswellia than to other archosauriforms by the presence of basipterygoid processes anterolaterally orientated, dorsal centra with a convex surface, width of the neural arch plus ribs of the first primordial sacral that are three times the length of the neural arch, and iliac blade laterally deflected, with strongly convex dorsal margin, and a length less than three times its height. The phylogenetic analysis indicates that Doswellidae is the closest large monophyletic entity to Archosauria, which achieved a wide palaeolatitudinal distribution during the late Middle and Late Triassic time span.

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