Field of Science

New Capitosaur from the Middle Triassic of Spain

I'm still in Argentina. In San Juan now at the IV Congreso Latinamericano Paleontologia de Vertebrados. Yesterday was the early theropod symposium and many crocodylomorph talks. The basal archosaurs symposium starts today and runs through tommorrow. Etiquette precludes me from directly posting on details of the talks; however, I may find some willing to let me share.  In the meantime here is a new temnospondyl paper:

Fortuny, J., Galobart, À, and C. De Santisteban. 2011. A New Capitosaur from the Middle Triassic of Spain and the Relationships within the Capitosauria. Acta Palaeontologia Polonica 56:553:556.

Abstract - Capitosaurs were the largest and homogeneous group of Triassic temnospondyl amphibians with cosmopolitan distribution. However, their interrelationships are debated. The first capitosaur cranial remains found in the Iberian Peninsula were assigned to Parotosuchus; herein, a re-description of this material, together with information on other remains recovered from the same site, enables us to classify them as a new genus: Calmasuchus acri gen. et sp. nov. (Amphibia: Temnospondyli) from the early-to-middle Anisian (early Middle Triassic). This capitosaur had a combination of plesiomorphic and non-plesiomorphic characters, such as posterolaterally directed tabular horns, paired anterior palatal vacuities, and unique morphology of the lower jaw. By cladistic analysis, we propose a new phylogeny for the monophyletic capitosaurs. In the analysis, Capitosauria is supported by seven synapomorphies. Wetlugasaurus is the most basal member of the clade. The score of the Russian taxon Vladlenosaurus alexeyevi resulted in a clade including Odenwaldia and the latter taxa. The Madagascarian Edingerella is the sister taxon of Watsonisuchus. Finally, Calmasuchus acri, the new taxon described here, appears as a more derived form than Parotosuchus. The new genus is the sister taxon of the CyclotosaurusTatrasuchus and EryosuchusMastodonsaurus clades.

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