Field of Science

New Specimen of Prolacerta broomi from the Early Triassic of Antarctica

Spiekman, S. N. F. 2018. A new specimen of Prolacerta broomi from the lower Fremouw Formation (Early Triassic) of Antarctica, its biogeographical implications and a taxonomic revision. Scientific Reports 8, Article number: 17996. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36499-6

Abstract - Prolacerta broomi is an Early Triassic archosauromorph of particular importance to the early evolution of archosaurs. It is well known from many specimens from South Africa and a few relatively small specimens from Antarctica. Here, a new articulated specimen from the Fremouw Formation of Antarctica is described in detail. It represents the largest specimen of Prolacerta described to date with a nearly fully articulated and complete postcranium in addition to four skull elements. The study of this specimen and the re-evaluation of other Prolacerta specimens from both Antarctica and South Africa reveal several important new insights into its morphology, most notably regarding the premaxilla, manus, and pelvic girdle. Although well-preserved skull material from Antarctica is still lacking for Prolacerta, a detailed comparison of Prolacerta specimens from Antarctica and South Africa corroborates previous findings that there are no characters clearly distinguishing the specimens from these different regions and therefore the Antarctic material is assigned to Prolacerta broomi. The biogeographical implications of these new findings are discussed. Finally, some osteological characters for Prolacerta are revised and an updated diagnosis and phylogenetic analysis are provided.

UWBM 95529 

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