Friday, June 10, 2016

Colobomycter vaughni: a new Lanthanosuchoid Parareptile From Early Permian Oklahoma

A new reptile from the Richards Spur Locality, Oklahoma, USA, and patterns of Early Permian parareptile diversification


MacDougall et al


The Lower Permian Richards Spur locality is the most speciose Paleozoic continental vertebrate assemblage currently known, and a significant proportion of the tetrapod diversity found at the locality is made up of parareptiles. The first Richards Spur parareptile to be described was Colobomycter pholeter. It has been characterized by its enlarged premaxillary tooth and paired enlarged maxillary teeth, unique dentition that grants it an appearance quite distinct from other parareptiles at Richards Spur. Here we describe new cranial material from Richards Spur that is referable to Colobomycter. This new material differs from that of C. pholeter in that it possesses at least three more teeth on its maxilla, the enlarged premaxillary and maxillary teeth are more gracile than those in C. pholeter, and the lacrimal is restricted externally to the orbital margin and does not exhibit an extra lateral exposure. We infer that these differences merit specific distinction and assign the new fossil to Colobomycter vaughni, sp. nov. The discovery of C. vaughni at Richards Spur is important, because it reveals the presence of another member of the clade Lanthanosuchoidea in Oklahoma, making it the sixth to be found in the state. The large number of taxa from this clade found in Oklahoma suggests that during the Early Permian, this area of western Laurasia was the center of a radiation of small, predatory lanthanosuchoids.

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