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A new gorgonopsian from the uppermost Dicynodon Assemblage Zone, Karoo Basin of South Africa
BUTLER, E.; BOTHA-BRINK, J.; ABDALA, F.
Conferencia; 18th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africad; 2014
Palaeontological Society of southern Africa
The gorgonopsian therapsids are only known from Permian deposits in Africa, Russia, India and China. By the middle Late Permian these animals had become the dominant terrestrial predators of Gondwana, but they succumbed to the end Permian mass extinction some 252 million years ago. Here we describe the skull of anewspecies of gorgonopsian consisting of two well-preserved specimens. The specimens are the largest known gorgonopsians in South Africa. They are characterized by the absence of palatal teeth, a small frontal-orbital contact, the presence of a pineal boss, well-developed interparietal and supraoccipital, short robust jugal not reaching the anterior part of the a quadrangular lacrimal and small temporal fenestra. The latter characteristic is similar to the more basal, geologically older gorgonopsians from the Eodicynodon and Tapinocephalus AZ of South Africa as well as to the similar-aged Russian Inostranceviidae. These specimens were found approximately 4 m and 23 m below the Permo-Triassic boundary in the Karoo Basin, making this new species the geologically youngest gorgonopsians in South Africa.