DESOJO Julia Brenda
The oldest rhynchosaur from Argentina: a Middle Triassic rhynchosaurid from the Chañares Formation (Ischiguaslato-Villa Unión Basin, La Rioja Province)
MARTÍN D. EZCURRA; M. JIMENA TROTTEYN; LUCAS E. FIORELLI; M. BELÉN VON BACZKO; JEREMÍAS R. A. TABORDA; MAXIMILIANO IBERLUCEA; JULIA B. DESOJO
Lugar: HEIDELBERG; Año: 2013
Rhynchosaurs first appear in the Early Triassic fossil record and flourished during the late Carnian as the dominant members of several assemblages worldwide. In Argentina, the rhynchosaur record is currently restricted to the Ischigualasto Formation of late Carnian?earliest Norian age. Recent fieldwork in the new locality of Brazo del Puma, in the lowermost levels of the Chan?ares Formation, yielded three rhynchosaur tooth-bearing bones, which were collected five metres above the contact with the underlying Tarjados Formation. The most complete specimen is the posterior end of the alveolar region of a left dentary. The dentary possesses densely packed tooth rows on the lingual surface and medial half of the occlusal surface, showing longitudinal Zahnreihen. The teeth of the occlusal surface are worn flat and those of the lingual surface are organized in multiple rows, supporting the referral of the specimen to Rhynchosauridae. In addition, the dentary teeth are conical to mesiodistally compressed, resembling the condition observed in hyperodapedontines. The rhynchosaur remains reported here are the oldest collected in Argentina and among the oldest in South America, together with an unnamed form from Brazil. The new rhynchosaur specimens come from levels in which dicynodonts are numerically dominant, whereas cynodonts are considerably less abundant. Accordingly, the specimens reported here bolster faunal differences within the Chan?ares Formation and add a new faunal component to this already diverse vertebrate assemblage.