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A new Mastodonsauroid Temnospondyl from the Triassic of Algeria: Implications for the biostratigraphy and palaeoenvironments of the Zarzaïtine Series, northern Sahara

Anissa DAHOUMANE, Ahmed NEDJARI, Rachid AÏT-OUALI, Philippe TAQUET, Renaud VACANT & Jean-Sébastien STEYER

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 15 (8) - Pages 918-926

Published on 31 December 2016

We describe a new species of mastodonsauroid temnospondyl from Algeria, Stanocephalosaurus amenasensis nov. sp., on the basis of two exquisite skulls from a Lagerstätte found in the lowermost formation of the Zarzaïtine Series, Illizi Basin, in the area of “La Reculée”, In Amenas region, Algeria. The new species is characterized by subtriangular nostrils with concave lateral borders; small orbits; postfrontals posteriorly very wide; very elongate parietals; smoothly concave posterior margin of the skull; ovoid anterior palatal vacuities; very posteriorly pointed choanae; oval interpterygoid fenestrae; and a short anterior extension of the cultriform process of the parasphenoid. S. amenasensis is different than the Algerian taxa previously erected by Lehman (1971)–“Parotosaurus lapparenti” and “Wellesaurus bussoni”–which we consider nomina dubia . It enlarges the distribution of the genus in northern Gondwana and supports the Early-Middle Triassic age of the lowermost formation of the Zarzaïtine Series. It also suggests that the local palaeoclimate was very seasonal and these aquatic amphibians died massively in a dewatering sebkha.


Keywords:

Capitosaurians, Lagerstätte, Olenekian, Anisian, Palaeoclimate, Mass mortality

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