Enigmatic teeth from the Jurassic–Cretaceous transition of Morocco: The latest known non-mammaliaform cynodonts (Synapsida, Cynodontia) from Africa?


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 18 (7) - Pages 897-907

Published on 30 November 2019

This article is a part of the thematic issue Palaeobiology and palaeobiogeography of amphibians and reptiles: An homage to Jean-Claude Rage

Two tooth morphotypes corresponding to one or two tetrapod species from the Late Jurassic or Earliest Cretaceous locality of Ksar Metlili (KM), Anoual Syncline (eastern Morocco), are reported and described. These teeth cannot be related to any of the identified vertebrate major groups of this site. They are tricusped and uniradiculate, with a high and large main central cusp mesio-distally surrounded by two smaller accessory cusps. Their morphology is reminiscent of several taxa such as pterosaurs, notosuchians and mammals, with which they are compared here. These morphotypes are tentatively referred to cf. Cynodontia indet. They would be the most recent non-mammaliaform cynodonts reported in Africa and among the latest described. The KM specimens display remarkable plesiomorphic dental features with respect to known contemporaneous non-mammaliaform cynodonts. They might indicate the survival of a relict lineage in a North African refugium.


Non-mammaliaform cynodonts, Late Jurassic, Earliest Cretaceous, Ksar Metlili, Anoual Syncline, Gondwana

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