New data on the Triassic temnospondyls from the Karoo rift basins of Tanzania and Zambia

Jean-Sébastien STEYER, Brandon R. PEECOOK, Thomas ARBEZ, Sterling J. NESBITT, Steve TOLAN, Michelle R. STOCKER, Roger Malcolm Harris SMITH, Kenneth D. ANGIELCZYK & Christian A. SIDOR

en Geodiversitas 43 (12) - Pages 365-376

Published on 03 June 2021

This article is a part of the thematic issue Memorial Jean-Claude Rage: A life of paleo-herpetologist

Temnospondyl specimens collected recently in the Middle-?Late Triassic of the Ruhuhu (Tanzania) and Luangwa (Zambia) rift basins are described and figured. They are attributed to cf. Cherninia megarhina (Chernin & Cosgriff, 1975), Mastodonsauroidea indet., Stereospondyli indet., and cf. Stereo­spondyli, as well as intercentra of small adult individual(s) which may belong to a new taxon. Although fragmentary, this new material allows taxonomic updates to the Triassic temnospondyl assemblages of Tanzania and Zambia and documents an interesting phylogenetic and ecological diversity. For example, among the Triassic mastodonsauroids of Zambia, Cherninia megarhina coexisted with Stanocephalosaurus pronus (Howie, 1970) in nonmarine environments. Similar to that of the South African Karoo Basin, these temnospondyl assemblages also illustrate the rapid recovery of the group after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction and contribute to a better understanding of the impact of this extinction on the tetrapod faunas of southern Pangea.


Amphibia, Karoo system, Permo-Triassic extinction, extinction recovery

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