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Triassic cynodont reptiles from antarctica



Triassic cynodont reptiles from antarctica



American Museum Novitates (2611): 1-30



Sixteen specimens of cynodont reptiles from the Lower Triassic Fremouw Formation were collected during the austral summer of 1970-1971 in the central Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica. The fossils are described. Fourteen specimens are referable to Thrinaxodon liorhinus Seeley, a characteristic cynodont from the Lower Triassic Lystrosaurus Zone, Middle Beaufort Beds of the Karroo Series in South Africa. Two are referred to Cynodontia incertae sedis, one being a mold in the rock of a heavy mandibular ramus, the other a right zygomatic arch with associated posterior parts of the mandibular rami, other fragments of skull bones and certain postcranial elements, all representing a cynodont considerably larger than a typical Thrinaxodon. The presence of T. liorhinus in Antarctica constitutes one more element in the chain of evidence indicating that a Lystrosaurus fauna, very similar to, if not completely identical with, the Lystrosaurus fauna of southern Africa inhabited what is now eastern Antarctica at the beginning of Mesozoic time. The association of the Antarctic-African species, L. murrayi, L. curvatus, and Procolophon trigoniceps, described in previous papers together with T. liorhinus, confirms the geological-geophysical interpretation indicating a close link between Antarctica and Africa in early Triassic time.

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Accession: 006840739

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