The morphology and systematic position of the capitosauroid amphibian “Parotosuchus” africanus (latest Early(?)–earliest Middle Triassic, Middle Cynognathus Subzone, Karoo Basin, South Africa) are re-evaluated on the basis of a nearly complete, hitherto undescribed, skull from the Museum of Paleontology, University of California. The attribution of the UCMP specimen to “P.” africanus is based on direct comparison with the holotype. This species is shown to be markedly advanced over the Parotosuchus level in the structure of the tabulars and the postglenoid division of the lower jaw, in the shape of the posterior rim of the mandibular adductor fossa, and in the strong development of the medial plate of the surangular. This pattern of the cranial structure is combined with a set of primitive characters lost in true Parotosuchus, such as the broad nasals, weakly developed interorbital projections of the frontals, elliptic choanae, short palatal exposure of the parasphenoid cultriform process, and a curved interchoanal tooth row. On this evidence, “P.” africanus is distinguished as a new genus, Xenotosuchus, gen. nov.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1