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1 December 2009 A Possible Ctenosauriscid Archosaur from the Middle Triassic Manda Beds of Tanzania
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The Lifua Member of the Manda Beds of Tanzania (Middle Triassic: ?latest Anisian) has yielded an exceptionally important assemblage of early archosaurs, including numerous well-preserved specimens. However, the majority of this material has not been described formally, frustrating attempts to incorporate it into studies on early archosaur diversity and evolution. We describe an anterior dorsal vertebra from the Lifua Member as the holotype of a new taxon, Hypselorhachis mirabilis. Hypselorhachis is characterised by the possession of an elongate neural spine that is at least 5.5 times the height of the centrum, and can be diagnosed on the basis of a single autapomorphy relating to the morphology of the prezygapophysis. Hypselorhachis is similar to other early Middle Triassic archosaurs with elongate neural spines, including Arizonasaurus, Ctenosauriscus, and Lotosaurus. It is possible that these taxa form a clade, Ctenosauriscidae, but further anatomical and phylogenetic work is required before this can be confirmed.

© 2009 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Richard J. Butler, Paul M. Barrett, Richard L. Abel, and David J. Gower "A Possible Ctenosauriscid Archosaur from the Middle Triassic Manda Beds of Tanzania," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(4), (1 December 2009).
Received: 14 November 2008; Published: 1 December 2009

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