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1 May 2010 Varanops brevirostris (Eupelycosauria: Varanopidae) from the Lower Permian of Texas, with Discussion of Varanopid Morphology and Interrelationships
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Abstract
A comprehensive revision of Varanops brevirostris on the basis of a large, well-preserved specimen from a new Lower Permian locality in Texas provides valuable new anatomical information and additional autapomorphies for this varanopid synapsid taxon. These include the loss of the postorbital boss, the presence of a smooth transition between the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the postorbital, hypertrophied basipterygoid processes, the presence of deep, elongate lateral neural spine excavations, posterior dorsal vertebrae with dorsally tapered neural spines, and a deep groove proximal to the femoral fourth trochanter. Furthermore, this specimen is the first fully developed adult specimen of Varanops, and it preserves the most complete lower jaw of the taxon. A revised phylogenetic analysis places V. brevirostris as the sister taxon to the Varanodon-Watongia clade. A stratocladistic analysis assessing varanopid relationships by incorporating a stratigraphic character into the analysis recovers the same topology among varanodontines, but an alternate topology between mycterosaurines and Elliotsmithia longiceps.
© 2010 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Nicolás E. Campione and Robert R. Reisz "Varanops brevirostris (Eupelycosauria: Varanopidae) from the Lower Permian of Texas, with Discussion of Varanopid Morphology and Interrelationships," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30(3), (1 May 2010). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724631003762914
Received: 4 November 2008; Accepted: 1 September 2009; Published: 1 May 2010
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