How to translate text using browser tools
29 March 2024 A new eryopid temnospondyl from the Carboniferous–Permian boundary of Germany
Ralf Werneburg, Florian Witzmann, Larry Rinehart, Jan Fischer, Sebastian Voigt
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

The new fossil eryopid amphibian Stenokranio boldi, a temnospondyl closely related to Eryops, is described here. The new crocodile-like amphibian is based on well-preserved cranial and postcranial material from ca. 300 million-year-old fluvio-lacustrine deposits of the Permo-Carboniferous (Gzhelian/Asselian) in the Saar–Nahe Basin of southwestern Germany. Phylogenetic analysis identifies Stenokranio as a sister taxon to Eryops. Stenokranio was among the largest predators of the Saar–Nahe Basin. Due to its semiaquatic lifestyle, Stenokranio was able to scour the river and lake shores for prey, but most likely fed on aquatic vertebrates. Stenokranio was part of a faunal assemblage of aquatic, semiaquatic, and fully terrestrial vertebrates, such as sarcopterygian and actinopterygian fishes, xenacanthid sharks, a dvinosaurian temnospondyl, and various other tetrapods (“lepospondyls”, diadectomorphs, and synapsids). This corresponds broadly to the vertebrate community from Permo-Carboniferous rocks in North America that are approximately the same age.

A new eryopid temnospondyl, Stenokranio boldi n. gen. n. sp. is described based on well-preserved cranial and postcranial material from fluvio-lacustrine deposits of the Permo-Carboniferous (Gzhelian/Asselian) Remigiusberg Formation at the Remigiusberg quarry near Kusel, Saar–Nahe Basin, southwest Germany. The new taxon is characterized by three autapomorphies within the Eryopidae: (1) the relatively narrow posterior skull table, therefore nearly parallel lateral margins of the skull; (2) the short postparietals and tabulars; and (3) the wide ectopterygoid. Phylogenetic analysis reveals a monophyletic Eryopidae with the basal taxa Osteophorus, Glaukerpeton, and Onchiodon labyrinthicus forming a polytomy. Actinodon may be either a basal eryopid or a stereospondylomorph, and the genus Onchiodon is not monophyletic. Stenokranio n. gen. is found as a more derived eryopid forming the sister taxon to Eryops. Stenokranio n. gen. was among the largest predators of the Saar–Nahe Basin. Its semiaquatic lifestyle enabled Stenokranio n. gen. to browse riverbanks and lake shorelines for prey, but most likely it fed on aquatic vertebrates. Stenokranio n. gen. was part of a faunal assemblage of aquatic, semiaquatic, and fully terrestrial vertebrates, such as sarcopterygian and actinopterygian fishes, xenacanthid sharks, a dvinosaurian temnospondyl, different “lepospondyls”, diadectomorphs, and synapsids. This is in general accordance with the vertebrate community from the Permo-Carboniferous of North America and from the early Permian localities of Manebach (Thuringian Forest Basin) and Niederhäslich (Döhlen Basin). It is notable that the occurrence of Stenokranio n. gen. and other eryopids in these localities excluded the presence of other large temnospondyls such as Sclerocephalus. However, a previously described isolated eryopid mandible from the Remigiusberg locality differs from that of Stenokranio n. gen. in several characters, implying that probably two different eryopid taxa lived at the same locality.

Ralf Werneburg, Florian Witzmann, Larry Rinehart, Jan Fischer, and Sebastian Voigt "A new eryopid temnospondyl from the Carboniferous–Permian boundary of Germany," Journal of Paleontology 97(6), 1251-1281, (29 March 2024). https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2023.58
Accepted: 2 August 2023; Published: 29 March 2024
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top