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1 September 2003 A SECOND SPECIMEN OF LEMUROSAURUS PRICEI (THERAPSIDA: BURNETIAMORPHA)
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Abstract

A second specimen of the basal therapsid Lemurosaurus pricei preserves aspects of this taxon’s cranial anatomy, such as the structure of the temporal region, palate, and lower jaw, that were either unknown or poorly preserved in the holotype. Although typically considered a dinocephalian feature, intermeshing of the incisors is confirmed for Lemurosaurus. Autapomorphies of the genus include a nubbin-like boss at the apex of the lateral temporal fenestra, the presence of very coarse serrations on the posterior margins of the upper postcanine teeth, and the low, ridge-like form of the median frontal crest.

The anatomical data provided by the new Lemurosaurus specimen permits the first cladistic appraisal of its phylogenetic position among biarmosuchian therapsids. A cladistic analysis of 10 therapsids, two outgroups, and 38 characters indicates that Lemurosaurus is the sister taxon to a clade including Bullacephalus, Proburnetia, and Burnetia. Taxonomically, this position implies the reclassification of Lemurosaurus as a basal burnetiamorph, rather than as an ictidorhinid. Biogeographically, the position of Lemurosaurus makes it most parsimonious to infer that burnetiamorphs originated in southern Africa, although this hypothesis ignores potential sampling biases.

C. A. SIDOR and J. WELMAN "A SECOND SPECIMEN OF LEMUROSAURUS PRICEI (THERAPSIDA: BURNETIAMORPHA)," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(3), (1 September 2003). https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2003)023[0631:ASSOLP]2.0.CO;2
Received: 15 June 2001; Accepted: 25 July 2002; Published: 1 September 2003
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