Recent finds of small temnospondyls from the Lower Keuper (Ladinian, Middle Triassic) of southern Germany are referred to a new trematosaurid genus and species, Trematolestes hagdorni. It is the first trematosaurid represented by a nearly complete skeleton. Trematolestes is characterized by an unpaired frontal and a minute lacrimal at the orbital rim wedged in between an extensive prefrontal and a wide maxilla. Further characteristic are keeled, laterally compressed palatal tusks, a strong palatine and ectopterygoid dentition, and minute maxillary and posterior dentary teeth. In the visceral skeleton, ceratobranchial parts of the hyobranchial skeleton and an unpaired basibranchial element are ossified. The ribs bear pronounced spine-like uncinate processes throughout the trunk and anterior tail skeleton. The forelimb is minute, with a strongly abbreviated humerus not exceeding the length of the lower arm, rudimentary radius and ulna, and a small, probably four-fingered hand skeleton. Unlike the situation in capitosauroids, the trunk was deep with an elongated recurved ilium and a highly modified sacral rib. The trunk is composed of 22 vertebrae, while the caudal vertebral count is at least 24, but probably exceeded 30. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that Trematolestes is closely related to the Madagascan genus Tertremoides and together they are nested with the rostrum-bearing slender-headed lonchorhynchines.
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