We report for the first time the presence of the cynodont Diademodon tetragonus Seeley, 1894 in the South American Triassic. The specimen, represented by a fragmented skull and lower jaws, was found in levels of the Rio Seco de la Quebrada Formation (Puesto Viejo Group), Mendoza Province, Argentina. It is assigned to D. tetragonus based on its overall skull shape (narrow and elongated snout with a concave outline in dorsal view), the morphology of the jugal that forms most of the dorsoventral depth of the zygoma and shows a well-excavated external auditory meatus, and a postcanine series including circular outlined anterior teeth, ovoid gomphodont teeth in the middle, and posterior sectorial teeth. The association of this taxon with the cynodonts Cynognathus crateronotus and Pascualgnathus polanskii, along with comparisons to African Triassic assemblages, suggest an Early to Late Anisian age for the Río Seco de la Quebrada Formation. These levels are most likely correlated to the subzones B and C of the South African Cynognathus Assemblage Zone, where both Cynognathus and Diademodon are known. This discovery represents the fourth report of shared cynodont genera between allegedly Lower to Middle Triassic African and South American terrestrial faunas.
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Vol. 29 • No. 3