Nonmammaliaform cynodonts were a diverse group of Permo-Triassic synapsids whose morphological evolution documented the beginning of many classic mammalian traits. Here, we describe a new basal cynodont from the upper Permian Madumabisa Mudstone Formation of Zambia's Luangwa Basin as Nshimbodon muchingaensis gen. et sp. nov. The holotype, a relatively complete and undistorted cranium and articulated mandible with associated postcranial elements, is interpreted as the most complete and well-preserved example of a charassognathid cynodont, and preserves hitherto unknown details of charassognathid endocranial and postcranial anatomy. A phylogenetic analysis of 111 morphological characters from 25 therapsid taxa (including 15 Permo-Triassic cynodonts) supports a sister-taxon relationship between Nshimbodon and Abdalodon, including them with Charassognathus in a monophyletic Charassognathidae, and placing the family near the base of Cynodontia. In addition to its phylogenetic importance, Nshimbodon provides evidence of correlated transformations in the feeding system, neck, and shoulder, which are consistent with novel mammal-like locomotor and feeding mechanics in the earliest cynodonts. Lastly, given previous reports of charassognathids in the Karoo Basin of South Africa, the occurrence of Nshimbodon indicates that charassognathids, like the basal cynodont Procynosuchus, were geographically widespread in southern Pangea by Lopingian times. Continued collecting in the Madumabisa Mudstone Formation will lead to a better understanding of the formation's Permian cynodont diversity and biostratigraphy, as well as the biogeographic structure of southern Pangean vertebrate assemblages prior to the Permo-Triassic mass extinction.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.