Cranial morphology and phylogenetic relationship of the enigmatic dinocephalian Styracocephalus platyrhynchus from the Karoo Supergroup, South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Fraser-King, Simon W.
dc.contributor.author Benoit, Julien
dc.contributor.author Day, Michael O.
dc.contributor.author Rubidge, Bruces S.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-09-20T10:03:12Z
dc.date.available 2019-09-20T10:03:12Z
dc.date.issued 2019-09
dc.identifier.issn 2410-4418
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10539/28128
dc.description.abstract Styracocephalus platyrhynchus is an unusual dinocephalian therapsid, known only from a handful of specimens from the Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone of South Africa. It has had a chequered taxonomic history, largely because it is characterized by cranial pachyostosis and the presence of horn-like structures that project posteriorly from the temporal region; these features are found in the clades Burnetiamorpha and Dinocephalia. Its affinities have been further obfuscated by a lack of well-preserved material. This paper presents a description of a well-preserved skull referable to Styracocephalus from the western Karoo Basin and provides a revised generic diagnosis for the genus. This study – incorporating comparative anatomy,CT scanning, and cladistic analysis – reveals new character information that was not evident from pre-existing Styracocephalus material, and incorporates this into a new phylogenetic analysis. Our analysis recovers Styracocephalidae as a well-supported, monotypic family within Tapinocephalia, which is characterized by: prominent pachyostotic nasal and supraorbital bosses; two posteriorly projecting crest-like protuberances comprising contributions by the postorbital, squamosal and tabular bones; weak lingual heels on the incisor and postcanine dentition present with a moderate upper and lower canine. As Styracocephalus is restricted to the upper part of the Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone, it may be a useful biostratigraphic index taxon in future. en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship Palaeontological Scientific Trust African Origins Platform of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa (Grant No: 98802) DST/NRFCentre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, the Claude Leon Foundation en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Evolutionary Studies Institute en_ZA
dc.rights Copyright 2019 the Authors en_ZA
dc.subject Therapsida en_ZA
dc.subject middle Permian en_ZA
dc.subject Guadalupian en_ZA
dc.title Cranial morphology and phylogenetic relationship of the enigmatic dinocephalian Styracocephalus platyrhynchus from the Karoo Supergroup, South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 54 en_ZA
dc.journal.title Palaeontologia africana en_ZA
dc.description.librarian JNC2019 en_ZA
dc.orcid.id 000-0001-8583-3578 en_ZA
dc.orcid.id 0000-0001-5378-3940 en_ZA
dc.orcid.id 0000-0002-7947-8204 en_ZA
dc.orcid.id 0000-0003-2477-1873 en_ZA


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