Barendskraal, a diverse amniote locality from the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone, Early Triassic of South Africa
Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
A diverse amniote fauna has been recovered from Lower Triassic Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone exposures on the farm Barendskraal, near Middelburg in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The fauna includes the dicynodont therapsid Lystrosaurus sp., the therocephalian therapsids Tetracynodon darti, Moschorhinus kitchingi and Ericiolacerta parva, the archosauromorph reptiles Proterosuchus fergusi and Prolacerta broomi, and the procolophonoid reptiles Owenetta kitchingorum, Sauropareion anoplus and Saurodectes rogersorum. The locality is remarkable in that although it is fossil-rich, Lystrosaurus fossils do not appear to be as abundant as elsewhere in this assemblage zone, and the diversity of taxa at Barendskraal (at least nine species) is surpassed only by that of the famous HarrismithCommonage locality in the northeastern Free State province (at least 13 species). However, the fauna at Harrismith Commonage is typical of most other Lystrosaurus biozone localities in being dominated numerically by Lystrosaurus. Study of the tetrapod taxa from Barendskraal is providing new insights into procolophonoid phylogeny and survivorship across the Permo-Triassic boundary, as well as the stratigraphic ranges of various taxa in the Lower Triassic deposits of the Karoo Basin.
Amniota, Barendskraal, Karoo, Lower Triassic, Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone.