A new bauriamorph from the Omingonde Formation (Middle Triassic) of South West Africa

Keyser, A. W.
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Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
A new genus and species of bauriamorph therapsid from the Anisian Omingonde Formation (Middle Triassic) of South West Africa is described as Herpetogale marsupialis gen. et sp. nov. This new form is chronologically the latest known member of the therocephalian lineage. It is in many ways more advanced than Bauria, but it also displays a number of more primitive features . It is advanced in its reduced postcanine series, slightly larger secondary palate, smaller suborbital fossae, and more pronounced coronoid processes of the dentaries, displaying laterally very distinct fossae maJsetericae. A very distinct crista IacialiJ is developed in front of the orbit. Primitive features are the presence of a pineal foramen and complete postorbital bars. Conspicuous and no doubt specialised are the pronounced "cheek cavities" well demarcated above by maxillary overhangs and below by shelf-like expansions on the dentaries. This arrangement suggests "cheek pouches" for food storage reminiscent of a habit in modem primates and certain rodents. The skull is complete, very little distorted or damaged, with lower jaw in occlusion. Besides an account of the cranial morphology, attention is also given to jaw musculature and the taxonomic position of the Bauriamorpha.
Abstract of paper presented at Karoo Symposium
Bauriamorpha; Triassic; Africa; Therocephalia