First occurrence of the dicynodont Digalodon (Therapsida, Anomodontia) from the Lopingian upper Madumabisa Mudstone Formation, Luangwa Basin, Zambia

Angielczyk, Kenneth D.
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Evolutionary Studies Institute
Digalodon is a rare emydopoid dicynodont first described from upper Permian rocks in the Karoo Basin of South Africa. During fieldwork in the upper Madumabisa Mudstone Formation of the Luangwa Basin (Zambia) in 2014, a small dicynodont skull was discovered that conforms very well to the recently revised diagnosis of Digalodon rubidgei, although some minor differences between the Zambian and South African specimens are apparent. The Zambian occurrence of Digalodon expands the known geographic range of the genus, which was previously limited to a small set of localities in the vicinity of the town of Graaff-Reinet (Eastern Cape). Based on historical specimens, Digalodon is thought to have a comparatively short stratigraphic range in the Balfour Formation that spans the boundary between the Cistecephalus and Daptocephalus assemblage zones. This observation may allow refinement of biostratigraphic correlations between the Karoo and Luangwa Basins, but discovery of more precisely-provenanced specimens in the Karoo is needed to fully assess Digalodon’s biostratigraphic utility.
Synapsida, Dicynodontia, Emydopoidea, Permian, biostratigraphy, biogeography