Rhynchocephalians (Diapsida: Lepidosauria) from the Jurassic Kota Formation of India


*E-mail: ucgasue@ucl.ac.uk


Despite their rarity today, rhynchocephalians formed a diverse Early Mesozoic clade with a comparatively good fossil record. They had a Pangaean distribution in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic, although the Gondwanan record remains more limited than the Laurasian one. We report here on new sphenodontian material from the Jurassic Kota Formation of peninsular India. Two taxa are represented, and both are attributed to new genera. One is a relatively derived sphenodontian with a premaxillary morphology similar to that of the Late Triassic/ Early Jurassic genus Clevosaurus. The other is somewhat more primitive in its morphology, although clearly a crown-group sphenodontian. In addition, three dentary fragments and a partial maxilla signal the presence of a primitive pleurodont lepidosauromorph similar to the basal rhynchocephalians Gephyrosaurus and Diphydonto-saurus from Britain.