A PRELIMINARY DESCRIPTION OF A NEW MAMMAL FROM THE UPPER TRIASSIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

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Abstract

The discovery of a new Upper Triassic mammal (Erythrotherium parringtoni, gen. et sp. n.) from the upper Red Beds of the Stormborg series in Basutoland is reported. The remains consist of an apparently complete, but crushed skull. No posteranial remains were found in association with the skull.

A preliminary description of the internal view of the lower jaw and the outer view of one upper postcanine is given.

It is compared with the other known Triassic mammals, Morganucodon, Diarthrognathus and Sinoconodon. It is concluded that Erythrotherium is closely related to Morganucodon. Diarthrognathus has to date been found only in the younger Cave Sandstone and is quite distinct from Erythrotherium. It is suggested that the lower jaw attributed to Sinoconodon could perhaps be that of an advanced cynodont.

Ancillary