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Redescription, phylogenetic position, and stratigraphic significance of the dicynodont genus Odontocyclops (Synapsida: Anomodontia)

  • Kenneth D. Angielczyk (a1)
Abstract

The dicynodont anomodont Odontocyclops whaitsi, from the Late Permian Madumabisa Mudstone of Zambia, is redescribed and its phylogenetic relationships are considered. The genus is characterized by a two autapomorphies, elongate nasal bosses and a concave dorsal surface of the snout; it also possesses wide exposure of the parietals on the intertemporal skull roof, the presence of a postcaniniform crest, the absence of a labial fossa, and the presence of a dorsal process on the anterior ramus of the epipterygoid footplate. In addition, newly recognized specimens collected in South Africa extend the known geographic range of the genus and allow description of the humerus and scapula for the first time. Cladistic analysis of a data set including Odontocyclops and 18 other well-known South African dicynodont genera does not support the hypothesis that Odontocyclops is a close relative of Dicynodon or of Triassic dicynodonts such as Kannemeyeria. Instead, a close relationship with Oudenodon and Rhachiocephalus is proposed. The presence of Odontocyclops in South Africa and Zambia makes it potentially valuable for more precise biostratigraphic correlation between the sediments of the Karoo Basin and the Luangwa Valley.

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