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Article: A new tusked cistecephalid dicynodont (Therapsida, Anomodontia) from the upper Permian upper Madumabisa Mudstone Formation, Luangwa Basin, Zambia

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 7 Issue 1 - Cover
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 7
Part: 1
Publication Date: Febuary 2021
Page(s): 405 446
Author(s): Kenneth D. Angielczyk, Julien Benoit, and Bruce S. Rubidge
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1285
Addition Information

How to Cite

ANGIELCZYK, K.D., BENOIT, J., RUBIDGE, B.S. 2021. . Papers in Palaeontology, 7, 1, 405-446. DOI: /doi/10.1002/spp2.1285

Author Information

  • Kenneth D. Angielczyk - Integrative Research Center Field Museum of Natural History 1400 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago IL 60605 USA
  • Kenneth D. Angielczyk - Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) School of Geosciences University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg 2050 South Africa
  • Julien Benoit - Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) School of Geosciences University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg 2050 South Africa
  • Bruce S. Rubidge - Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) School of Geosciences University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg 2050 South Africa

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 08 March 2021
  • Manuscript Accepted: 27 May 2019
  • Manuscript Received: 24 January 2019

Funded By

Division of Earth Sciences. Grant Numbers: EAR‐1337291, EAR‐1337569
National Research Foundation of South Africa
National Geographic Society
The Field Museum IDP Foundation, Inc. African Training and African partner Programs
The Palaeontological Scientific Trust

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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Abstract

Cistecephalids are among the most distinctive Permian dicynodonts because of their highly derived skulls and postcrania, which indicate a fossorial ecology. Four cistecephalid species have been described from India, South Africa, and Tanzania; a fifth putative species has been reported from the Luangwa Basin of Zambia but never formally described. Here we present a detailed description of the Luangwa Basin cistecephalid, which we name Kembawacela kitchingi gen. et. sp. nov. The most obvious diagnostic character of K. kitchingi is the presence of caniniform tusks in most specimens. Other important characters include a pineal foramen located at the posterior end of the skull roof; an interparietal that has a pair of anterior processes that extend onto the dorsal surface of the skull, flanking the pineal foramen (but otherwise is restricted to the occipital surface); an undivided nuchal crest; and a trough on the ventral surface of the mid‐ventral vomerine plate. Phylogenetic analysis reconstructs Kembawacela as a basal cistecephalid and confirms that Cistecephalidae is a well‐supported clade. However, relationships within the clade received low branch support. Increased knowledge of cistecephalid diversity shows that they vary in functionally relevant characters, such as degree of inflation of the bony vestibule and the morphology of the scapula and humerus, indicating the need for a more nuanced approach to the relationship between form, function and ecology in the clade. The highly allopatric distribution of cistecephalid species suggests that they experienced strong interspecific competition for limited resources and had limited dispersal ability, similar to extant subterranean mammals.

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