Fossil Record 23(2): 205-213, doi: 10.5194/fr-23-205-2020
The youngest occurrence of embolomeres (Tetrapoda: Anthracosauria) from the Sunjiagou Formation (Lopingian, Permian) of North China
expand article infoJianye Chen, Jun Liu§
‡ Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China§ Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044, China
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Embolomeri were semiaquatic predators prevalent in the Carboniferous, withonly two species from the early Permian (Cisuralian). A new embolomere,Seroherpeton yangquanensis gen. et sp. nov. (Zoobank Registration, registration: 23 November 2020), is named based on a partial right upper jaw and palatefrom the Sunjiagou Formation of Yangquan, Shanxi, China, and is lateWuchiapingian (late Permian) in age. It is the youngest embolomere known todate and the only embolomere reported from North China Block. Itsphylogenetic position within Embolomeri is confirmed by the stronglydeveloped descending flange on the quadrate ramus of the pterygoid. The newtaxon is unique among embolomeres by features like a partial coverage of adenticle shagreens on the pterygoid; presence of a cylindrical shaft on thepterygoid, and two pairs of very large ectopterygoid tusks. Phylogeneticanalysis shows Seroherpeton as being the sister group of a clade consisting ofProterogyrinus, Archeria, and Pholiderpeton. We hypothesize that the dispersal and decline of the embolomeresfrom Carboniferous to late Permian (Lopingian) is related to the climatechanges, especially aridification, of the paleotropical regions.