SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.5The genus Anisomysis (Crustacea: Mysidae) from the east coast of South Africa - descriptions of three new species, and range extensions of two known speciesMacroscaphites Meek, 1876, a heteromorph ammonite from the Lower Aptian of southern Mozambique and northern KwaZulu-Natal author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

African Natural History

On-line version ISSN 2305-7963
Print version ISSN 1816-8396


GOTTFRIED, Michael D. et al. A new Cretaceous lungfish (Dipnoi: Ceratodontidae) from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania. Afr. nat. history (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.5, pp.31-36. ISSN 2305-7963.

'Ceratodontid' lungfishes have a wide Gondwanan distribution during the Mesozoic, and are well-known from a variety of Cretaceous sites in northern and western Africa. Despite this relatively broad occurrence, significant gaps remain in our knowledge of Mesozoic African lungfish palaeodiversity and palaeogeography, particularly from subequatorial Africa. Ongoing field research in the Cretaceous Galula Formation (Red Sandstone Group), which outcrops in the Rukwa Rift Basin (a segment of the greater East Africa Rift System) of southwestern Tanzania, has led to the discovery of a diverse vertebrate fauna, including a well-preserved lungfish toothplate. This specimen is described here as a new taxon, Lupaceratodus useviaensis gen. et sp. nov., on the basis of its unique combination of morphological features relative to other 'ceratodontids.' L. useviaensis represents the first Cretaceous record of a 'ceratodontid' lungfish from Tanzania, and more broadly from the southwestern portion of the East African Rift System. The new Tanzanian form adds further diversity and anew datum to the evolutionary history of lungfishes in Africa, and it suggests possible regional differentiation between the Cretaceous fishes of East Africa and the better-known fish faunas of the period from northern and western Africa, perhaps related to the Cretaceous establishment of the Trans-Sahara Seaway.

Keywords : Lupaceratodus; lungfish; Ceratodontidae; Cretaceous; Rukwa Rift Basin; Tanzania.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License