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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353

S. Afr. j. sci. vol.103 n.1-2 Pretoria Jan./Feb. 2007

 

RESEARCH LETTERS

 

Extended procolophonoid reptile survivorship after the end-Permian extinction

 

 

Jennifer BothaI; Sean P. ModestoII; Roger M.H. SmithIII

IKaroo Palaeontology, National Museum, P.O. Box 266, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
IIDepartment of Biology, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, B1P 6L2, Canada
IIIIziko South African Museum, P. O. Box 61, Cape Town 8000, South Africa

 

 


ABSTRACT

The end-Permian extinction event is regarded as the most severe of the five major extinction events in the history of life. Recent work in the Karoo Basin of South Africa suggests that the extinctions at the Permo-Triassic boundary (PTB) may have been followed by a second pulse of extinctions, one that claimed the few species that crossed the PTB and thus survived the first extinction pulse. We report here a new specimen of the procolophonoid reptile, Sauropareion anoplus, which was known heretofore only from a single specimen from Lower Triassic strata of the Palingkloof Member, Balfour Formation. The new specimen comes from the lower part of the overlying Katberg Formation and serves as the last appearance datum for the stratigraphic range of S. anoplus. It indicates that S. anoplus survived the second pulse of PTB extinctions and reinforces the hypothesis that procolophonoid evolution was not seriously perturbed by extinctions that mark the beginning of the Triassic Period.


 

 

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Received 22 September 2006.
Accepted 10 January 2007.

 

 

* Author for correspondence. E-mail: jbotha@nasmus.co.za

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