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 índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados

Artigo

Indicadores

Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google

Compartilhar


African Natural History

versão On-line ISSN 2305-7963
versão impressa ISSN 1816-8396

Afr. nat. history (Online) vol.5  Cape Town Jan. 2009

 

A new Cretaceous lungfish (Dipnoi: Ceratodontidae) from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania

 

 

Michael D. GottfriedI; Nancy J. StevensII; Eric M. RobertsIII; Patrick M. O'ConnorIV; Remigius ChamiV

IGeological Sciences and Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, U.S.A. E-mail: gottfrie@msu.edu
IIDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, U.S.A. E-mail: stevensn@ohio.edu
IIIDepartment of Physical Sciences, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah 84720, U.S.A. E-mail: robertse@suu.edu
IVDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701, U.S.A. E-mail: oconnorp@ohio.edu
VTanzania Division of Antiquities, Box 2280, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

 

 


ABSTRACT

'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.


 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We thank our collaborators in the Department of Geology at the University of Dar es Salaam, particularly E. Mbede, S. Ngasala, and our late friend and colleague S. Kapilima; the Tanzanian Division of Antiquities (especially D. Kamamba and C. Msuya); and the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology. We also thank E. Johansen for logistical assistance, and C.S. Churcher for helpful comments. The paper was improved by comments from B. Grandstaff, L. Cavin, and A. Cione. Z. Johanson and M. Richter at the Natural History Museum (London) provided access to the NHM collections to examine lungfish material. Finally, we thank the following funding sources: the National Science Foundation (EAR-0617561) of the U.S.A., National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University, and the Ohio University Office ofResearch and Sponsored Programs and College of Osteopathic Medicine.

 

REFERENCES

ALl-KHASAB, S.A. 2000. Lower Cretaceous ostracoda from selected boreholes in Central Iraq. Cyris (International Ostracoda Newsletter) 18: 1-2.         [ Links ]

APESTEGUÍA, S., AGNOLIN, F. & CLAESON, K. 2007. Review of Cretaceous dipnoans from Argentina. Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales 9: 27-40.         [ Links ]

ARAMBOURG, C. & JOLEAUD, L. 1943. Vertébrés fossiles du bassin du Niger. Bulletin du Service des Mines de l'Afrique Occidentale Française 7: 27-84.         [ Links ]

CAVIN, L., SUTEETHORN, V. BUFFETAUT, E. & TONG, H. 2007. A new Thai Mesozoic lungfish (Sarcopterygii, Dipnoi) with an insight into post-Palaeozoic dipnoan evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 149: 141-177.         [ Links ]

CHURCHER, C.S. 1995. Giant Cretaceous lungfish Neoceratodus tuberculatus from a deltaic environment in the Qusair (= Baris) Formation of Kharga Oasis, western desert of Egypt. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 15: 845-849.         [ Links ]

CHURCHER, C.S. & DE IULIIS, G. 2001. A new species of Protopterus and a revision of Ceratodus humei (Dipnoi: Ceratodontiformes) from the Late Cretaceous Mut Formation of eastern Dakleh Oasis, western desert of Egypt. Palaeontology 44: 305-323.         [ Links ]

CHURCHER, C.S., DE IULIIS, D. & KLEINDIENST, M.R. 2006. A new genus for the Dipnoan species Ceratodus tuberculatus Tabaste, 1963. Geodiversitas 28: 635-647.         [ Links ]

CIONE, A.L., CAVALLI, G., GOIN, S. & POIRE. D.F. 2007. Atlanto-ceratodus, a new genus of lungfish from the upper Cretaceous of South America and Africa. Revista del Museo de la Plata, Paleontologia 10: 1-12.         [ Links ]

DE KLERK, W.J., FORSTER, C.A. SAMPSON, S.D. CHINSAMY, A. & ROSS, C.F. 2000. A new coelurosaurian dinosaur from the early Cretaceous of South Africa. Journal ofVertebrate Paleontology 20: 324-332.         [ Links ]

GEBHARDT, H. 1999. Cenomanian to Coniacian biogeography and migration of North and West African ostracods. Cretaceous Research 20: 215-229.         [ Links ]

GOTTFRIED, M.D., O'CONNOR, P.M. JACKSON, F. ROBERTS, E.M. & CHAMI, R. 2004. Dinosaur eggshell from the Red Sandstone Group of Tanzania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 24: 494-497.         [ Links ]

HAUG, É. 1905. Paléontologie. Documents scientifiques de la Mission saharienne (Mission Foureau-Lamy). Publication de la Société de géographie, Paris: 751-832.         [ Links ]

JACOBS, L.L., KAUFULU, Z.M. & DOWNS, W.R. 1990. The Dinosaur Beds of northern Malawi. National Geographic Research 6: 196-204.         [ Links ]

KEMP, A. 1977. The pattern of tooth plate formation in the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Krefft). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 60: 223-258.         [ Links ]

KEMP, A. 1997. A revision of Australian Mesozoic and Cenozoic lungfish of the Family Neoceratodontidae (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi) with a description of four new species. Journal of Paleontology 71: 713-733.         [ Links ]

KEMP, A. & MOLNAR, R. 1981. Neoceratodus forsteri from the Lower Cretaceous of New South Wales, Australia. Journal of Paleontology 55: 211-217.         [ Links ]

KRAUSE, D.W., GOTTFRIED, M.D., O'CONNOR, P.M. & ROBERTS, E.M. 2003. A Cretaceous mammal from Tanzania. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 48: 321-330.         [ Links ]

KRAUSE, D.W., O'CONNOR, P.M., CURRY ROGERS, K., SAMPSON, S.D., BUCKLEY, G.A. & ROGERS, R.R. 2006. Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates from Madagascar: implications for Latin American biogeography. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 93: 178-208.         [ Links ]

KRAUSE, D.W., ROGERS, R.R., FORSTER, C.A., HARTMAN, J.H., BUCKLEY, G.A. & SAMPSON, S.D. 1999. The Late Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of Madagascar: implications for Gondwana biogeography. GSA Today 9: 1-7.         [ Links ]

MARSHALL, C. 1986. A list of fossil and extant dipnoans. In: BEMIS,W.E., BURGGREN, W.W. & KEMP, N. (eds) The Biology and Evolution of Lungfishes. Journal of Morphology Supplement 1: 15-23.         [ Links ]

MARTIN, M. 1981. Les Ceratodontiformes (Dipnoi) de Gadoufaoua (Aptien supérieur, Niger). Bulletin Museum National Histoire Naturelle, C: Sciences Terre (Séries 4)3: 267-283.         [ Links ]

MARTIN, M. 1984. Révision des Arganodontidés et des Néocérotodontidés (Dipnoi, Ceratodontiformes) du Crétacé africain. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 169: 225-260.         [ Links ]

OBRUCHEV, D.V. 1964. Fundamentals of Paleontology. Vol. XI. 504 pp. Izdatelstvo Nauka, Moscow.         [ Links ]

O'CONNOR, P.M., GOTTFRIED, M.D., ROBERTS, E.M., STEVENS, N.J. & NGASALA, S. 2005. New dinosaurs and other vertebrate fossils from the Cretaceous Red Sandstone Group, Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (Supplement) 25: 97A.         [ Links ]

O'CONNOR, P.M., GOTTFRIED, M.D., STEVENS, N.J., ROBERTS, E.M., NGASALA, S., KAPILIMA, S. & CHAMI, R.. 2006. A new vertebrate fauna from the Cretaceous Red Sandstone Group, Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania. Journal of African Earth Sciences 44: 277-288.         [ Links ]

PEYER, B. 1925. Ergebnisse der Forschungsreisen Prof. E. Stromers in den Wüsten Ägyptens. II. Wirbeltier-Reste der Bahar je-Stufe (Unterstes Cenoman): 6. Die Ceratodus-Funde. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie Wissenschaften 30: 5-32.         [ Links ]

ROBERTS, E.M., O'CONNOR, P.M., ARMSTRONG, R.A., STEVENS, N.J. & GOTTFRIED, M.D. 2007. U-PB geochronology of detrital zircons from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania: new data on the pre-Neogene tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the western branch of the East African Rift System. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Program 39: 505.         [ Links ]

ROBERTS, E.M., O'CONNOR, P.M., GOTTFRIED, M.D., STEVENS, N.J., KAPILIMA, S. & NGASALA, S. 2004. Revised stratigraphy and age of the Red Sandstone Group in the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania. Cretaceous Research 25: 749-759.         [ Links ]

ROBERTS, E.M., O'CONNOR, P.M., STEVENS, N.J., GOTTFRIED, M.D., JINNAH, Z.A., NGASALA, S., CHOH, A.M. & ARMSTRONG, R.A. In press. Sedimentology and depositional environments of the Red Sandstone Group, Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania. New insights into Cretaceous and Paleogene terrestrial ecosystems and tectonics in sub-equatorial Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences.         [ Links ]

SAMPSON, S.D., WITMER, L.M., FORSTER, C.A., KRAUSE, D.W., O'CONNOR, P.M., DODSON, P.D. & RAVOAVY, F. 1998. Predatory dinosaur remains from Madagascar: implications for the Cretaceous biogeography of Gondwana. Science 280: 1048-1051.         [ Links ]

SERENO, P.C., WILSON, J.A. & CONRAD, J.L. 2004. New dinosaurs link southern landmasses in the mid-Cretaceous. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 271: 1325-1330.         [ Links ]

STEVENS, N.J., GOTTFRIED, M.D., ROBERTS, E.M., KAPILIMA, S., NGASALA, S. & O'CONNOR, P.M. 2008. Paleontological exploration in Africa. A view from the Rukwa Rift Basin in Tanzania. In: J.G. FLEAGLE & C.C. GILBERT (eds) Elwyn Simons - A Search for Origins, pp. 159-183. Springer Science, New York.         [ Links ]

TABASTE, N. 1963. Étude des restes de poissons du Crétacé saharien. Mélanges ichthyologiques à la mémoire d'Achille Valenciennes. Mémoires de l'Institut Français d'Afrique Noire 68: 437-485.         [ Links ]

WEILER, W. 1930. Beschreibung von Wirbeltier-Resten aus dem nubischen Sandsteine Oberägyptens und aus ägyptischen Phosphaten nebst Bemerkungen über die Geologie der Umgegend von Mahamîd in Oberägypten. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie Wissenschaften (Neue Folge) 7: 1-42.         [ Links ]

WOODWARD, A.S. 1906. On a tooth of Ceratodus and a dinosaur-ian claw from the Lower Jurassic of Victoria, Australia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 17: 1-3.         [ Links ]

 

 

Received 27 July 2009
Accepted 14 September 2009

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons