Dissorophid diversity at the early Permian cave system near Richards Spur, Oklahoma, USA

Bryan M. Gee, Joseph J. Bevitt, and Robert R. Reisz

Plain Language Abstract

Dissorophids are a diverse group of armored, terrestrial temnospondyl amphibians that reached peak diversity during the Permian (298–251 million years ago). They are particularly well known from the early Permian of North America, including from a unique fissure fill environment near Richards Spur, Oklahoma that acted as a natural trap for a diverse tetrapod community. Here we describe an extensive body of new dissorophid specimens from the Richards Spur locality, including well-preserved partial to complete skulls that reveal new information on the mandibular morphology of Cacops morrisi and ontogeny of Cacops woehri, the first reports of Aspidosaurus and Dissorophus, taxa previously known only from the Texas red beds, and additional material of a fifth poorly known dissorophid. Computed tomography (CT) analysis of the osteoderms (armor) of some of these taxa reveal some important new details related to the evolution and diversity of osteoderms within the dissorophids, the most significant of which challenges the longstanding perception that Aspidosaurus has only a single series of osteoderms in contrast to most other dissorophids with paired series. Our study also synthesizes the current understanding of the Richards Spur dissorophids in the context of broader patterns of dissorophid evolution and biogeography.

Resumen en Español

In progress

Traducción: Enrique Peñalver (Sociedad Española de Paleontología) or Diana Elizabeth Fernández

Résumé en Français

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Translator: Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

In progress

Translator: Eva Gebauer

Arabic

in progress

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa

Polski

In progress

Translator:  Krzysztof Stefaniak