Monday, 12 January 2015

Saharastega moradiensis

Saharastega is the most primitive Temnospondyl from Gondwana related to the Edopoidea, a group that flourished during the Late Carboniferous.

Saharastega lived during the Upper Permian Period and was discovered in the Moradi formation, Northwestern Niger. It is suggested that along with Nigerpeton, Saharastega is the most primitive known temnospondyli and estimated at a length of 1.8 metres (5.9 feet). The rocks entombing Saharastega suggest an aquatic habitat with evidence of an oasis.

Saharastega moradiensis
Sidor, O'Keefe, Damiani, Steyer, Smith, Larsson, Sereno, Ide and Maga, 2005
Meaning of generic name
Sahara, for the Sahara Desert, and stege (Greek), meaning roof
Meaning of specific name
Moradi, the formation from which the fossil was recovered, and ending -ensis (Latin), referring to place or locality or other of sth’s origin or habitat.
Skull length: 45 cm , Length: .
Holotype (MNN MOR73): nearly complete skull lacking lower jaws.

Referred materials: [none so far?]
Age and Distribution
Horizon: Moradi Formation (Izégouandane Group, Izégouandane Basin), Upper Permian (Wuchiapingian).

Locality: 20 km west of Arlit, north-central Niger.
Further Reading
Sidor, C. A., F. R. O’Keefe, R. Damiani, J.-S. Steyer, R. M. H. Smith, H. C. E. Larsson, P. C. Sereno, O. Ide, and A. Maga. 2005. Permian tetrapods from the Sahara show climate-controlled endemism in Pangaea. Nature 434:886–889.

Damiani, R., C.A. Sidor, J.-S. Steyer, R.M.H. Smith, F.R. O'Keefe, H.C.E. Larsson, A. Maga, O. Ide. The vertebrate fauna of the Upper Permian of Niger—V, The primitive temnospondyl Saharastega moradiensis. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26: 559-572

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