Abstract

The spectacular evolutionary history of terrestrial vertebrates is uncharacteristically poorly documented between the Paleozoic subequatorial exposures of the Permo–Carboniferous of North America and Europe, and the much higher latitude, Upper Permian deposits of central Russia and southern Africa. We report here that the discovery of the reptile Macroleter in Oklahoma provides the first direct vertebrate evidence of biochronological correlation between continental sediments from the Upper Permian of North America and Russia. The presence of the reptile Macroleter, a member of a major group of Upper Permian amniotes known previously only from central Russia, in North America improves dramatically our understanding of this early phase of amniote evolution, and also provides evidence of terrestrial tetrapod faunal interchange between North America and Russia in Late Permian time.

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