Abstract

The skeletal anatomy of the Early Permian eureptile Thuringothyris mahlendorffae from the Bromacker Quarry, Germany, is redescribed on the basis of several new specimens. The taxon retains some plesiomorphic characters, such as an ectopterygoid and a tabular, but it also possesses low neural spines and nonswollen neural arches, a combination that is unique for early eureptiles. A phylogenetic analysis places Thuringothyris as the sister taxon of Captorhinidae, excluding any potential “protorothyridid” affinities. Implications of this study are that the swollen neural arches of captorhinids and araeosceloids might have evolved independently, that a downturned rostrum occurred only later in captorhinid evolution, and that the European Permian is important to the understanding of the origin of eureptiles.

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