Abstract

A new species of the temnospondyl tetrapod, Sclerocephalus stambergi n. sp., is described from the early Permian deposits of the Boskovice Basin in Moravia (Czech Republic). The length of the skull of the only known specimen is about 50 mm. Characters including the well-ossified quadrate, septomaxilla and scapulocoracoid, presence of the maxilla-nasal suture and a free posterolateral margin of the supratemporal suggest an early adult age. This new species of Sclerocephalus is distinguished from the others on the basis of the following characters: nasal and maxillary processes of the premaxilla of equal width; absence of the alary process of the premaxilla; distinct pointed process on the lacrimal between the maxilla and jugal; narrow interclavicle; and very peculiar tabular presenting a quadrangular, plate-like process extending from its posterolateral portion, an almost right angle between its lateral and posterior margins, and a long posteromedial process. The new species represents the smallest and possibly the most basal Sclerocephalus species. The specimen described here sheds new light on the anatomy and taxonomy of Sclerocephalus. It completes the biodiversity of the tetrapod fauna from the Boskovice Basin, and our knowledge on the evolution of the European Paleozoic temnospondyls.

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