Interrelationships among Early Triassic faunas of Western Gondwana and Laurasia as illuminated by a new South American benthosuchid temnospondyl

Felipe L. Pinheiro, Estevan Eltink, Voltaire D. Paes-Neto, Arielli F. Machado, Tiago R. Simões, Stephanie E. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The End-Permian Mass Extinction marked a critical turning point in Earth's history, and the biological recovery that followed the crisis led to the emergence of several modern vertebrate and invertebrate taxa. Even considering the importance of the Early Triassic biotic recovery for the evolution of modern faunas and floras, our knowledge of this event is still hindered by the sparse sampling of crucial geological formations. This leaves our understanding of Early Triassic ecosystems fundamentally biased toward productive and historically well-explored geological units. Recent surveys in poorly known Gondwanan localities, such as those within the Sanga do Cabral Formation in southern Brazil, have unveiled insights into Early Triassic terrestrial ecosystems, shedding light on a diverse and previously unknown tetrapod fauna. Here, we report the discovery of a new temnospondyl genus and species in the Lower Triassic Sanga do Cabral Formation. The new taxon can be confidently assigned to the Benthosuchidae, a stereospondyl clade with a distribution previously restricted to the East European Platform. Phylogenetic analysis confirms the relationship of the new genus to the trematosaurian lineage, being closely related to the genus Benthosuchus. Our results raise questions about the biogeographical history of stereospondyls after the End-Permian Mass Extinction and suggest a potential connection between Russian and South American Early Triassic faunas. Further investigations are needed to thoroughly explore the potential dispersal routes that may explain this seemingly unusual biogeographical pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-743
Number of pages18
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • biogeography
  • Lower Triassic
  • Sanga do Cabral Formation
  • Stereospondyli


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