Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
01 Aug 2009
 | 01 Aug 2009

The Permotriassic branchiosaurid Tungussogyrinus Efremov, 1939 (Temnospondyli, Dissorophoidea) from Siberia restudied

R. Werneburg

Abstract. The enigmatic temnospondyl amphibian Tungussogyrinus bergi Efremov, 1939 shares clear synapomorphies with other branchiosaurids indicated by an anteriorly elongated infratemporal fossa and small branchial denticles. Therefore Tungussogyrinus clearly belongs to the dissorophoid family Branchiosauridae. This species is characterized by a number of derived features among temnospondyls: (1) an unusually elongated anterodorsal process of the ilium; (2) the character complex concerning the tricuspid dentition. Tungussogyrinus differs from all other branchiosaurids in these two autapomorphic characters. Herein, Tungussogyrinus is thought to represent the closest relative of a clade including all other branchiosaurids with its placement outside of this clade associated with a new feeding strategy to scrape algae with the tricuspid anterior dentition and the gracile built snout region. The subfamily Tungussogyrininae Kuhn, 1962 is newly defined here by the two derived characters of Tungussogyrinus bergi. All other branchiosaurid genera and species are included in a second subfamily Branchiosaurinae Fritsch, 1879.