Redescription of Digalodon rubidgei, an emydopoid dicynodont (Therapsida, Anomodontia) from the Late Permian of South Africa
- 1Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
- 2Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, USA
Abstract. The Late Permian dicynodont Digalodon rubidgei Broom and Robinson, 1948, is redescribed based on reanalysis of the holotype and newly recognized referable specimens. Digalodon can be diagnosed by the presence of a long "beak" sharply demarcated from the caniniform process; an extremely tall zygomatic ramus of the squamosal, with a thickened, "folded-over" dorsal margin; raised parietal "lips" along the lateral edges of the pineal foramen; and a broad posterolateral expansion of the parietal, excluding the postorbital from the back of the skull roof. Inclusion of Digalodon in a recent analysis of anomodont phylogeny recovers it as a kistecephalian emydopoid, specifically as the sister taxon to the clade containing the remaining kistecephalians. Four definite specimens of Digalodon are known, but several additional specimens lacking tusks, the swollen pineal "lips", and a thickened zygoma may represent sexually dimorphic females or juveniles. Specimens of Digalodon are restricted to the central portion of the Karoo Basin, in the area around Graaff-Reinet, and are part of a characteristic fauna probably representing a limited time span.