|Shringasaurus indicus |
Sengupta, Ezcurra & Bandyopadhyay, 2017
Illustration: Gabriel Lio
The early evolution of archosauromorphs (bird- and crocodile-line archosaurs and stem-archosaurs) represents an important case of adaptive radiation that occurred in the aftermath of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Here we enrich the early archosauromorph record with the description of a moderately large (3–4 m in total length), herbivorous new allokotosaurian, Shringasaurus indicus, from the early Middle Triassic of India. The most striking feature of Shringasaurus indicus is the presence of a pair of large supraorbital horns that resemble those of some ceratopsid dinosaurs. The presence of horns in the new species is dimorphic and, as occurs in horned extant bovid mammals, these structures were probably sexually selected and used as weapons in intraspecific combats. The relatively large size and unusual anatomy of Shringasaurus indicus broadens the morphological diversity of Early–Middle Triassic tetrapods and complements the understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms involved in the early archosauromorph diversification.
Diapsida Osborn, 1903
Archosauromorpha Huene, 1946 sensu Dilkes19
Allokotosauria Nesbitt et al., 2015
Azendohsauridae Nesbitt et al., 2015
Shringasaurus indicus gen. et sp. nov.
Etymology: ‘Śṛṅga’ (Shringa), horn (ancient Sanskrit), and ‘sauros’ (σαῦρος), lizard (ancient Greek), referring to the horned skull; ‘indicus’, Indian (Latin English), refers to the country where such species was discovered.
Holotype: ISIR (Indian Statistical Institute, Reptile, India) 780: partial skull roof (prefrontal, frontal, postfrontal, and parietal) with a pair of large supraorbital horns (Fig. 2e,i).
Locality and horizon: Near Tekapar village, Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh, India (Fig. 1); Denwa Formation, Anisian, early Middle Triassic18, Satpura Gondwana Basin.
Diagnosis: Relatively large (3–4 m total body length; Fig. S1) allokotosaurian archosauromorph that differs from other stem-archosaurs in the following combination of character-states: confluent external nares; pair of anterodorsally oriented supraorbital horns; similar sized and leaf-shaped marginal and palatal teeth with large denticles; middle-posterior cervical, dorsal, and at least the first two caudal vertebrae with mammillary processes on the neural spines; middle-posterior cervical, dorsal, and sacral vertebrae with hyposphene-hypantrum accessory articulations; cervical vertebrae 2–5 with epipophyses (unknown in Cv6); dorsal vertebrae with spinoprezygapophyseal and spinopostzygapophyseal laminae; dorsal vertebrae 1–12 with spinodiapophyseal laminae; anterior dorsal vertebrae with neural spines two times taller than its respective centrum (see Supplementary Information for differential diagnosis).
|Shringasaurus indicus Sengupta, Ezcurra & Bandyopadhyay, 2017|
Illustration: Gabriel Lio
Saradee Sengupta, Martín D. Ezcurra and Saswati Bandyopadhyay. 2017. A New Horned and Long-necked Herbivorous Stem-Archosaur from the Middle Triassic of India. Scientific Reports. 7, Article number: 8366. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08658-8
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