Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

New albanerpetontid amphibians from the Early Cretaceous of Morocco and Middle Jurassic of England

James D. Gardner, Susan E. Evans, and Denise Sigogneau-Russell

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 48 (2), 2003: 301-319

A third albanerpetontid genus, Anoualerpeton gen. nov., is erected for two new species: An. unicus sp. nov. (type species) from the Early Cretaceous (Berriasian) of Morocco and An. priscus sp. nov. from the Middle Jurassic (late Bathonian) of England. Anoualerpeton differs from the exclusively Laurasian albanerpetontid genera Albanerpeton (Early Cretaceous-Paleocene, North America; Miocene, Europe) and Celtedens (?Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, Europe) in a unique combination of primitive and derived character states of the jaws and azygous frontals. Monophyly of Anoualerpeton is supported by two synapomorphies of the maxilla and dentary (occlusal margin convex in labial outline and teeth strongly heterodont in size anteriorly) that are convergent with an unrelated, relatively derived Late Cretaceous species of Albanerpeton from North America. The two species of Anoualerpeton differ in character states of the premaxilla and azygous frontals. Cladistic analysis of 20 characters scored for ten albanerpetontid taxa postulates Anoualerpeton as the sister-taxon of Albanerpeton + Celtedens. The sister-pair of Albanerpeton + Celtedens is founded on one or, perhaps, two premaxillary synapomorphies. Anoualerpeton unicus documents the only known Gondwanan occurrence for the Albanerpetontidae and provides a minimum age of basal Cretaceous for the establishment of the clade in Africa. Characters of the mandible, vertebrae, and limbs support the interpretation that Ramonellus (Aptian; Israel) is a caudate, not an albanerpetontid.

Key words: Albanerpetontidae, Cretaceous, England, Jurassic, Lissamphibia, Morocco, Ramonellus.

James D. Gardner [], Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Box 7500, Drumheller, Alberta T0J 0Y0 Canada; Susan E. Evans [], Department of Anatomyand Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT England; Denise Sigogneau−Russell [], Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Paléontologie, 8 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France.

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