Article: A new capitosaurid amphibian from the early Triassic of Queensland, and the ontogeny of the capitosaur skull
Capitosaurid temnospondyls are the most widespread and among the most abundant of the Triassic amphibians, but their phylogenetic relationships are not well understood. The superfamily Capitosauroidea (Capitosauridae, Benthosuchidae, and Mastodonsauridae) appears to be well characterized by several synapomorphies, but taxa within the superfamily are often less firmly established. A new capitosaurid species, Parotosuchus aliciae, is described from the earliest Triassic (Scythian Al) of Queensland. The hypodigm of the new species consists of immature animals, including three identified as barely metamorphosed, which provide the first information on the earliest post-larval growth stages of capitosaurids. Many character states present only in juvenile capitosaurids are known to be retained in the adults of several Triassic temnospondyl families, providing strong evidence that paedomorphosis was a dominant mode of evolutionary change in these groups. P. aliciae is in some respects one of the most primitive capitosaurids, but it has several unique features which do not indicate a sister-species relationship with any of the known Parotosuchus species.