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Article: Sirenid salamanders and a gymnophionan amphibian from the Cretaceous of the Sudan

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 39
Part: 1
Publication Date: March 1996
Page(s): 77 95
Author(s): Susan E. Evans, Andrew R. Milner and Christa Werner
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How to Cite

EVANS, S. E., MILNER, A. R., WERNER, C. 1996. Sirenid salamanders and a gymnophionan amphibian from the Cretaceous of the Sudan. Palaeontology39, 1, 77–95.

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A vertebrate assemblage from the Cenomanian of Wadi Milk, northern Sudan, includes material of all three major groups of lissamphibian, namely frogs, salamanders and gymnophionans, of which the latter two groups are described in this work. The productive horizons in the Wadi Milk Formation are lacustrine and the vertebrates are represented by isolated elements. The salamander material is described as Kababisha humarensis gen. et sp. nov. and Kababisha sudanensis gen. et sp. nov. and is referred to the family Sirenidae. Kababisha is the earliest sirenid genus, the first sirenid to be recognized outside North America, and is only the second fossil salamander genus to be reported from the African Plate, Ramonellus from Israel being the first. It is suggested that the recently described Noterpeton, from the Maastrichtian of Bolivia, is also a sirenid and that the Noterpetontidae is a junior synonym of the Sirenidae. The gymnophionan is represented by four trunk vertebrae and is strictly indeterminate within the Gymnophiona, although the vertebrae bear a non-derived resemblance to those of the dermophine Caeciliidae found in Africa. It is the oldest gymnophionan material from Gondwana, the first fossil gymnophionan from Africa and the earliest gymnophionan with holospondylous vertebrae.
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