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Article: A new trematopid amphibian from the Lower Permian of central Germany

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 41
Part: 4
Publication Date: August 1998
Page(s): 605 629
Author(s): Stuart S. Sumida, David S Berman and Thomas Martens
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How to Cite

SUMIDA, S. S., BERMAN, D., MARTENS, T. 1998. A new trematopid amphibian from the Lower Permian of central Germany. Palaeontology41, 4, 605–629.

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A new genus and species of trematopid amphibian, Tambachia trogallas, is described on the basis of the greater portion of a skeleton, including the skull. The holotype was collected from the Early Permian Tambach Formation, the lowermost unit of the Upper Rotliegend, of the Bromacker locality in the midregion of the Thuringian Forest near Gotha, central Germany. Not only is this the first trematopid to be reported outside the United States, but it is the first specimen to include the greater portion of the postcranial skeleton. Analysis of the interrelationships of the trematopids agrees with the results of other recent studies: (1) Tambachia and the Late Pennsylvanian Anconastes, on the one hand, and the Early Permian Acheloma and Phonerpeton on the other, form sister clades of the monophyletic Trematopidae; and (2) Actiobates, although almost certainly a trematopid, is too poorly known to determine its intrafamilial relationships.The Bromacker locality is the only Early Permian site in Europe to produce a diverse assemblage of terrestrial or semi-terrestrial tetrapods, several of which are known otherwise only from the Upper Pennsylvanian and Lower Permian of the United States. The Bromacker assemblage is, therefore, of great interest in indicating: (1) an earliest Permian Wolfcampian age for the Tambach Formation, the basal unit of the Upper Rotliegend of the Thuringian Forest. This in turn suggests a Late Pennsylvanian age for all or most of the underlying Lower Rotliegend, rather than the widely accepted Early Permian; (2) a cosmopolitan, Euramerican distribution of Early Permian terrestrial or semi-terrestrial tetrapods previously reported only from the United States. This suggests an absence of any strong physical barriers to tetrapod dispersal across Jiuramerica during the Early Permian.
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