Article: A new burnetiamorph (Therapsida: Biarmosuchia) from the Lower Beaufort Group of South Africa
Bruce S. Rubidge and James W. Kitching
The basal clade Burnetiamorpha is known from only two specimens representing two genera, Proburnetia from the Severodvinskian horizon of the Vyatka River Basin in the Kotelnich district of Russia, and Burnetia from the Dicynodon Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group of South Africa. Both genera are of Late Tatarian (Late Permian) age. This paper describes the cranial morphology of a new genus of burnetiamorph, Bullacephalus, from the Late Permian Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group of South Africa. It is known from a relatively complete skull and lower jaw and is the best preserved burnetiamorph yet discovered. Apart from being the oldest member of the clade, Bullacephalus is also morphologically the least derived and provides new evidence on the phylogeny of this poorly understood group of basal therapsids.