The Procolophonids (Family Procolophonidae, Superfamily Procolophonoidea) are a group of small anapsid procolophonian reptiles. Skulls have been discovered, roughly 5 cm in diameter. They were shaped like stocky lizards, with broad-cheeked skulls. Their cheeks sported a stout backward-pointing spike. Hypsognathus, from North America, had many cheek spikes. Procolophon, the genus after which the group was named, is unusual. Their skulls resemble the turtles', sharing a posttemporal fenestra. Accordingly they have historically been classed alongside the turtles under the Anapsida. Up to the early Triassic, their teeth were sharp, indicating an insectivorous diet. Later in the Triassic their teeth became broader, indicating a switch to a herbivorous diet. They became extinct at the end of the Triassic. Recent findings indicate that these animals may have been found in Antarctica in the Early Triassic, thereby the earliest evidence of tetrapods in the Antarctic.
Procolina is an extinct genus of procolophonid parareptile known from partial remains found in Early Triassic (Olenekian age) rocks of Czatkowice 1, Poland. It was first named by Magdalena Borsuk−Białynicka; and Mariusz Lubka in 2009 and the type species is Procolina teresae.
Phonodus is an extinct procolophonid parareptile genus. It is known from a single skull found from the Early Triassic Katberg Formation in South Africa. It is the oldest known member of the subfamily Leptopleuroninae, and was likely the result of a procolophonid migration into the Karoo Basin from Laurasia after the Permo-Triassic extinction event. Because Phonodus had large maxillary teeth underneath a large antorbital buttress (a bony prominence in front of the eye), and a lack of ventral temporal emargination along the side of the skull, it probably had a durophagous diet.
Kitchingnathus (Kitchings' mandible) is an extinct genus of basal procolophonid parareptile from Early Triassic (early Olenekian stage) deposits of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It is known from the holotype BP/1/1187, skull and partial postcranium, which was first assigned to the more derived Procolophon trigoniceps. It was collected by the South African palaeontologist, James W. Kitching in October of 1952 from Hobbs Hill, west of Cathcart. It was found in the middle or upper part of the Katberg Formation of the Beaufort Group (Karoo Basin) and referred to the uppermost Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone. It was first named by Juan Carlos Cisneros in 2008 and the type species is Kitchingnathus untabeni. The generic name honours James W. Kitching, and "gnathus", from Greek meaning mandible. The specific name meaning "from the hill", in isiZulu, in reference to the locality where the fossil was found.
Coletta is an extinct genus of basal procolophonid parareptile from Early Triassic (Induan stage) deposits of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It is known from the holotype GHG 228, skull with fragmentary lower jaws. It was collected on the farm Brakfontein 333 in the Cradock District. It was found in the Katberg Formation of the Beaufort Group (Karoo Basin) and referred to the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone. It was first named by Christopher E. Gow in 2000 and the type species is Coletta seca.
Theledectes is an extinct genus of theledectine procolophonid parareptile from middle Triassic (early Anisian stage) deposits of Free State Province, South Africa. It is known from the holotype BP/1/4585, a skull. It was collected by the South African palaeontologist, James W. Kitching from Hugoskop in the Rouxville District and referred to subzone B of the Cynognathus Assemblage Zone of the Burgersdorp Formation, Beaufort Group (Karoo Basin). It was first named by Sean P. Modesto and Ross J. Damiani in 2003 and the type species is Theledectes perforatus. It was first assigned to a species of Thelegnathus (now considered to be a nomen dubium), Thelegnathus perforatus.
Phaanthosaurus is an extinct genus of basal procolophonid parareptile from early Triassic (Induan stage) deposits of Nizhnii Novgorod, Russian Federation. It is known from the holotype PIN 1025/1, a mandible (a dentary). It was collected from Vetluga River, Spasskoe village and referred to the Vokhmian terrestrial horizon of the Vokhma Formation. It was first named by P. K. Chudinov and B. P. Vjushkov in 1956 and the type species is Phaanthosaurus ignatjevi. In 2000, Spencer and Benton found Contritosaurus to be junior synonym of Phaanthosaurus. C. simus Ivakhnenko, 1974 which is known from the holotype PIN 3355/1, a partial skull with right mandible from the same location, and from three paratypes, was recombined as P. simus. They also found that the second species of Contritosaurus, C. convector (PIN 3357/1, a mandible) is a junior synonym of P. simus. Recent cladistic analyses by Juan Carlos Cisneros, 2008 and Mark J. Macdougall and Sean P. Modesto, 2011 accepted this synonymy.
Pintosaurus is an extinct genus of basal procolophonid parareptile from Late Permian or Early Triassic (Changhsingian stage, or early Triassic) deposits of northeastern Uruguay. It is known from the holotype FC-DPV 1181, a partial skull. It was collected from the Buena Vista Formation of the Paraná Basin, in Colonia Orozco, Cerro Largo Department. It was first named by Graciela Piñeiro, Alejandra Rojas and Martín Ubilla in 2004 and the type species is Pintosaurus magnidentis. The specific name means "large dentary" in Greek.
Sauropareion (meaning "lizard cheek") is an extinct genus of basal procolophonid parareptile from earliest Triassic (early Induan stage) deposits of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. It is known from the holotype SAM PK-11192, skull and partial postcranium. It was collected by the late L. D. Boonstra in 1935 from Barendskraal in the Middelburg District and referred to the Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group (Karoo Basin). It was first named by Sean P. Modesto, Hans-Dieter Sues and Ross J. Damiani in 2001 and the type species is Sauropareion anoplus. The generic name means "lizard", sauros, and "cheek", pareion from Greek in reference to the lizard-like appearance of the temporal region. The specific name comes from the Greek word anoplos, meaning "without arms or armour"
Soturnia is a genus of procolophonid reptile. It is known from rocks of the Late Triassic-age Caturrita Formation of the municipality of Faxinal do Soturno in the geopark of Paleorrota, Brazil. Soturnia was named in 2003 by Cisneros and Schultz; the type species is S. caliodon. It was a leptopleuroninae procolophonid.
Leptopleuron and HypsognathusEdit
- Leptopleuron is a genus of an extinct Late Triassic scottish procolophonid reptile that lived in dry lands.
- Hypsognathus ('high jaw') is an extinct genus of Late Triassic anapsid procolophonid reptile of New Jersey. Hypsognathus fenneri resembled a moderately sized lizard, with a length of 33 centimetres (13 in), although it was unrelated to modern lizards. Because of its broad teeth, Hypsognathus is thought to have been a herbivore. Its body was low, broad and had a relatively short tail. Hypsognathus had some spikes on the back of its head, probably for protection against predators.
Procolophon was a genus of lizard-like procolophonid reptiles with at least eight species that persisted through the Permian–Triassic extinction event, but became extinct in the later Triassic. The skull was solid but some species did evolve a temporal fenestra in the skull independently of other reptiles. There was one backward facing cheek spike, but its function is debated; it may have been for muscle attachment. Eyes were large and may have had acute day or night vision. The teeth were peg-like and suitable for crushing of plant matter. The front of the skull was short and blunt with the nasal opening very close to the mouth. The vertebrae were robust with a rounded rib cage composed of many small weak ribs. Legs were short, thickly built with short phalanges; this suggests an animal that burrowed and did not run fast.
- P. pricei has been found in South Africa, Antarctica, and Brazil, where it is known from the geopark of Paleorrota, in the Sanga do Cabral Formation of the municipality of Dilermando de Aguiar. It lived during the Early Triassic (about 250 to 240 million years).
- P. brasiliensis is distinguished from other representatives of the genus by the character of the dentition and vomeronasal. It was found in Brazil, in the geopark of Paleorrota in the Sanga do Cabral Formation.
- P. trigoniceps has been found in South Africa, Antarctica and Brazil; in the Geopark of Paleorrota in the Sanga do Cabral Formation.