First salamander from the Lower Cretaceous of Germany

Research outputpeer-review

Abstract

A new salamandroid salamander, Balveherpeton hoennetalensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian– Aptian) Balve locality in the Sauerland, Germany, is described on the basis of fragmentary atlases, trunk and caudal vertebrae. Balveherpeton hoennetalensis gen. et sp. nov. is characterized by the following combination of vertebral characters: prominent intercotylar tubercle; flat anterior cotylar surfaces on atlas; dorsoventrally compressed anterior cotyles of atlas; anterior cotylar surfaces on atlas continuous across lateral and ventral surfaces of intercotylar tubercle; deeply amphicoelous trunk vertebrae; low neural arch with low neural crest on trunk vertebra; bifurcate posterior part of the neural spine on trunk vertebrae; elongate depression on the posterior surface of the neural arch of trunk vertebrae; anterior basapophyses on trunk vertebrae; and posterior basapophyses on some trunk vertebrae. The phylogenetic position Balveherpeton hoennetalensis gen. et sp. nov. within the Salamandroidea is uncertain, but similarities in the structure of atlases and trunk vertebrae of Balveherpeton hoennetalensis gen. et sp. nov. and Wealden salamanders (e.g. “Keymer salamander”) could indicate a close relationship and provide additional evidence that the Early Cretaceous vertebrate faunas of Western Europe had similar compositions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104606
JournalCretaceous Research
Early online date15 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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