A new pseudosuchian archosaur, Mambawakale ruhuhu gen. et sp. nov., from the Middle Triassic Manda Beds of Tanzania

Richard Butler, Vincent Fernandez, Sterling J. Nesbitt, João Vasco Leite, David Gower

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Abstract

The Manda Beds of southwest Tanzania have yielded key insights into the early evolutionary radiation of archosaurian reptiles. Many key archosaur specimens were collected from the Manda Beds in the 1930s and 1960s, but until recently, few of these had been formally published. Here, we describe an archosaur specimen collected in 1963 which has previously been referred to informally as Pallisteria angustimentum. We recognize this specimen as the type of a new taxon, Mambawakale ruhuhu gen. et sp. nov. The holotype and only known specimen of M. ruhuhu comprises a partial skull of large size (greater than 75 cm inferred length), lower jaws and fragments of the postcranium, including three anterior cervical vertebrae and a nearly complete left manus. Mambawakale ruhuhu is characterized by several cranial autapomorphies that allow it to be distinguished with confidence from all other Manda Beds archosaurs, with the possible exception of Stagonosuchus nyassicus for which comparisons are highly constrained due to very limited overlapping material. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that M. ruhuhu is an early diverging pseudosuchian, but more precise resolution is hampered by missing data. Mambawakale ruhuhu is one of the largest known pseudosuchians recovered to date from the Middle Triassic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number211622
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022

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