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Reappraisal of ‘Metoposaurus hoffmani’ Dutuit, 1978, and description of new temnospondyl specimens from the Middle–Late Triassic of Madagascar (Morondava Basin)

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journal contribution
posted on 08.04.2019 by Josep Fortuny, Thomas Arbez, Eudald Mujal, J. Sébastien Steyer

Temnospondyls from the Middle–Late Triassic of Madagascar are problematic and scarce: ‘Metoposaurus hoffmani’ was erected on the basis of poor material, and this taxon has never been revised. Other remains were also reported and assigned to Temnospondyli indet., but they have never been described, nor figured. Here, we (re)describe in detail this historical material from the Folakara area of Madagascar (Isalo Group, Morondava Basin): the specimens include cranial and postcranial remains, most of them being referred to Metoposauridae indet. and a few to Stereospondyli indet. We also confirm that ‘M. hoffmani’ is a nomen dubium owing to the absence of any clear autapomorphy of the fragmentary type material. The material referred here to Metoposauridae indet. is incorporated in an updated paleobiogeographic analysis of the group: interestingly, it suggests a connection with Indian metoposaurids during the Late Triassic.