A relict trematosauroid (Amphibia: Temnospondyli) from the Middle Jurassic of the Junggar Basin (NW China)
A temnospondyl ilium from the uppermost Toutunhe Formation (Middle Jurassic, Callovian) of the southern Junggar Basin is described. Among the known temnospondyls it is very unusual in morphology because of its very long and slender shaft. It compares closely only to the ilium of one of the latest known trematosaurids from the Ladinian of southern Germany. The Toutunhe Formation has also yielded vertebrae and skull fragments of temnospondyls which belong to the brachyopid Gobiops from the Upper Jurassic of Mongolia. Brachyopoid ilia do not, however, display a morphology similar to that of the new specimen. It is therefore concluded that this specimen represents a second taxon of temnospondyl from the Toutunhe Formation, which probably represents the latest surviving trematosauroid. The Trematosauroidea, which was hitherto exclusively known from the Lower to early Upper Triassic, therefore joins the Brachyopoidea – and possibly the Capitosauroidea – as another group of temnospondyls which survived the end-Triassic mass extinction.