A Redescription of Eriphostoma microdon Broom, 1911 (Therapsida, Gorgonopsia) from the Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone of South Africa and a Review of Middle Permian Gorgonopsians

  • Christian F. Kammerer
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)


The problematic Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone (AZ) theriodont Eriphostoma microdon Broom, 1911 is redescribed based on computed tomographic images of the type and only known specimen. Eriphostoma is identified as a gorgonopsian, one of the few representatives of this clade known from the Middle Permian. Eriphostoma microdon represents a valid taxon diagnosed by the combination of elongate delta-shaped palatine bosses with numerous small teeth and a short, downward-sloping snout. Among gorgonopsians, Eriphostoma is most similar to Gorgonops torvus, but can be distinguished from that taxon by a trough separating the palatal bosses, relatively larger fossa for the lower canine, relatively shorter, taller snout, and mediolaterally thinner premaxilla at its posterior alveolar margin. Other nominal gorgonopsian taxa from the Tapinocephalus AZ exhibit the same general cranial morphology as Eriphostoma, suggesting that most are synonymous. Additional preparation and study of these other taxa will be necessary before their synonymy can be confirmed, however.


Karoo Basin Theriodontia CT scan Gorgonops Eoarctops 



Special thanks are due to Matt Frenkel and Becky Rudolph of the Microscopy and Imaging Facility at the AMNH for their aid in the scanning of this specimen. Thanks are also due to the following curators and collection managers for permission to study the gorgonopsian specimens in their care: Billy DeKlerk (Albany Museum, Grahamstown), Carl Mehling (American Museum of Natural History, New York), Paul Barrett and Sandra Chapman (Natural History Museum, London), Bruce Rubidge, Michael Raath, and Fernando Abdala (Bernard Price Institute, Johannesburg), Johann Neveling and Ellen de Kock (Council for Geosciences, Pretoria), Bill Simpson (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago), Jennifer Botha-Brink and Elize Butler (National Museum, Bloemfontein), Andrey Kurkin and Mikhail Ivakhnenko (Paleontological Institute, Moscow), Sheena Kaal (Iziko, the South African Museum, Cape Town), Stephany Potze (Ditsong, Pretoria), Pat Holroyd (University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley), and Matt Carrano (National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC). Tom Kemp, Eva Gebauer, and Christian Sidor are thanked for their helpful reviews of the original manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Paleontology and Richard Gilder Graduate SchoolAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und BiodiversitätsforschungHumboldt-UniversitätBerlinGermany

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