Barasaurus Squamation

  • Mark A. S. McMenamin
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


New specimens of the procolophonoid parareptile Barasaurus from the Permo-Triassic Sakamena Group of Madagascar show skin preservation in the form of scale patches. Based on its appendicular skeletal anatomy, Barasaurus was an aquatic form, the only known aquatic procolophonoid. Its squamation consisting of large (up to 4 mm greatest dimension on an animal approximately 30 cm in length), skink-like ventral scales suggest that this ventral scale configuration was well suited for existence in an aquatic habitat. The Barasaurus lifestyle was comparable to that of the crab-eating modern Madagascan skink (Amphiglossus astrolabi). Although they had the potential to do so since they survived the Permo-Triassic mass extinction, barasaurian procolophonoids did not diversify into a major group of Mesozoic Marine tetrapods.


Marine reptiles Procolophonids Barasaurus Amphiglossus Sakamena Group Mesosaurus Zeugopod Hovasaurus Parareptiles Sclerosaurus 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark A. S. McMenamin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeographyMount Holyoke CollegeSouth HadleyUSA

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