Stahleckeria

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Stahleckeria
Temporal range: Middle Triassic
Sthalekeria1DB.jpg
Stahleckeria potens
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Order: Therapsida
Infraorder: Dicynodontia
Family: Stahleckeriidae
Genus: Stahleckeria
Von Huene, 1935
Type species
Stahleckeria potens
Von Huene, 1935

Stahleckeria is an extinct genus of Middle Triassic dicynodont. It lived about 240 million years ago in what is now Brazil and Namibia. As a member of the group Kannemeyeriiformes, it was similar to the genus Kannemeyeria. The genus is known from a single type species called Stahleckeria potens, which was first collected from the Ladinian-age Santa Maria Formation in the Paleorrota fossil site of Brazil. Stahleckeria was named in honor of Rudolf Stahlecker, who discovered the first specimens during a 1935 expedition led by paleontologist Friedrich von Huene to the Chiniquá fossil site.

Size of Stahleckeria potens relative to a human.
Friedrich von Huene (left) with a skeleton of Stahleckeria at University of Tübingen.

Stahleckeria measured 4 meters in length and weighed approximately 400 kg. It was a contemporary of the more common Dinodontosaurus. The differences between Stahleckeria and Dinodontosaurus may reflect adaptations to feeding on different plant species.[citation needed]

In 2012, fossils of Stahleckeria potens were described from the Omingonde Formation in Namibia, which like the Santa Maria Formation is Ladinian in age. The Omigonde Formation is part of the Karoo Supergroup, which preserves many Triassic tetrapod fossils in southern Africa but notably lacks fossils in a hiatus called the "Ladinian gap". In addition to the remains of Stahleckeria potens, fossils of the cynodont Chiniquodon and an unidentified rauisuchian have also been found in the Omigonde deposits. The presence of these animals in South America and in Africa at the same time is strong evidence that the two continents were once one uninterrupted landmass with a uniform climate and habitat that land animals such as Stahleckeria could travel freely between.[1]

The fossils of Stahleckeria potens discovered in Brazil are currently in Germany in the museum of the University of Tübingen.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Fernando Abdala, Claudia A. Marsicano, Roger M.H. Smith and Roger Swart (2012). "Strengthening Western Gondwanan correlations: a Brazilian dicynodont (Synapsida, Anomodontia) in the Middle Triassic of Namibia". Gondwana Research. in press. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2012.07.011. 

Huene, F. von. 1936. Die Fossilien Reptilien des südamerikanischen Gondwanalandes an der Zeitenwende (Denwa-Molteno-Unterkeuper = Ober-Karnisch). Ergebnisse der Sauriergrabungen in Südbrasilien 1928/29. Lieferung 2:93-159.

Huene, F. von. 1942. Die Fossilen Reptilien des Südamerikanischen gondwanalandes. C.H. Beck Verlag, München.

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