Kyrinion

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Kyrinion
Temporal range: Late Carboniferous
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sarcopterygii
Clade: Tetrapodomorpha
Family: Baphetidae
Subfamily: Loxommatinae
Genus: Kyrinion
Clack, 2003
Species
  • K. martilli Clack, 2003 (type)

Kyrinion is an extinct genus of baphetid tetrapod from the Late Carboniferous of England. It is known from a skull that was found in Tyne and Wear county dating back to the Westphalian stage. Along with the skull is part of the lower jaw, an arch of the atlas bone (the vertebra that connects to the skull) and a rib possibly belonging to a cervical (neck) vertebra. The type species K. martilli was named from this material in 2003.

Description[edit]

The holotype skull of Kyrinion is well preserved with the back of the skull and both stapes, or ear bones, intact. The orbits, or eye sockets, are somewhat triangular in shape. Areas connecting the palate with the jaws and braincase make the skull inflexible. Lateral lines, used for sensory perception in aquatic environments, are present on the quadratojugal bone behind the eyes. The lower jaw lacks the distinctive features of some other baphetids, such as teeth on the parasymphysial plate, a piece of bone that overlies the dentary symphysis.[1]

Classification[edit]

Kyrinion is a member of the family Baphetidae, a group of large aquatic tetrapods that somewhat resembled salamanders. Among baphetids, Kyrinion is most closely related to Loxomma and Megalocephalus. In 2009, all three genera were placed within the newly erected subfamily Loxommatinae.[2]

Discovery[edit]

The holotype skull of Kyrinion was found embedded in a piece of ironstone by paleontologist David Martill in 1993.[3] Martill found the rock on a beach at Whitley Bay and noticed part of an exposed bone. In 2003, after extensive preparation of the holotype, paleontologist Jennifer A. Clack described the specimen and named the species after Martill.[1] It is now housed in the Hancock Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clack, J.A. (2003). "A new baphetid (stem tetrapod) from the Upper Carboniferous of Tyne and Wear, U.K., and the evolution of the tetrapod occiput". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 40 (4): 483–498. doi:10.1139/e02-065. 
  2. ^ Milner, A.C.; Milner, A.R.; Walsh, S.A. (2009). "A new specimen of Baphetes from Nýřany, Czech Republic and the intrinsic relationships of the Baphetidae". Acta Zoologica. 90 (Supplement 1): 318–334. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6395.2008.00340.x. 
  3. ^ a b Stokes, Paul (18 October 2003). "Bone belonged to ancient 6ft newt". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 February 2011.