A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China.

PloS one

PubMedID: 27144770

Jia J, Gao KQ. A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(5):e0153834.
A new salamandroid salamander, Qinglongtriton gangouensis (gen. et sp. nov. ), is named and described based on 46 fossil specimens of juveniles and adults collected from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Tiaojishan Formation cropping out in Hebei Province, China. The new salamander displays several ontogenetically and taxonomically significant features, most prominently the presence of a toothed palatine, toothed coronoid, and a unique pattern of the hyobranchium in adults. Comparative study of the new salamander with previously known fossil and extant salamandroids sheds new light on the early evolution of the Salamandroidea, the most species-diverse clade in the Urodela. Cladistic analysis places the new salamander as the sister taxon to Beiyanerpeton, and the two taxa together form the basalmost clade within the Salamandroidea. Along with recently reported Beiyanerpeton from the same geological formation in the neighboring Liaoning Province, the discovery of Qinglongtriton indicates that morphological disparity had been underway for the salamandroid clade by early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) time.