Prozostrodon: how close to mammals?

Wikipedia reports, Prozostrodon was an advanced cynodont that was closely related to the ancestors of mammals.”

While true in the broadest sense
after all, even primitive Vaughnictis is “closely related to the ancestors of mammals,” in the large reptile tree (LRT, 1025 taxa) Prozostrodon nests a few nodes down from the most primitive mammals with several intervening transitional taxa.

Figure 1. Prozostrodon nests in the LRT between Thrinaxodon and the Chiniquodon clade.

Figure 1. Prozostrodon nests in the LRT between Thrinaxodon and the Chiniquodon clade, not as close to the base of mammals as Wikipedia implies.

Prozostrodon brasiliensis (originally Thrinaxodon brasiliensis, Barberena et al. 1987; Triassic; the size of a cat) was originally considered congeneric with Thrinaxodon, then closer to mammals. Here it nests between Thrinaxodon and the Chiniquodon clade. The foot was more symmetrical than in Thrinaxodon. The teeth were relatively smaller with molars no deeper than the incisors and with a larger canine.

Earlier we looked at several new addition to the Cynodontia. This is just one more.

References
Barberena MC, Bonaparte JF and Teixeira AMSA 1987. Thrinaxodon brasiliensis sp. nov., a primeira ocorrencia de cinodontes gales – sauros para o Triasico do Rio Grande do Sul. Anais do X Congresso Brasileiro de Paleontologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pp. 67-76.
Bonaparte JF and Barbierena MC 2001. On two advanced carnivorous cynodonts from the Late Triassic of Southern Brazil. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 156(1):59–80.
Bonaparte JF, Martinelli AG, Schultz CL and Rubert R 2003. The sister group of mammals: small cynodonts from the Late Triassic of Southern Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 5:5-27.
Bonaparte JF and Crompton AW 2017. Origin and relationships of the Ictidosauria to non-mammalian cynodonts and mammals. Historical Biology. https://doi.

 

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