Permian synapsid tracks with skin impressions!

Lower Permian deposits of the Boskovice Basin in Moravia (Czech Republic) have long been renowned for extraordinarily abundant specimens of discosauriscid seymouriamorphs. The only other tetrapods from the strata are represented by rare temnospondyls.

The new study provides the first evidence of early-diverging synapsids from the Permian of the Czech Republic. The material is composed of well-preserved isolated tracks, manus-pes couples, and a slab with trackways composed of approximately 20 tracks in at least four different directions. The best-preserved specimen further shows rare skin impressions, which have not been observed from the hands or feet of early-diverging mammal-line amniotes before. The new material adds to the scarce record of synapsids from the Carboniferous/Permian transitional interval of equatorial Pangea.

Reconstruction of the synapsid and photography of the traces. Illustration: Edyta Felcyn-Kowalska

PUBLICATION: Calábková, G., Březina, J., Nosek, V. & D. Madzia. 2023. Synapsid tracks with skin impressions illuminate the terrestrial tetrapod diversity in the earliest Permian of equatorial Pangea. Scientific Reports 13: 1130. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-27939-z