oa African Zoology - The side wall of the braincase in cynodont therapsids, and a note on the homology of the mammalian promontorium

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The side wall of the cynodont braincase is not sufficiently well understood to form a sound basis for morphological or phylogenetic inference. This paper descriptionbes in detail the trigeminal region of a series of cynodonts from lateral and mesial aspects. Genera dealt with are Thrinaxodon, Trirachodon, Diademodon and Tritylodon. A reinterpretation of aspects of the braincase of the tritylodontid Bienotherium is presented. Attention is drawn to a fundamental dichotomy between herbivorous cynodonts and the carnivorous line leading to mammals. Homology between the cynodont parasphenoid wing and mammalian promontorium is demonstrated.

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