Original Research

Growth increments in teeth of Diictodon (Therapsida)

J. Francis Thackeray
Koedoe | Vol 34, No 1 | a408 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v34i1.408 | © 1991 J. Francis Thackeray | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 1991 | Published: 23 September 1991

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J. Francis Thackeray,

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Abstract

Growth increments circa 0.02 mm in width have been observed in sectioned tusks of Diictodon from the Late Permian lower Beaufort succession of the South African Karoo, dated between about 260 and 245 million years ago. Mean growth increments show a decline from relatively high values in the Tropidostoma/Endothiodon Assemblage Zone, to lower values in the Aulacephalodon/Cistecephaluszone, declining still further in the Dicynodon lacerficeps/Whaitsia zone at the end of the Permian. These changes coincide with gradual changes in carbon isotope ratios measured from Diictodon tooth apatite. It is suggested that the decline in growth increments is related to environmental changes associated with a decline in primary production which contributed to the decline in abundance and ultimate extinction of Diictodon.

Keywords

Permian, mammal-like reptiles, dentition, extinctions, palaeoclimate.

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