New vertebrate fossil discovered in north China

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Chinese researchers have for the first time discovered fossils of the therocephalian Euchambersia in China, according to a paper published in the journal Biology Letters.

Euchambersia is an extinct genus of therocephalian therapsids that lived during the Late Permian, approximately between 256 and 255 million years ago.

The research team from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has discovered a well-preserved skull and mandible showing a well-developed maxillary fossa in the late Permian strata of Daqingshan, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

After careful restoration and morphological comparison, this species was considered to belong to the genus Euchambersia. Its morphology is different from that of specimens in South Africa, so researchers identified it as a new species and named it E. liuyudongi.

The study pointed out that the present morphological study supports the hypothesis that its maxillary fossa contains scent glands rather than poison glands, and therefore, it may not have the ability to poison and prey on adult Lystrosaurus, an ancient reptile.

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