Kapes bentoni – A well travelled specimen from the RAMM’s collection
8 July 2013
Kapes was a small lizard-like parareptile some 100 mm long. It had only been found in Triassic of Russia until a tiny jaw was found in the Middle Triassic Otter Sandstone at Sidmouth in 2002. 230-240 million years old, the Sidmouth specimen is named after Mike Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at BristolUniversity, who has made major studies of the Otter Sandstone fauna. His finds at Sidmouth were donated to RAMM.
The Kapes jaw has recently returned from the University of Helsinki where it has been on loan and the subject of further study by palaeobiologist Dr Ian Corfe. The work has included subjecting the tooth to CT scans to obtain exact details of the shape and structure for comparison and classification.
The parareptiles are an extinct group differing from true reptiles. Their exact classification is still uncertain hence the need for further research. Curiously the classification of Kapes is linked with that of the turtles which is also uncertain.