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Caudal cranium of Thylacosmilus atrox (Mammalia, Metatheria, Sparassodonta), a South American predaceous sabertooth. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 433)

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dc.contributor.author Forasiepi, Analía M.
dc.contributor.author MacPhee, R. D. E.
dc.contributor.author Hernández del Pino, Santiago.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-13T19:51:01Z
dc.date.available 2019-06-13T19:51:01Z
dc.date.issued 2019-06-14
dc.identifier.uri http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/handle/2246/6943
dc.description 64 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description.abstract The caudal cranium of the South American sabertooth Thylacosmilus atrox (Thylacosmilidae, Sparassodonta, Metatheria) is described in detail, with emphasis on the constitution of the walls of the middle ear, cranial vasculature, and major nerve pathways. With the aid of micro-CT scanning of the holotype and paratype, we have established that five cranial elements (squamosal, alisphenoid, exoccipital, petrosal, and ectotympanic) and their various outgrowths participate in the tympanic floor and roof of this species. Thylacosmilus possessed a U-shaped ectotympanic that was evidently situated on the medial margin of the external acoustic meatus. The bulla itself is exclusively composed of the tympanic process of the exoccipital and rostral and caudal tympanic processes of the squamosal. Contrary to previous reports, neither the alisphenoid nor the petrosal participate in the actual tympanic floor, although they do contribute to the roof. In these regards Thylacosmilus is distinctly different from other borhyaenoids, in which the tympanic floor was largely membranous (e.g., Borhyaena) and lacked an enlarged ectotympanic (e.g., Paraborhyaena). In some respects Thylacosmilus is more similar to hathliacynids than to borhyaenoids, in that the former also possessed large caudal outgrowths of the squamosal and exoccipital that were clearly tympanic processes rather than simply attachment sites for muscles. However, hathliacynids also exhibited a large alisphenoid tympanic process, a floor component that is absent in Thylacosmilus. Habitual head posture was inferred on the basis of inner ear features. Large paratympanic spaces invade all of the elements participating in bounding the middle ear, another distinctive difference of Thylacosmilus compared to other sparassodonts. Arterial and venous vascular organization is relatively conservative in this species, although some vascular trackways could not have been securely identified without the availability of CT scanning. The anatomical correlates of the internal carotid in relation to other basicranial structures, the absence of a functional arteria diploetica magna, and the network for venous return from the endocranium agree with conditions in other sparassodonts. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Museum of Natural History. en_US
dc.relation
dc.relation.ispartofseries Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History;no.433.
dc.subject Thylacosmilus atrox. en_US
dc.subject Skull -- Anatomy. en_US
dc.subject Sparassodonta. en_US
dc.subject Argentina. en_US
dc.title Caudal cranium of Thylacosmilus atrox (Mammalia, Metatheria, Sparassodonta), a South American predaceous sabertooth. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 433) en_US
dc.title.alternative Caudal cranium of Sparassodonta. en_US


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  • Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
    The Bulletin, published continuously since 1881, consists of longer monographic volumes in the field of natural sciences relating to zoology, paleontology, and geology. Current numbers are published at irregular intervals. The Bulletin was originally a place to publish short papers, while longer works appeared in the Memoirs. However, in the 1920s, the Memoirs ceased and the Bulletin series began publishing longer papers. A new series, the Novitates , published short papers describing new forms.

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