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Petrosal and inner ear anatomy and allometry amongst specimens referred to Litopterna (Placentalia)

Abstract : New isolated petrosals from the Itaboraí beds of Brazil (late Palaeocene or early Eocene) are here described and referred to the early diverging litoptern Miguelsoria parayirunhor, based on phylogenetic, size, and abundance arguments. Both the external and internal anatomy of these specimens were investigated, which for the first time document many details of the auditory region of a Palaeogene litoptern. Our cladistic analysis, which included our new observations, failed to recover a monophyletic Litopterna but did not exclude it. A constrained analysis for the monophyly of this order showed that several features such as a (sub)quadrangular and anteroposteriorly elongated tensor tympani fossa and a large notch in the vicinity of the external opening of the cochlear canaliculus may constitute synapomorphies for Litopterna. The evolution of several other auditory characters amongst Litopterna is discussed and the relative dimensions of the inner ear and surrounding petrosal in the group were also investigated. This allowed detection of negative allometry of the bony labyrinth within the petrosal, which was confirmed by measurements and regression analysis across a larger sample of placental mammals. This scaling effect probably has an important influence on several characters of the bony labyrinth and petrosal, amongst which are the length of the vestibular aqueduct and cochlear canaliculus. It demonstrates that many aspects of the morphological variation of the bony labyrinth need to be thoroughly investigated before being incorporated into phylogenetic analyses.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-02400497
Contributor : Sandrine Ladeveze <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 9, 2019 - 3:07:48 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 28, 2021 - 3:35:08 AM

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Guillaume Billet, Christian de Muizon, Rico Schellhorn, Irina Ruf, S. Ladevèze, et al.. Petrosal and inner ear anatomy and allometry amongst specimens referred to Litopterna (Placentalia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Linnean Society of London, 2015, 173 (4), pp.956-987. ⟨10.1111/zoj.12219⟩. ⟨mnhn-02400497⟩

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