Osteology and Functional Morphology of the Hind Limb of the Marine Sloth Thalassocnus Mammalia, TardigradaReport as inadecuate

Osteology and Functional Morphology of the Hind Limb of the Marine Sloth Thalassocnus Mammalia, Tardigrada - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

* Corresponding author 1 CR2P - Centre de recherche sur la Paléobiodiversité et les Paléoenvironnements 2 Park Museum Management Program

Abstract : The anatomy of the skeletal elements of the hind limb of Thalassocnus is described. This genus of -ground sloth- comprises five species represented by Neogene specimens from the coast of Peru and Chile, mostly found in the Pisco Formation. The hind limb of the genus Thalassocnus as a whole is characterized by a small iliac wing, a gracile femur with well-formed femoral neck, teardrop shaped patella, long and slender tibia, triangular tuber calcis, and proximal development of the lateral process of the Mt V. The comparison of the species of Thalassocnus with each other suggests a progressive shift to a particular ecology from the earliest to the latest species of the genus, a conclusion in agreement with those of the studies of craniomandibular, dental, and forelimb gross morphology, and bone internal microstructure. The pedolateral stance, which involves the bearing of the weight on the lateral side of the foot, was practiced by the earliest species of Thalassocnus, as was the case for other Megatheria. This stance was apparently forsaken by the late species of the genus in favor of the acquisition of a secondary plantigrady. A plantigrade hind limb may have been more efficient for paddling and for bottom-walking. Additionally, the late species of Thalassocnus differ from the early ones in the morphology of the pelvis and the slight overall reduction of the hind limb. This suggests the decrease of the support function of the hind limb of these species when compared to that of the early species of Thalassocnus.

Keywords : Aquatic adaptation Hind limb Functional anatomy Marine mammal Pisco Formation Thalassocnus Xenarthra

Author: Eli Amson - Christine Argot - H. Gregory Mcdonald - Christian De Muizon -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/


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