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Systematics, biostratigraphy, and dental evolution of the Palaeothentidae, later Oligocene to early-middle Miocene (Deseadan- Santacrucian) caenolestoid marsupials of South America

Journal of Paleontology

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Abstract

Fifty-two gnathic and dental characteristics were used to identify the taxonomy and to reconstruct the phylogeny of the Palaeothentidae. Analysis of sequencing of appearances of derived characters documents rampant convergencies at all taxonomic levels and considerable phenotypic plasticity in the organization of the palaeothentid dentition. Certain highly generalized character states survive for the duration of the family in some lineages, whereas others are phenotypically lost for a time and then reappear as a minor percentage of character variability. In general, replacement faunas of palaeothentids were morphologically more generalized than their antecendent forms. Dental character regression indicates that palaeothentids arose prior to the Deseadan from a relatively large-bodied marsupial having generalized tribosphenic molars with more or less bunodont cusps; probably an unknown member of the Didelphidae. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Systematics, biostratigraphy, and dental evolution of the Palaeothentidae, later Oligocene to early-middle Miocene (Deseadan- Santacrucian) caenolestoid marsupials of South America
Series title:
Journal of Paleontology
Volume
67
Issue:
2 Suppl.
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Paleontology
Number of Pages:
76