U is for Uintatherium
Uintatherium was a massive hoofed mammal that lived during the Eocene epoch. Superficially, they were rather rhinoceros-like, though they were not related.
A reconstruction of Uintatherium.
Credit: Dmitry Bogdanov CC 3.0 By SA
Notably, Uintatheres had many horns and protuberances on their skulls, in addition to robust tusks.
Cast of Uintatherium anceps (Leidy, 1872) – syn. Dinoceras mirabile (Marsh 1872) skull, neck vertebrae.
Credit: Jebulon [Public Domain]
T is for Tapocyon
Tapocyon is a genus of miacid carnivores that lived during the Paleocene and Eocene epochs of North America. It was a climbing mammal that likely spent a great amount of time in trees.
Life reconstruction of Tapocyon robustus.
Credit: Nobu Tamura CC 4.0 By SA
S is for Smilodectes
Smilodectes is an extinct primate that lived in North America during the Eocene.
Early Eocene (55-50 mya); Smilodectes gracilis, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Credit: Ryan Somma CC 2.0 By-SA
R is for Reithroparamys
Reithroparamys is another extinct rodent from North America. Species of this genus ranged from the late Paleocene into the mid-Eocene. Four species are known from this genus.
Q is for Quadratomus
Quadratomus is an Eocene rodent. There are four species within this genus all of which lived in North America.
P is for Protylopus
Protylopus is an extinct type of camel that lived from the middle to late Eocene in North America. It is the oldest known camel.
Protylopus petersoni skull.
Credit: Robert Bruce Horsfall [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
O is for Ourayia
Ourayia is a fossil primate, which, like Notoparamys, is related to tarsiers. Like many fossil mammals, it is best known for its teeth.
VPPU.011236: Ourayia uintensis: HYPODIGM. Utah. Uintah County. Kennedy’s Hole, Uinta Basin. Princeton 1895 Hatcher Expedition. Coll: Hatcher, J. B. 25 Mar 1895. Tertiary. Late Eocene. Uintan. Uinta Fm. Middle Uinta B.
Courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Natural History,
Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, Yale University; peabody.yale.edu
#365papers for April 17, 2017
Rinderknecht, Bostelmann, annd Ubilla, 2017, Making a giant rodent: cranial anatomy and ontogenetic development in the genus Isostylomys (Mammalia, Hystricognathi, Dinomyidae): Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1285360.
What’s it about?
Isostylomys is (was) a giant rodent from the Miocene of Uruguay. By giant, I mean larger than the largest rodent today. I mean huge.
The authors here discuss the status of the genus and its relationships with other rodents. Importantly, they show how it is very possible that some species of South American large rodents might be juvenile forms of giant rodents like Isostylomys. Continue reading
#365papers for April 18, 2017
Serratos, Druckenmiller, and Benson, 2017, A new elasmosaurid (Sauropterygia, Plesiosauria) from the Bearpaw Shale (Late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian) of Montana demonstrates multiple evolutionary reduction of neck length within Elasmosauridae: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology e1278608.
What’s it about?
Elasmosaurids were marine reptiles that are considered a sub-group of the plesiosaurs. Distinctive features of elasmosaurids are their very long necks and small heads. Here, a new species of elasmosaurid is described that had a relatively short neck and was also fairly small. Continue reading
#365papers for April 16, 2017
Massare and Lomax, 2017, A taxonomic reassessment of Ichthyosaurus communis and I. intermedius and a revised diagnosis for the genus: Journal of Systematic Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2017.1291116.
What’s it about?
Ichthyosaurus is (or was) a type of marine reptile that looked sort of dolphin-like.
Ichthyosaurus communis from the Natural History Museum in London. Credit Gehdoghedo CC 3.0 By SA
Ichthyosaurus communis life reconstruction.
Credit: Nobu Tamura CC BY 3.0
Here, the authors work to distinguish between three common species of Ichthyosaurus, I. communis, I. intermedius, and I. breviceps. The authors also present a better definition for the genus Ichthyosaurus. Continue reading