How Do Populations of Giant Snails Cope Annual Changes? – #365papers – 2017 – 136

#365papers for May 16, 2017

Miranda and Fontenelle, 2015, Population dynamics of Megalobulimus paranaguensis (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) the the southeast coast of Brazil: Zoologia, v. 32, p. 463-468.

What’s it about?

This study used techniques described in yesterday’s paper to examine the annual changes in activity of a population of Megalobulimus paranaguensis snails in southeast Brazil. There are specific periods of time when more snails are active and when they are reproducing, based upon the environmental conditions such as evaportranspiration and precipitation. These snails are more active during the winter months and are dormant during the summer. Continue reading

Assigning an Age to a Giant Snail – #365papers – 2017 – 135

#365papers for May 15, 2017

Fontenelle and Miranda, 2012, The use of outer lip in age estimation of Megalobulimus paranaguensis (Gastropoda, Pulmonata): Strombus, v 19, p. 15-22.

What’s it about?

Megalobulimus is a giant snail that lives in South America. Using the thickness of the outer lip of the shell (where the snail sticks out of its shell), it’s possible to estimate the age of the snail. Continue reading

Using Giant Snails to Understand Past Atmospheric Carbon – #365papers – 2017 – 130

#365papers for May 10, 2017

Macario, Alves, Carvalho, Oliveira, Ramsey, Chivall, Souza, Simone and Cavallari, 2016, The use of the terrestrial snails of the genera Megalobulimus and Thaumastus as representatives of the atmospheric carbon reservoir: Nature Scientific Reports, v. 6, 27395.

What’s it about?

Snails. It turns out that snails record evidence of their environment in their shells. The authors here show how shells from these two giant snails can be used to examine the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Continue reading

How Old Is the Wasatch Formation at Fossil Butte? – #365papers – 2017 – 119

#365papers for April 29, 2017

Gunnell, Zonneveld, and Bartels, 2016, Stratigraphy, mammalian paleontology, paleoecology, and age correlation of the Wasatch Formation, Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming: Journal of Paleontology, v. 90, p. 981-1011.

What’s it about?

Here is a nice description of all the mammalian species found from early Eocene rocks in Fossil Butte National Monument. Not only is there a list of fossil species, but they’re also put in chronological order, so that changes over time can be discussed. Continue reading

Y is for Yerbua – #AtoZChallenge – 2017 – Uintan Mammals

Y is for Yerbua

Yerbua is a genus of hopping rodent. The name “Yerbua” was coined in 1778, but has since been replaced with “Pedetes.” I have this name written down as a Uintan mammal, but Pedetes is a modern taxon from Africa, so I’m not sure what happened. But here you go:

Spring Hare, Pedetes capensis. Credit: Bernard DuPont CC 2.0 By-SA

X is for Xylotitan – #AtoZChallenge – 2017 – Uintan Mammals

X is for Xylotitan

Xylotitan is a new species of brotothere, a hoofed mammal related to horses and rhinos. Brototheres were giant mammals, considered the earliest of the ‘megaherbivores.’

Among brototheres, Xylotitan is among the smallest, only about the size of a large tapir.

This new species was named in 2016 by Mihlbachler and Samuels.

V is for Viverravus – #AtoZChallenge – 2017 – Uintan Mammals

V is for Viverravus

Viverravus is a carnivorous mammal. Interestingly, I have written up Viverravus in an earlier A to Z Challenge about Paleocene mammals, here. Viverravus as a genus lasted many millions of years.

Here is an early Eocene Viverravus from the Yale-Peabody Museum:

Viverravus sp. YPM VPPU 022652. right ramus with P/4, M/1

U is for Uintatherium – #AtoZChallenge – 2017 – Uintan Mammals

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]