Fossil Friday 5/1/15: A chalicothere tooth


Different views of a cast of UF 280165, a right m1 or m2 of a chalicotheriid. A: Schematic drawing showing morphology of occlusal view; B: Occlusal view; C: Posterior view; D: Buccal view; E: Lingual view. (Figure excerpted from Wood and Ridgwell 2015)

This week’s Fossil Friday is the subject of a paper recently published by former PCP PIRE Post Doc Aaron Wood and Spring 2013 field intern Nicole Ridgwell. The specimen is a right first or second lower molar of a chalicothere (Family Chalicotheriidae), which are an extinct group of clawed perissodactyls. The molar, collected by one of the authors of the paper, Nicole Ridgwell, was found in the Las Cascadas Formation in the Lirio Norte area of the Panama Canal. It is early Miocene in age and is the first record of a chalicothere from Central America.


A mural of a group of chalicotheres called Moropus and other animals they might have shared their environment with. One member of the group is fending off a pair of Daphoenodon. (Mural on display at the Smithsonian, painted by Jay Matternes; photo of mural by FunkMonk)

To access the paper detailing this chalicothere molar, click here.

Reference: Wood, A. R., Ridgwell, N. M. 2015. The first Central American chalicothere (Mammalia, Perissodactyla) and the paleobiogeographic implications for small-bodied schizotheriines, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.923893


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