Fossil Friday 4/8/16: An artiodactyl tibia

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UF 243751, an artiodactyl tibia. Photo © VP FLMNH.

For this week’s Fossil Friday post I present an artiodactyl tibia, perhaps one of a peccary (Family Tayassuidae) or a protoceratid (Family Protoceratidae). The curvature and the morphology of the end that articulates with the astragalus along with other features strongly suggests it belongs to an artiodactyl, however it was not found in association with other elements, like teeth, that could pinpoint an identification. This specimen was found in the upper Culebra Formation and is early Miocene in age.

To learn more about this specimen, read its description in the paper referenced below on peccaries found in Panama.

Reference:

MacFadden, B.J., Kirby, M.X., Rincon, A., Montes, C., Moron, S., Strong, N., and Jaramillo, C. 2010. Extinct Peccary “Cynorca” occidentale (Tayassuidae) from the Miocene of Panama and Correlations to North America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 84: 288-298. doi: 10.1666/09-064R.1

Fossil Friday 11/13/15: An anthracothere astragalus

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UF 244181, the astragalus of the anthracothere Arretotherium meridionale (left: anterior view; right: medial view). Photo © VP FLMNH.

This week’s Fossil Friday (the 13th) post features an anthracothere astragalus! This specimen was found in El Lirio Norte of the Las Cascadas Formation and is early Miocene in age. The astragalus is a tarsal, which is a bone found in the ankle. Astragali are very helpful in determining what kind of animal the bone might have belonged to. For example, the “double-pulley” morphology of this anthracothere astragalus is indicative of artiodactyls, so you would also be able to see this kind of morphology in the astragali of camels, deer, and other artiodactyls.

To learn more about this anthracothere, called Arretotherium meridionale, check out our previous Fossil Friday post on it here.

American Camel

It is most likely that every time we think of a camel the first thing that comes to our minds is a one hump mammal known as Camelus dromedarius walking in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza.

or the two hump camel known as Camelus bactrianus from Asia which we visit at the zoo. But besides that, this is what most of us really think of when we talk about camels. Continue reading

Fossil Friday 5/29/15: An oreodont humerus

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The humerus of a merycoidodontid oreodont. The distal end is toward the left and the proximal end is toward the right. The humeral head has been damaged, however the distal end, which forms a joint like our elbow, remains intact. (Photo © Rachel Narducci)

This Fossil Friday I’m presenting an oreodont humerus that was prepared by PCP PIRE preparator Rachel Narducci. Continue reading

Fossil Friday 12/12/14 : An anthracothere

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The left dentary of the anthracothere, Arretotherium meridionale (Photo © VP FLMNH)

The specimen for this Fossil Friday is the left lower jaw (dentary) of a juvenile anthracothere Arretotherium meridionale. Anthracotheres were considered an extinct family of artiodactyls, however new phylogenetic evidence suggests that one of its subfamilies might be be related to hippopotamids, commonly called hippos, which are alive today. This specimen is a member of that subfamily, called Bothriodontinae. This specimen was found in the upper Las Cascadas formation in Panama and is likely from the late Arikareean NALMA. It is the first member of the anthracothere family to be found in Central America. The specimen can be distinguished as a juvenile because the dentary still has some of the deciduous (milk) teeth.

If you want to read more about this specimen, read the publication about it here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02724634.2013.722573.