Thursday, 26 May 2016

Anebodon luoi: A new species of Zhangheotherid Mammal from the Early Cretaceous of Liaoning Province.

Zhangheotherids are a small group of Mammals known only from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. They have traditionally been placed within the Symmetrodonta, a wider group of Mesozoic Mammals thought to have given rise to the Therians (Marsupials and Placental Mammals), though this group is now considered to be paraphyletic (i.e. not all members share a common ancestor). However more recent examinations of relationships among Mesozoic Mammals have suggested that the Zhangheotherids are closely related to the Therians, with the two groups being placed together to form a higher classification, the Trechnotheria.

In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports on 24 May 2016, Shundong Bi of the Department of Biology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiaoting Zheng of the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature and the Institute of Geology and Paleontology at Linyi University, Jin Meng of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiaoli Wang, also of the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature and the Institute of Geology and Paleontology at Linyi University, Nicole Robinson, also of the Department of Biology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Brian Davis of the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology at University of Louisville, describe a new species of Zhangheotherid Mammal from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China.

The new species is named Anebodon luoi, where 'Anebodon'  means 'young-tooth', in reference to the last premolar, which appears to have been replaced by an adult tooth late in the development if the animal, and 'luoi' honours palaeontologist Zhe-Xi Luo of the Univeristy of Chigaco for his work on Mesozoic Mammals. The species is decribed from a single partial skull and jaw, showing complete dentition.

Stereophotographs of the skull of the Zhangheotheriid Anebodon luoi, in dorsal (a), ventral (b), right lateral (c) and left lateral (d) views; illustrations of the skull in dorsal (e), ventral (f), and left lateral (g) views. Illustrations are enlarged to show detail and are not to same scale as photographs. Dotted fill represents matrix. Abbreviations: al, anterior lamina of petrosal; as, alisphenoid; ax, axis; bs, basisphenoid; ef, ethmoidal foramen; fdv, foramen for frontal diploic vein; fr, frontal; if, incisive foramen; iof, infraorbital foramen; lac, lacrimal; lf, lateral flange of petrosal; mapf, major palatine foramen; mpf, minor palatine foramen; mx, maxilla; na, nasal; os, orbitosphenoid; otc, anterior opening of orbitotemporal canal; pa, parietal; pal, palatine; pmx, premaxilla; smx, septomaxilla; spf, sphenopalatine foramen. Bi et al. (2016).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/barbatodon-transylvanicus-red-toothed.htmlBarbatodon transylvanicus: A red-toothed Multituberculate Mammal from the Late Cretaceous of Haţeg Island.                                 Small, isolated islands often produce distinctive...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-eutherian-mammal-from-late-cretaceous.htmlA Eutherian Mammal from the Late Cretaceous of Kazakhstan.                    Biologists studying modern mammals divide them into three groups, the egg-laying Monotremes, the pouched Marsupials, and the large-baby-producing...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/eutherian-mammal-from-jurassic-of-china.htmlA Eutherian Mammal from the Jurassic of China.                                                      Modern mammals are divided into three groups by biologists: the monotremes which lay eggs, the marsupials which give birth to underdeveloped live young then raise these young in pouches, and the placental mammals which give birth to large, well developed young. Palaeontologists rarely get the... 
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