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      Morphology of the limbs in the semi-fossorial desert rodent species of Tympanoctomys (Octodontidae, Rodentia)

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          Abstract

          Abstract

          Here, a detailed description of the forelimbs and hindlimbs of all living species of the genus Tympanoctomys are presented. These rodents, highly adapted to desert environments, are semi-fossorial with capacity to move on the surface as well as to build burrows. The shape, structure, and size of the limbs are described. Contrary to what was expected for scratch digging semi-fossorial species, Tympanoctomys have slender humerus, radius and ulna; with narrow epicondyles of the humerus and short olecranon of the ulna with poorly developed processes. Following our descriptions, no intrageneric morphological variation regarding to the configuration of the limbs was detected, probably due to phylogenetic proximity, and not related to specific variations in response to different use of substrates or habits. The obtained results constitute a source of previously unpublished information as well as an important base for future analysis in different studies, such as morphometric, morpho-functional, or phylogenetic researches.

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          Most cited references 63

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          Functional-adaptive anatomy of the forelimb in the Didelphidae, and the paleobiology of the Paleocene marsupials Mayulestes ferox and Pucadelphys andinus.

           C Argot (2000)
          An attempt to determine the locomotor activities of Mayulestes ferox (Borhyaenoidea) and Pucadelphys andinus (Didelphoidea) from the early Paleocene site of Tiupampa (Bolivia) is presented. The functional anatomy of the forelimbs of these South American marsupials is compared to that of some living didelphids: Caluromys philander, Micoureus demerarae, Marmosa murina, Didelphis marsupialis, Monodelphis brevicaudata and Metachirus nudicaudatus. Deductions from bone morphology to myology and locomotor behavior in the fossils are inferred from the comparisons with living forms. Some features of the postcranial skeleton, indicative of arboreal adaptations, are found in the extinct marsupials: anteriorly projected acromion, hemispherical head of the humerus, extended humeral lateral epicondylar ridge, medially protruding humeral entepicondyle, proximal ulnar posterior convexity, and deep flexor fossa on the medial side of the ulna. But other features are related to a more terrestrial pattern: the well-developed tubercles of the humeral head, the elongated olecranon process of the ulna, and the oval shape of the radial head. Mayulestes had clear arboreal abilities, but, as a predaceous mammal, probably hunted on the ground. Pucadelphys was less specialized, close to the living Monodelphis, a terrestrial insectivorous form with some skeletal features related to arboreal locomotion that are probably plesiomorphic for marsupials. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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            Skeletal indicators of locomotor adaptations in living and extinct rodents.

            Living rodents show great diversity in their locomotor habits, including semiaquatic, arboreal, fossorial, ricochetal, and gliding species from multiple families. To assess the association between limb morphology and locomotor habits, the appendicular skeletons of 65 rodent genera from 16 families were measured. Ecomorphological analyses of various locomotor types revealed consistent differences in postcranial skeletal morphology that relate to functionally important traits. Behaviorally similar taxa showed convergent morphological characters, despite distinct evolutionary histories. Semiaquatic rodents displayed relatively robust bones, enlarged muscular attachments, short femora, and elongate hind feet. Arboreal rodents had relatively elongate humeri and digits, short olecranon processes of the ulnae, and equally proportioned fore and hind limbs. Fossorial rodents showed relatively robust bones, enlarged muscular attachments, short antebrachii and digits, elongate manual claws, and reduced hind limb elements. Ricochetal rodents displayed relatively proximal insertion of muscles, disproportionate limbs, elongate tibiae, and elongate hind feet. Gliding rodents had relatively elongate and gracile bones, short olecranon processes of the ulnae, and equally proportioned fore and hind limbs. The morphological differences observed here can readily be used to discriminate extant rodents with different locomotor strategies. This suggests that the method could be applied to extinct rodents, regardless of ancestry, to accurately infer their locomotor ecologies. When applied to an extinct group of rodents, we found two distinct ecomorphs represented in the beaver family (Castoridae), semiaquatic and semifossorial. There was also a progressive trend toward increased body size and increased aquatic specialization in the giant beaver lineage (Castoroidinae).
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              Functional-adaptive analysis of the hindlimb anatomy of extant marsupials and the paleobiology of the Paleocene marsupials Mayulestes ferox and Pucadelphys andinus.

               C Argot (2002)
              This article analyzes the adaptations of the hindlimb of two Early Paleocene marsupials, Mayulestes ferox and Pucadelphys andinus. This analysis is based on detailed comparisons with various extant marsupials, both South American and Australian. In the case of the South American opossums, original myological data were collected and osteological-myological associations were related to their locomotor behavior. The use of Australian genera helped to improve the appraisal of the locomotory habits of the fossil taxa. Several features are indicative of the ability of Mayulestes to climb or walk on uneven surfaces (e.g., very mobile hip joint, astragalocalcaneal joint pattern), and some other features emphasize a relative agility (e.g., strongly everted iliac blades, morphology of the distal epiphysis of the femur, medially stabilized cruroastragalar joint). Pucadelphys exhibits a hindlimb relatively similar morphologically to that of Mayulestes, but with features indicating slightly increased agility and a terrestrial component that is more emphasized than in Mayulestes. The Tiupampa fossils were therefore more agile than most living didelphids and resembled the condition observed in living dasyurids more. These conclusions complement a previous study performed on the forelimb of these fossils. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Zookeys
                Zookeys
                ZooKeys
                ZooKeys
                Pensoft Publishers
                1313-2989
                1313-2970
                2017
                19 October 2017
                : 710
                : 77-96
                Affiliations
                [1 ] PIDBA (Programa de Investigaciones de Biodiversidad Argentina), PCMA (Programa de Conservacion de los Murcielagos de Argentina), CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas), Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e IML-Universidad Nacional de Tucuman. Miguel Lillo 251, 4000. Tucuman, Argentina
                [2 ] Fundacion Miguel Lillo. Miguel Lillo 205, 4000. Tucuman, Argentina
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: M. Julieta Perez ( mariju_perez@ 123456hotmail.com )

                Academic editor: R. Lopez-Antonanzas

                Article
                10.3897/zookeys.710.14033
                5674180
                29118644
                M. Julieta Perez, Ruben M. Barquez, M. Monica Diaz

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Animal science & Zoology

                morphology, argentina, chalchalero vizcacha rat, description

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