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Gainesville, FL, United States

Hughes E.M.,Carnegie Mellon University | Wible J.R.,Curator | Spaulding M.,Purdue University North Central | Luo Z.-X.,University of Chicago
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2015

A partial petrosal from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the Fruita Paleontological Area of western Colorado preserving the pars cochlearis and part of the pars canalicularis is described. The endocast of the inner ear showing the cochlea, vestibule, lateral semicircular canal, and the terminal ends of the anterior and posterior semicircular canals is reconstructed from μCT scans. This specimen is only the fourth petrosal known from the Morrison Formation. Mammals known from Fruita include Fruitafossor windsheffeli Luo and Wible, 2005, the triconodontid Priacodon fruitaensis Rasmussen and Callison, 1981, the plagiaulacoid multituberculate Glirodon grandis Engelmann and Callison, 1999, and unnamed spalacotheriids and dryolestoids. The partial petrosal and its endocast share significant features with dryolestoids from the Upper Jurassic of Guimarota, Portugal, including a separate fenestra cochleae and cochlear canaliculus, and a cochlea that is coiled more than 200°. In light of these similarities, the Fruita petrosal is assigned to Dryolestoidea.

Lucas S.G.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science | Harris S.K.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science | Spielmann J.A.,New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science | Berman D.S.,Curator | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2012

In the Jemez Springs area of Sandoval County, northern New Mexico, siliciclastic red beds of the upper Paleozoic Abo Formation are well exposed and yield fossil plants and vertebrates. The local Abo Formation section is more than 190 m thick and rests disconformably on the Upper Pennsylvanian Guadalupe Box Formation and is conformably overlain by the Lower Permian DeChelly Sandstone (Yeso Group). Abo sandstone sheets are low sinuosity river deposits, and intercalated sandstone beds and lenses represent sheet splays and minor channel fills that formed during overbank flooding. The dominant Abo lithofacies is mudstone, which represents floodplain deposits, many with calcareous paleosols. Fossils are present in three stratigraphie intervals of the lower to middle Abo Formation. All three intervals yield eupelycosaur-dominated vertebrate fossil assemblages of Coyotean age (Coyotean = late Virgilian-Wolfcampian on the North American provincial marine timescale: Lucas 2006). The lowest interval also yields the Spanish Queen Mine paleoflora of pteridosperms and conifers. Strata of the Guadalupe Box Formation disconformably below the Abo Formation contain late Virgilian fusulinids. We correlate the Abo Formation fossil assemblages in the Jemez Springs area to the Coyotean-age fossil assemblages in the upper part of the El Cobre Canyon Formation in the Arroyo del Agua area and in the Canon del Cobre in the Chama basin of northern New Mexico. This suggests a middle Wolfcampian age for the Jemez Springs area fossil assemblages, an age very close to the Pennsylvanian-Permian boundary.

Kurczewski F.E.,PO Box 13215 | Edwards G.B.,Curator | Kimsey L.S.,University of California at Davis | Kurczewski K.E.,1280 12th Street
Pan-Pacific Entomologist | Year: 2012

A study of the nesting behavior of Miscophus (Nitelopterus) laticeps was undertaken at Montana de Oro State Park, San Luis Obispo County, California in 2010, 2011, and 2012 to clarify variation in previous reports on this species. Specific areas of study included (1) manner of prey transport, (2) presence or absence of temporary entrance closure, (3) manner of nest entry, (4) families of prey spiders, and (5) wasp's egg affixation site. New prey records, including two new families, were discovered as part of this study. The behavioral components of M. laticeps are discussed in relation to other North American congeners. © Pacific Coast Entomological Society.

Snyder N.F.R.,P.O. Box 16426 | Fry J.T.,Curator
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

William Bartram described the Painted Vulture (Vultur sacra) as a new species in his 1791 book on travels in Florida and other southeastern states. However, no specimen of this bird survives, and it has not been reported by any subsequent or-nithologist. Bartram's detailed description is not presently endorsed by the American Ornithologists' Union and has been widely regarded as a myth, a misdescribed King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa (Linnaeus), a misdescribed Northern Carac-ara Caracara cheriway (Jacquin), or a garbled mixture of species. In fact, his description bears almost no resemblance to a Northern Caracara, but it does match the King Vulture in all important respects except tail color (which is uniform dark brown in all ages and sexes of King Vultures but was white with a dark brown or black tip in Bartram's description). Most 20th century ornithologists commenting on Bartram's bird have been reluctant to accept his description because of the tail-color discrepancy. Only McAtee (1942) concluded that his description could be fully accurate as written, indicating a bird closely related to, but different from, a typical King Vulture. Paralleling Bartram's description is an apparently independent account and painting of a vulture of uncertain geo-graphic origin by Eleazar Albin (1734). Details of Albin's description, including tail color, are very similar to those of Bartram's description. The only discrepancies are minor differences in color of softparts and tail that seem explicable as intraspecific variation. Available evidence suggests that Bartram knew nothing of Albin's description, and if so, Albin's bird provides quite persuasive support for the validity of Bartram's bird. Equally important, none of the arguments offered historically against the validity of the Painted Vulture is persuasive when examined closely. Together, these and other fac-tors make a strong case for acceptance of Bartram's Painted Vulture as a historic resident of northern Florida and likely other adjacent regions. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

Werneburg R.,Naturhistorisches Museum Schloss Bertholdsburg Schleusingen | Berman D.S.,Curator
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2012

The taxonomic validity of the eryopid temnospondyl Glaukerpeton avinoffi Romer, 1952, from the Upper Pennsylvanian Conemaugh Group of North America is confirmed on the basis of a detailed restudy of two specimens: the holotype, based on a partial skull roof from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the skull and postcranial material of a second specimen from an approximately equivalent stratigraphie level in West Virginia that was originally referred to Eryops cf. E. avinoffi (Romer), but is reassessed here as G. avinoffi. This contradicts a previous redescription of the holotype of G. avinoffi as referable to Eryops Cope, 1882. A single unique feature, the presence of three large, fang-like tusks on the ectopterygoid, distinguishes Glaukerpeton from all other eryopids. A cladistic analysis was performed using 19 cranial and two postcranial characters to clarify the phylogenetic relationships between Glaukerpeton Romer, 1952, and the only other eryopids in which the skull anatomies are well known: the Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian Eryops and the Early Permian Onchiodon Geinitz, 1861. The resultant cladogram indicates that Eryops and Onchiodon share a more recent common ancestor than either does with Glaukerpeton. The position of Glaukerpeton as a basalmost taxon may indicate that the ancestry of Eryopidae predates the Late Pennsylvanian. The possession of lateral line sulci, ossified ceratobranchials, and a thinly ossified skull roof indicates a probable aquatic habitus of the adult Glaukerpeton. Reconstructions are presented for the first time of the holotypic skull roof in dorsal view and the cranium and mandible of the referred specimen in various views.

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