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Wible J.R.,Section of Mammals Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2010

The skull of the Hispaniolan solenodon, Solenodon paradoxus Brandt, 1833, was described in detail by Wible (2008). Missing from that study, however, were original observations on the hyoid apparatus and ossified larynx, because appropriate specimens were not available. A specimen has come to light preserving four isolated hyoid and laryngeal bones, from rostral to caudal as situated in the living animal: the right stylohyal, the left epihyal, the hyoid (fused ceratohyals, basihyal, and thyrohyals), and the ossified thyroid cartilage. These elements are poorly known for most mammals. Consequently, the solenodon elements are described and illustrated, and preliminary comparisons with other lipotyphlans are made. Several features are unique to the solenodon among the studied lipotyphlans, including a ceratohyal oriented mediolaterally rather than craniocaudally and an epiglottic prominence on the rostrodorsal margin of the thyroid.

Wible J.R.,Section of Mammals Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2010

Although isolated mammalian petrosals often are encountered in the fossil record, few detailed descriptions of these bones exist for extant taxa. As a contribution to that void, isolated petrosals are described in detail for two nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758, and are placed in the context of the basicranium based on an additional 18 specimens, all from Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Neurovascular structures are reconstructed based on study of serially sectioned fetal specimens from the Anatomisches Instituts in Frankfurt and Heidelberg, Germany. Preliminary comparisons are made with other extinct and extant eutherians that the author has described in recent years. Unexpectedly, quite a few similarities are found between the petrosals of D. novemcinctus and the chiropteran Pteropus livingstonii Gray, 1866, which in light of the divergent phyletic affinities and biologies of these animals are remarkable convergences.

Wible J.R.,Section of Mammals Carnegie Museum of Natural History | Hughes E.M.,Research Assistant
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2016

The osseous elements of the foot and ankle are described and illustrated in detail for the Hispaniolan solenodon, Solenodon paradoxus Brandt, 1833, one of two extant species of the lipotyphlan family Solenodontidae. Comparisons are made with the same elements in representatives of the three remaining extant families of lipotyphlans, the soricid Crocidura luna Dollman, 1910, the talpid Parascalops breweri (Bachman, 1842), and the erinaceid Erinaceus europaeus Linnaeus, 1758. The muscles attaching to the osseous elements of the foot in lipotyphlans are summarized based on the literature. The solenodon foot is generalized but with a unique modification regarding the entocuneiform: it has an elongate medial spur with a sizeable facet for the astragalar head. The other lipotyphlans studied have a medial spur of the entocuneiform, but it is well separated from the astragalus by the navicular. Crocidura luna also has a remarkable modification; the ectal facets on the astragalus and calcaneus have opposing concavoconvex surfaces. Measurements of all osseous elements of the foot were collected in the four lipotyphlans studied here. Various indices, the vast majority of which were taken from the literature, were calculated from these measurements. Metrical data were combined with those from prior studies that included relevant pedal measurements of lipotyphlans and some clades outside of Lipotyphla. Two Principal Components Analyses were performed to illustrate our data with regard to those of prior studies.

Wible J.R.,Section of Mammals Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2011

Skull anatomy other than the ear region of the pen-tailed treeshrew, Ptilocercus lowii Gray, 1848 (Ptilocercidae), is described and illustrated in detail based on 11 specimens from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the United States National Museum. Comparisons are made to the common treeshrew, Tupaia glis (Diard, 1820) (Tupaiidae), in a manner similar to the author's treatment of the ear region (Wible 2009). Included are bone by bone treatment of the external surfaces of the skull and hyoid apparatus, and composite treatment of the endocranium for P. lowii with comparisons to an uncertain species of Tupaia Raffles, 1821, and T. glis. The principal cranial foramina and their contents are addressed. Treeshrews are members of the placental order Scandentia, which is nested within the higher-level clade Euarchonta, along with the order Primates and the order Dermoptera (colugos). Relationships among these three orders are controversial in recent molecular studies, and detailed morphological studies, such as this, provide additional characters for future studies resolving the phylogenetic pattern.

Wible J.R.,Section of Mammals Carnegie Museum of Natural History | Spaulding M.,Section of Mammals Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2013

The external and endocranial surfaces of the skull of the African palm civet, Nandinia binotata (Gray, 1830), are described and illustrated in detail based on 30 specimens (from Carnegie Museum of Natural History and American Museum of Natural History). With the inclusion of a newborn and six juveniles with deciduous dentitions, a reasonable ontogenetic series is represented. The bone-by-bone descriptions are primarily based on the condition in an adult female and the newborn with consideration of variation across the sample. The principal cranial foramina are treated in a glossary, and the hyoid apparatus and larynx are described from a single specimen. The sample exhibits a remarkable degree of variability in cranial features that are often used as different states of characters in phylogenetic analysis (e.g., number and position of palatal foramina, the orbital mosaic, and composition of the lacrimal foramen). Nandinia binotata, the only taxon in the Nandiniidae, has been identified as the most basal extant feliform in recent phylogenetic analyses of both molecular and morphological data. It has long been recognized that its ear region with its uninflated auditory bulla exhibits a primitive level of organization. To assess the primitive nature of the skull of N. binotata, comparisons are made with three extant carnivorans, the felid Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758, the viverrid Genetta genetta (Linnaeus, 1758), and the canid Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758. Of the three, N. binotata shares numerous resemblances across the skull with G. genetta, which accounts for its historical inclusion in the Viverridae. Whereas aspects of the ear region of N. binotata are clearly unique among extant carnivorans, the rest of its skull is not similarly so.

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