Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Phylogenetics of 5 Mammals From Aptian/Albian Cretaceous Texas and Oklahoma

Taxonomic revision of tribosphenic mammals from the Lower Cretaceous Antlers Formation of Texas and Oklahoma, USA.




There are five taxa of tribosphenic mammals in the Early Cretaceous Antlers Formation of Texas and Oklahoma, USA: a basal stem therian (Kermackia texana), stem therians near the eutherian-metatherian dichotomy (Holoclemensia texana and Pappotherium pattersoni), and stem marsupials (Atokatheridium boreni and Oklatheridium szalayi). K. texana has a primitive therian postcanine formula with three molars, replacement of p5, M3 with low protocone and no conules, lower molars with a large trigonid angle, oblique protocristid, paraconid smaller than metaconid (except m3), strong distal metacristid, narrow talonid, small talonid basin, and small entoconid (absent on m3). H. texana also has replacement in the fifth premolar locus and three molars. It is more derived in having a larger protoconal region with higher protocone and conules present, lack of distal metacristid, smaller trigonid angle, transverse protocristid, and wide talonid with larger talonid basin. It is similar to Eutheria by having M1 with reduced ectoflexus, semimolariform p5, and low trigonid angle with transverse protocristid. Holoclemensia cannot be referred to Eutheria because of the lack of the second rank postvallum/prevallid shear and unwinged conules. P. pattersoni (=Slaughteria eruptens) has replacement in the fifth premolar position, premolariform p5, and three molars (symplesiomorphies for Theria). It is more derived than Holoclemensia in having a wider and shorter talonid. Pappotherium is similar to Eutheria in having a low trigonid angle, transverse protocristid, and the cristid obliqua labial to the protocristid notch. It cannot be attributed to the Eutheria because of the narrow protoconal region, low protocone, small conules lacking internal cristae, postprotocrista not extending labially past the metacone base, and a small talonid basin. Atokatheridium boreni and Oklatheridium szalayi (=O. minax, syn. nov.) have four molars and emphasis on the postvallum/prevallid shear (large metacone on M2, strong postmetacrista, paraconid higher than metaconid). These taxa cannot be attributed to the Deltatheroida because of large protoconal region with winged conules. Oklatheridium is further different from the Deltatheroida in having a wider talonid and better developed entoconid.

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