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THERIAN FEMORA FROM THE LATE CRETACEOUS OF UZBEKISTAN CHESTER, Stephen, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; SARGIS, Eric, Yale
 

Summary: THERIAN FEMORA FROM THE LATE CRETACEOUS OF UZBEKISTAN
CHESTER, Stephen, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; SARGIS, Eric, Yale
University, New Haven, CT, USA; SZALAY, Frederick, University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque, NM, USA; ARCHIBALD, J. David, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA,
USA; AVERIANOV, Alexander, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, Russia
Femora referable to metatherians and eutherians have been recovered from the Bissekty
Formation, Dzharakuduk, Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan (90 MYA). Fourteen of thirty-two
isolated elements preserve enough relevant morphology to be assessed in a comparative
and functional context. These specimens were sorted based primarily on size and overall
morphology into groups that likely correspond to the species level or higher. Groups were
then tentatively assigned to taxa known from teeth, petrosals, and/or other postcrania at these
localities. The distal femur of a small arboreal metatherian lacks a patellar groove and has a
marked asymmetry between the size of the condyles; the lateral condyle is much wider. It is
similar in size to an unassociated metatherian humerus with features indicative of arboreality.
The distal femora of the terrestrial eutherian taxa possess a patellar groove and subequal
condyles. Most of these specimens probably represent zhelestids and/or zalambdalestids.
With the exception of one possible eutherian that may be a zalambdalestid, all of the proximal
femora that have been collected exhibit a metatherian-like morphology. These specimens
possess a cylindrical femoral head and lateral and posterior extension of the articular surface
onto the neck. They have a short greater trochanter that is lower than or even with the femoral

  

Source: Archibald, J. David - Department of Biology, San Diego State University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Geosciences