Project 1045: T. E. Williamson, S. L. Brusatte. 2013. New Specimens of the Rare Taeniodont Wortmania (Mammalia: Eutheria) from the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Comments on the Phylogeny and Functional Morphology of “Archaic” Mammals. PLOS ONE. 8 (9):1-35.
Specimen: † Wortmania (NMMNH P-:64001)

Abstract

Background

Taeniodonta is a clade of Late Cretaceous – Paleogene mammals remarkable for their relatively extreme cranial, dental, and postcranial adaptations and notable for being among the first mammals to achieve relatively large size following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Previous workers have hypothesized that taeniodonts can be divided into two clades: Conoryctidae, a group of small-bodied taeniodonts with supposedly “generalized” postcranial skeletons, and Stylinodontidae, a group of large-bodied, robust animals with massive forelimbs and claws adapted for scratch-digging. However, many taeniodont taxa are poorly known and few are represented by postcranial material, leaving many details about their anatomy, biology, and evolution ambiguous.
Methodology/Principal Findings

In this paper, we describe three new specimens of the rare taxon Wortmania otariidens from the early Paleocene (Puercan) of New Mexico. Among these specimens is one that includes remarkably complete cranial and dental material, including associated upper and lower teeth, and another that consists of partial forelimbs. These specimens allow for an updated anatomical description of this unusual taxon, supply new data for phylogenetic analyses, and enable a more constrained discussion of taeniodont biology and functional morphology.
Conclusions/Significance

The new specimen of Wortmania that includes associated upper and lower teeth indicates that previous interpretations of the upper dentition of this taxon were not accurate and the taxon Robertschochia sullivani is a junior synonym of W. otariidens. New specimens that include partial forelimbs indicate that Wortmania is very similar to later, large-bodied taeniodonts, with marked and distinctive adaptations for scratch-digging. Comparisons with other taeniodont taxa that include postcranial material suggest that all taeniodonts may have had scratch-digging adaptations. A phylogenetic analysis shows that Schowalteria and Onychodectes are basal taeniodonts, Stylinodontidae (including Wortmania) is monophyletic, and a monophyletic Conoryctidae (but not including Onychodectes) is only recovered when certain characters are ordered.



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Article DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075886

Project DOI: 10.7934/P1045, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P1045
This project containsMatrices
  • 1 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 1 Document
  • 13 Taxa
  • 1 Specimen
  • 37 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 3.26M

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 444
Total media associated with cells: 0
Total labels associated with cell media: 0
Characters
Total characters: 37
Total characters with associated media: 0
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 107
Total character states with associated media: 0
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:37/0
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MorphoBank Project 1045

    Authors' Institutions

    • New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

    • University of Edinburgh

    • American Museum of Natural History



    Members

    member name taxa specimens media chars character
    media
    labels
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    medialabels
    rules
    MorphoBank Curator
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 10/21/13
    13113700444
    (444, 0, 0)
    000
    Maureen Admin
    Full membership
    Last logged in 01/17/20
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    000
    Thomas Williamson
    Full membership
    Last logged in 10/18/13
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    000


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M2322' (13 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    cells
    scored
    cells
    no cell
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    NPA
    cells
    "-" cellscell images labels on
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    [1] † Cimolestes
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    2353500003
    [2] † Procerberus formicarum
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    5323200003
    [3] † Procerberus grandis
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    3343400003
    [4] † Aveugena
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    3343400003
    [5] † Schowalteria
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    9282800003
    [6] † Onychodectes
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0373700003
    [7] † Conoryctella
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0373700003
    [8] † Conoryctes
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0373700003
    [9] † Huerfanodon
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    6313100003
    [10] † Wortmania
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    1373600003
    [11] † Psittacotherium
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0373700003
    [12] † Ectoganus
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    0373700003
    [13] † Stylinodon
    Last Modified in 12/05/13
    9282800003


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    Specimen list1999




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