Just out | Comparative neuroanatomy of extinct horned turtles (Meiolaniidae) and extant terrestrial turtles (Testudinidae), with comments on the palaeobiological implications of selected endocranial features @ Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society


Just out @ Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society


Comparative neuroanatomy of extinct horned turtles (Meiolaniidae) and extant terrestrial turtles (Testudinidae), with comments on the palaeobiological implications of selected endocranial features


Author(s)

Ariana Paulina-Carabajal, Juliana Sterli, Justin Georgi, Stephen F. Poropat, Benjamin P. Kear


Abstract:

Turtles are one of the least explored clades of reptiles with respect to palaeoneuroanatomy. Few detailed descriptions of endocranial features such as the brain morphology or inner ear exist for extant and extinct forms. In this contribution, we present the first CT-based reconstructions of endocranial morphology (brain and inner ear) and the nasal cavities in the terrestrial horned meiolaniid (Meiolaniidae) turtles Niolamia argentina and Gaffneylania auricularis from the Eocene of Patagonia, as well as Meiolania platyceps from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia. In addition, these exclusively Gondwanan Cenozoic taxa are contrasted with cranial endocasts of multiple extant testudinoids, thereby providing the largest sample of digital comparative endocranial data assembled for extinct and living turtles to date. Our study thus adds much needed anatomical information on turtle palaeoneurology. Aspects of meiolaniid palaeobiology are discussed; in particular, the hypertrophied nasal cavity might not to be related to olfactory acuity, but rather perhaps adaptation to arid climatic conditions, and/or intraspecific behaviours.


Keywords: Cranial endocast, Gaffneylania auricularis, inner ear, Meiolania platyceps, nasal cavity, Niolamia argentina, palaeoneurology, terrestrial turtles, Testudinidae, Testudinoidea


DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlw024


READ IT HERE: https://academic.oup.com/zoolinnean/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlw024/3755473/Comparative-neuroanatomy-of-extinct-horned-turtles


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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)