Navigation Links
Primitive early relative of armadillos helps rewrite evolutionary family tree
Date:12/11/2007

A team of U.S. and Chilean scientists working high in the Andes have discovered the fossilized remains of an extinct, tank-like mammal they conclude was a primitive relative of todays armadillos. The results of their surprising new discovery are described in an upcoming issue of Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The on-going project is co-led by John Flynn, Chairman of the Division of Paleontology and Frick Curator of Fossil Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and Darin Croft, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and also includes Andr Wyss, professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Both Croft and Wyss also are Research Associates in the Museums Division of Paleontology.

The partial skeleton was unearthed by the group in 2004 and found to represent a new species of glyptodonta family of hard-shelled, grazing mammals that may have occasionally tipped the scales at two tons. The newly described animal, which was given the tongue-twisting name Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis, likely weighed in at a mere 200 pounds and was covered with a massive shell of immovable armored plates, unlike the hinged rows of plates on armadillos. The fossil was found at the unusually high elevation of 14,000 feet.

The thin air, scarce water, and frigid temperatures of the high Andes posed significant challenges to the researchers, but were not the conditions under which this glyptodont lived. Our studies elsewhere on the Altiplano suggest that the region was at a much lower elevation when these fossils lived, said Flynn. In addition to providing a look at the paleoecology of the region, this has given us new insights into the timing and rate of uplift of the Andes.

Over the past decade, the teams fossil-hunting expeditions to northern Chile have discovered a diverse array of several hundred fossil mammal specimens. These animals, known collectively as the Chucal Fauna, include at least 18 species of armadillos and glyptodonts, rodents, relatives of opossums, and a variety of extinct hoofed mammals. Together with the plant fossils recovered from the same area, these suggest that northern

Chile was an open savannah about 3,000 feet above sea level at the time that P. septentrionalis lived, with relatively few trees and populated mainly by grazing animals.

The new species was reconstructed from remains of the jaw, shell, leg, and backbone and compared with other known glyptodonts as well as with close relatives of glyptodonts. Based on supporting evidence, the team concluded that P. septentrionalis lived about 18 million years ago, making it one of the earliest-diverging members of its family. As a result, the authors proposed a new evolutionary tree for glyptodonts and their nearest relatives.

When we collected the fossil, we had no idea that it would turn out to be a new species, said Croft. We knew that it would be an important specimen, given its completeness, but it was only after cleaning it and carefully studying it that we realized how unusual it was.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ken Kostel
kkostel@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. How did chemical constituents essential to life arise on primitive Earth?
2. 60 second test could help early diagnosis of common brain diseases
3. Restless legs syndrome affects nearly 2 percent of US/UK children
4. Bleeding, not inflammation, is major cause of early lung infection death
5. Pig study sheds new light on the colonisation of Europe by early farmers
6. Color contrast is seen by the brain early doors
7. Extra gene copies were enough to make early humans mouths water
8. Was ability to run early mans Achilles heel?
9. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
10. Yam bean a nearly forgotten crop
11. NIH awards nearly $23M to University of Chicago for translational research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2, 2017   TapImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... specializing in the development of innovative peptide and ... cancer and metastatic disease, announced today it has ... of a second clinical lot of TPIV 200, ... alpha. The manufactured vaccine product will be used ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 1, 2017  Central to its deep commitment ... worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation today announced the ... pushed the envelope in their respective fields of ... scientists are being recognized with the 2017 Japan ... only contribute to the advancement of science and ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company ... of bacterial infections, today announced it has acquired ... Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) to bolster its ... forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The assets acquired have ... PBB group company. "The acquisition of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 ... except per share data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve ... Revenue $       ... 1,117$   89026%Aldurazyme Net Product Revenue ... 906538%34823946%Naglazyme Net Product Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- In Atlanta, it seems everyone has a chance to express ... an expressive and dynamic community unlike any other. The businesses ... it. With their newest salon in ... carry on that tradition with a unique, fresh approach to ... is the newest of 13 nationwide locations, each of them ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... evaluation of multiple immunoassay-based threat detection technologies by researchers from the Pacific ... biosensor threat detection technology was found to have the best level of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... -- Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR), a biotechnology company developing biological ... Linda Marbán, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer, is scheduled ... Cowen and Company 37th Annual Health Care Conference Tuesday, ... MA 29th Annual ROTH Conference ... ET) Dana Point, CA ...
Breaking Biology Technology: