Document Detail

Functional-adaptive anatomy of the axial skeleton of some extant marsupials and the paleobiology of the paleocene marsupials Mayulestes ferox and Pucadelphys andinus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12520547     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In this study, the axial skeletons of two Early Paleocene marsupials, Mayulestes ferox and Pucadelphys andinus, were analyzed functionally and compared to that of six South American and three Australian species of extant marsupials. In the case of the South American opossums, myological data of the epaxial musculature were collected and analyzed and osteological-myological associations were related to locomotor behavior. Various features of the vertebral column that relate to diet or to locomotor or postural patterns were pointed out. These features include: the craniocaudal development of the neural process of the axis; the position of the anticlinal vertebra; the morphology of the neural processes of the thoracolumbar vertebrae (orientation, length, and craniocaudal width); the length, orientation, and curvature of the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae; and the length and robustness of the caudal vertebrae. In both fossil forms the vertebral column is mobile and allows a great range of flexion and extension of the spine, more so than in most of the living didelphids. It is emphasized here that the analysis of the axial skeleton complements and improves the conclusions provided by the forelimb and hindlimb analyses. It is proposed that Mayulestes and Pucadelphys represent an ancestral morphotype suggesting that the generalized type of locomotion of Paleocene marsupials was partly terrestrial with some climbing ability.
Christine Argot
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of morphology     Volume:  255     ISSN:  0362-2525     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Morphol.     Publication Date:  2003 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-01-09     Completed Date:  2003-08-05     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0406125     Medline TA:  J Morphol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  279-300     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Laboratoire de Paléontologie, UMR 8569 du CNRS, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Axis / physiology
Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*
Cervical Atlas / physiology
Cervical Vertebrae / anatomy & histology
Head / physiology
Marsupialia / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*
Motor Activity / physiology
Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
Nervous System / anatomy & histology
Ribs / anatomy & histology
Spine / anatomy & histology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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