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TINGAMARRA REVISITED



On metatherians 'vs' placentals, Tim wrote...

> To add to that, a tooth (named _Tingamarra porterorum_) from the early
> Eocene of Murgon in southeastern Queensland, Australia, has been
> regarded as pertaining to a "condylarth".  

I deliberately avoided mention of _Tingamarra_ because it's status as a 
putative basal ungulate (or condylarth or whatever) is by no means 
certain. This I learnt from Tom Rich who mentioned similarities the 
specimen has with _Slaughteria_, a basal tribosphenid (or possible 
metatherian) from North America.

_Australian Journal of Mammalogy_ (I think) recently ran a huge 
multi-author review paper of the Australian mammal fossil record. The 
same doubts about _Tingamarra_ were mentioned in there too, though 
I forget under which heading _Tingamarra_ was discussed (possibly 
the bit at the end about problematica - e.g. Owen's Australian elephants 
[_Elephas australis_ etc.]). As usual I'm at university and the paper is 
at home.

> I haven't heard anything recently on the affinities of _Tingamarra_,
> especially in light of the "break-up" of the Condylarthra.  

Obviously the traditional concept of Condylarthra is in trouble as it's 
horribly paraphyletic. McKenna and Bell however recognised a more 
restrictive group of this name which includes phenacodontids, 
ectoconids, periptychids, mioclaenids and (IIRC) didolodontids. 
Didolodontids supposedly share ?tooth characters with basal litopterns 
though, so even this doesn't work - - in their introduction McKenna 
and Bell do say though that they can accept 'a tolerable amount of 
paraphyly' (or something similar). Periptychids and mioclaenids were 
recently united in the Bubulodentata by... no, drat, can't remember.... 
(possibly David Archibold).

"I was going to vote for the Apathy Party, but I just can't be bothered"

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
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