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Tritylodontid (cynodont synapsid) pelvis from China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online non-dino paper that may be of interest:

Corwin Sullivan, Jun Liu, Eric M. Roberts, Timothy D. Huang, Chuanwei
Yang & Shiming Zhong (2013)
Pelvic morphology of a tritylodontid (Synapsida: Eucynodontia) from
the Lower Jurassic of China, and some functional and phylogenetic
implications.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2013.06.008
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631068313001061



Tritylodontids are specialised, herbivorous cynodonts whose exact
phylogenetic position is controversial, with some authors regarding
them as close relatives of mammaliaforms and others as members of the
eucynodont clade Traversodontidae. The tritylodontid pelvis has been
claimed to resemble that of mammaliaforms in having a narrow, rod-like
ilium, but such claims have been strongly challenged because of the
incompleteness of previously available tritylodontid pelvic material.
However, a partial tritylodontid skeleton from the Lower Jurassic of
China preserves nearly complete examples of all three pelvic elements
in addition to both femora, providing unprecedented insight into the
structure of the tritylodontid pelvis and the configuration of the hip
joint. This specimen confirms that the iliac blade is rod-like, adding
to the evidence for a close relationship between tritylodontids and
mammaliaforms. Furthermore, femoral retraction appears to have been
driven partly by gluteus musculature in tritylodontids, as in
mammaliaforms.