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Comparative neuroanatomy of extinct horned turtles (Meiolaniidae) and extant terrestrial turtles (Testudinidae), with comments on the palaeobiological implications of selected endocranial features
Consejo Nacl Invest Cient & Tecn, Inst Invest Biodiversidad & Medioambiente INIBIOM, UNCOMA, Quintral 1250,R8400FRF, San Carlos De Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina..
Consejo Nacl Invest Cient & Tecn, Museo Palaeontol Egidio Feruglio, Av Fontana 140,U9100GYO, RA-9100 Trelew, Chubut, Argentina..
Midwestern Univ, 19555 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85308 USA..
Australian Age Dinosaurs Nat Hist Museum, Winton, Qld 4735, Australia.;Monash Univ, Wellington Rd, Clayton, Vic 3800, Australia..
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2017 (English)In: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4082, E-ISSN 1096-3642, Vol. 180, no 4, p. 930-950Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS , 2017. Vol. 180, no 4, p. 930-950
Keywords [en]
Cranial endocast, Gaffneylania auricularis, inner ear, Meiolania platyceps, nasal cavity, Niolamia argentina, palaeoneurology, terrestrial turtles, Testudinidae, Testudinoidea
National Category
Zoology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335674DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlw024ISI: 000409233800009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335674DiVA, id: diva2:1168200
Available from: 2017-12-20 Created: 2017-12-20 Last updated: 2017-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Kear, Benjamin P.

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