December 1992
Vol. 21, Ext
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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Palaeovertebrata Vol. 21, Ext:December 1992

Table of contents


Schmelzmikrostruktur in den inzisiven alt-und neuweltlicher histricognather nagetiere
Thomas Martin
Keywords: Africa; Caviomorpha; Ctenodactyloidea; Deseadan; Enamel microstructure; Hunter-Schreger bands; Hystricognathi; Incisors; Ischyromyoidea; multiserial; Paleobiogeography; pauciserial; Phiomorpha; Rodentia; South America

    Enamel microstructure in the incisors of Old- and New World hystricognath rodents:

    The incisor enamel microstructure in more than 100 genera of fossil and Recent hystricognath and sciurognath rodents was studied. A multiserial schmelzmuster is present in the Hystricognathi, the Ctenodactylidae, advanced Chapattimyidae, and in Pedetes. A redefinition of pauciserial and multiserial HSB is given that makes the two enamel types unambiguously distinguishable which apparently represent well defined evolutionary levels. In the pauciserial Schmelzmuster the IPM is thicker than in the multiserial one. In pauciserial HSB the IPM always surrounds each prism, and the crystallites of the IPM run parallel to prism direction; transition zones between HSB are lacking; the inclination of the HSB is normally very low and the prism cross sections are not flattened but somewhat irregular. The number of prisms per HSB is no good distinctive character for pauciserial and multiserial HSB, since there exists a wide overlap. The pauciserial schmelzmuster is primitive, the multiseiial derived because: 1. the pauciseiial schmelzmuster appears earlier in the fossil record in the most primitive rodents (Paramyids s.l. and Ctenodactyloids); 2. the Eocene Ctenodactyloidea show pauciserial HSB but the Oligocene and younger ones are characterized by multiserial HSB; 3. in the outgroup comparison, the Eurymylidae (Mixodontia) show pauciserial HSB; 4. biomechanically, multiserial HSB strenghten the enamel better than pauciserial HSB, since their IPM runs nearly always in an angle of 45° or more to the prisms.

    In multiseríal HSB three subtypes can be distinguished which are differentiated by the IPM orientation. Primitive is a (rarely strict) parallel or acute angular, anastomozing IPM, and derived is an interrow sheet-like ("plattenartige") IPM. This evolutionary polarity is indicated by enamel evolution in the Ctenodactylidae which show an acute angular IPM in the Oligocene and a rectangular interrow sheet-like IPM since the Miocene. Among the Caviomorpha a rectangular interrow sheet-like IPM is restricted to the Octodontoidea; therefore they must be considered derived in terms of their enamel structure. The first multiserial HSB in rodent incisors appear in phiomyids or chapatrimyids from the Upper Eocene of Algeria. The IPM is acute angular and anastomozing. The worldwide next younger multiserial HSB are found in Lower Oligocene phiomyids of Fayum, Egypt There already a rectangular interrow sheet like IPM is present (in Metaphiomys) besides the acute angular anastomozing IPM.

    The first Caviomorpha from the Deseadan (Oligocene-Miocene) likewise show already acute angular anastomozing IPM (e.g. Scozamys) and rectangular interrow sheet-like IPM (Platypittamys). Therefore the first Caviomorpha cannot be positioned close to a transition from pauciserial to multiserial HSB. In none of the potential caviomorph ancestors from southern North America multiserial HSB or transitional stage between pauciserial and multiserial HSB could be found. The similarities between the enamel types of the Fayum rodents and the rodents from the Deseadan of South America make a derivation of the Caviomorpha from Paleogene North African phiomorph rodents or their direct ancestors most probable. This supports at the same time a descent of the platyrrhine Primates from North African anthropoids.

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