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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
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The endocranial cast and encephalization quotient of Ptilodus (Multituberculata, Mammalia)
David W. Krause and Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska
Keywords: encephaIization quotient; endocranial cast; Montana; Multituberculata; olfactory bulbs; Paleocene; Ptilodus

    Simpson (1937a) reconstructed the brain of the Paleocene multituberculate Ptilodus as having the olfactory bulbs widest anteriorly, an unusual condition among mammals. Slight preparation and reexamination of the endocast specimens of Ptilodus reveals that the olfactory bulbs in fact taper anteriorly, as in the recently-described endocranial casts of three multituberculate species from the Late Cretaceous of Asia, and as in those of other mammals. The brain of Ptilodus was therefore essentially of the same general pattem as in other multituberculates. Ptilodus differs, however, in having the vermis more deeply inserted between the cerebral hemispheres. Other details concerning the endocast morphology of Ptilodus are clarified.

    The encephalization quotient (EQ) of Ptilodus is recalculated from revised estimates of both endocranial volume and body mass to fall somewhere within a broad range of values; from 0.41 to 0.62 if the olfactory bulbs are included and from 0.37 to 0.55 if they are not. In any case, the relative brain size of Ptilodus is roughly equivalent to that of Chulsanbaatar, the only other multituberculate for which EQ has been calculated, but considerably smaller than that of an average extant mammnal. 

  Article infos

Published in Vol. 22, Fasc. 2-3 (1993)

Multituberculate endocranial casts
Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska
Keywords: Allotheria; Cretaceous; endocranial cast; Mongolia; multituberculates

    A reconstruction of a multituberculate endocranial cast is made on the basis of a complete natural cast prepared from the skull of Chulsanbaatar vulgaris, and other less complete endocasts, all from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. The multituberculate endocast is of mammalian pattern but it has retained a therapsid-like lateral profile with a deep rhombencephalon and a shallow telencephalon. It is characterized by: a heart-shaped cross-section of the telencephalon; an extensive lissencephalic neocortex; a very prominent pons placed far anteriorly; a lack of cerebellar hemispheres, and very large paraflocculi. Its structure, very different from the brains of other mammals, suggests thats the Multituberculata branched very early from the main mammalian stock. This supports Simpson's (1945) idea that the Multituberculata should be placed in a subclass of their own: Allotheria MARSH. The endocast and braincase structure show that the Multituberculata had strongly developed senses of smell and hearing. The encephalization quotient of approx. 0.55 evaluated for Ch. vulgaris is relatively high for a Mesozoic mammal. 

  Article infos

Published in Vol. 13, Fasc. 1-2 (1983)