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Anterior Dentition of the Eocene Condylarth Thryptacodon: Convergence with the Tooth Comb of Lemurs

Philip D. Gingerich and Kenneth D. Rose
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1979), pp. 16-22
DOI: 10.2307/1379754
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1379754
Page Count: 7
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Anterior Dentition of the Eocene Condylarth Thryptacodon: Convergence with the Tooth Comb of Lemurs
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Abstract

A new specimen of arctocyonid condylarth from the early Eocene (Clarkforkian) of Wyoming is represented by the anterior part of the snout and lower jaws. Molar teeth are lacking, but the size and spacing of the premolars most closely resemble those in the early Eocene arctocyonid Thryptacodon antiquus; hence, the specimen is best referred to that species. The new specimen is most remarkable in preserving a well-developed tooth comb that closely resembles the tooth comb of Madagascan lemurs. Dental homologies of the teeth in the comb are different in cf. Thryptacodon and lemurs, and the tooth comb in the two is clearly a result of evolutionary convergence. Considering the whole dentition, a close modern analogue for Thryptacodon is the procyonid Nasua, which also has an incipient tooth comb. Nasua, like lemurs, uses its tooth comb for both food gathering and grooming.

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