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Digital endocasts from two late Eocene carnivores shed light on the evolution of the brain at the origin of Carnivora
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Enheten för paleobiologi.
Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Enheten för paleobiologi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9586-4017
2022 (engelsk)Inngår i: Papers in Paleontology, ISSN 2056 2802, s. 1-19Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

The evolution of the brain at the origin of Carnivora remains poorly understood, largely owing to the limited number of cranial endocasts known from Carnivoramorpha and basal crown Carnivora. Here, we use x-ray computed tomography to create digital endocasts of two early carnivores, Quercygale angustidens and Gustafsonia cognita. Quercygale angustidens is generally regarded as the sister taxon to Carnivora and Nimravidae and is thus of great interest to further our understanding of the evolutionary changes that occurred at the origin of Carnivora. Gustafsonia cognita provides a comparison to a contemporary crown carnivoran. We describe the endocasts of these two taxa, placing them in the context of carnivoramorphan phylogeny. Both endocasts preserve the cerebellum in great detail, resulting in a better understanding of the morphology of this part of the brain in early carnivores. Gustafsonia cognita, despite its small size, geological age and basal position, displays a sulcal pattern typical of Amphicyonidae, reaffirming its position within the family. Nimravids; and early carnivorans, such as Gustafsonia cognita, Proailurus lemanensis and Hesperocyon gregarius, have more expanded neocortices than Quercygale angustidens. Current evidence suggests that the increase in gyrification in basal Carnivoramorpha occurred mainly through elongation of existing sulci and entered a new phase at the origin of crown Carnivora. Additional sulci appeared in early members of the order, resulting in distinctive sulcal patterns in the different carnivoran families. Nevertheless, more endocasts of basal carnivorans and carnivoramorphans are needed to better understand the processes driving the evolution of the brain in this group.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
London: The Palaeontological Association , 2022. s. 1-19
Emneord [en]
Amphicyonidae, brain evolution, Carnivoraformes, Carnivoramorpha, endocast, Eocene
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
Livets mångfald; Den föränderliga jorden
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-4741DOI: 10.1002/spp2.14222OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-4741DiVA, id: diva2:1646867
Merknad

This research was funded in part by the Swedish Research Council (VR). The authors would like to thank Tunhe Zhou at the Stockholm University Brain Imaging Centre (SUBIC) for assisting with the scanning of NRM-PZ M2329. Additionally, data acquisition was supported by a grant to the Stockholm University Brain Imaging Centre (SU FV-5.1.2-1035-15). We thank DigiMorph.org for scanning TMM 40209-200 and for making the scan data available online. The scanning of TMM 40209-200 was supported by NSF grant IIS-0208675. 

CT scan data of NRM-PZ M2329, as well as surface renderings of NRM-PZ M2329 and TMM 40209-200 and their respective endocasts are available on MorphoSource:

NRM-PZ M2329 CT scan images: https://doi.org/10.17602/M2/M166156

NRM-PZ M2329 surface rendering of fossil: https://doi.org/10.17602/M2/M343577

NRM-PZ M2329 surface rendering of endocast: https://doi.org/10.17602/M2/M343580

TMM 40209-200 surface rendering of fossil: https://doi.org/10.17602/M2/M355593

TMM 40209-200 surface rendering of endocast: https://doi.org/10.17602/M2/M355598

CT scan of the holotype of Gustafsonia cognita: TMM 40209-200, available on DigiMorph: http://www.digimorph.org/specimens/Miacis_cognitus/

Tilgjengelig fra: 2022-03-24 Laget: 2022-03-24 Sist oppdatert: 2022-12-02bibliografisk kontrollert

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