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The neuroanatomy of Zulmasuchus querejazus (Crocodylomorpha, Sebecidae) and its implications for the paleoecology of sebecosuchians

Abstract : The endocranial structures of the sebecid crocodylomorph Zulmasuchus querejazus (MHNC 6672) from the Lower Paleocene of Bolivia are described in this article. Using computed tomography scanning, the cranial endocast, associated nerves and arteries, endosseous labyrinths, and cranial pneumatization are reconstructed and compared with those of extant and fossil crocodylomorphs, representative of different ecomorphological adaptations. Z. querejazus exhibits an unusual flexure of the brain, pericerebral spines, semicircular canals with a narrow diameter, as well as enlarged pharyngotympanic sinuses. First, those structures allow to estimate the alert head posture and hearing capabilities of Zulmasuchus. Then, functional comparisons are proposed between this purportedly terrestrial taxon, semi-aquatic, and aquatic forms (extant crocodylians, thalattosuchians, and dyrosaurids). The narrow diameter of the semicircular canals but expanded morphology of the endosseous labyrinths and the enlarged pneumatization of the skull compared to other forms indeed tend to indicate a terrestrial lifestyle for Zulmasuchus. Our results highlight the need to gather new data, especially from altirostral forms in order to further our understanding of the evolution of endocranial structures in crocodylomorphs with different ecomorphological adaptations
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Contributor : Yohan Pochat-Cottilloux Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 11:18:19 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:50:32 AM


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Yohan Pochat‐cottilloux, Jeremy Martin, Stéphane Jouve, Gwendal Perrichon, Jérome Adrien, et al.. The neuroanatomy of Zulmasuchus querejazus (Crocodylomorpha, Sebecidae) and its implications for the paleoecology of sebecosuchians. Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, Wiley-Blackwell, In press, ⟨10.1002/ar.24826⟩. ⟨hal-03456766⟩



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