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Some New Remains of Middle Miocene Mammals from the Chinji Formation, Northern Pakistan

New mammalian material excluding proboscideans described from four main fossil sites of the Chinji Formation, northern Pakistan, allow identifying Miotragocerus gluten, Tragoportax cf. punjabicus, Elachistoceras sp., Helicoportax sp., Boselaphini sp. indet., Gazella sp., Giraffokeryx punjabiensis, Giraffa priscilla, Dorcatherium minus, Microbunodon silistrensis, Merycopotamus nanus, Listriodon pentapotamiae, Conohyus sindiensis, Gaindatherium browni and Hespanotherium matritense. The tooth positions of all the fifteen species are documented. The findings enlarge our knowledge on the anatomic features of the described species. Quantitatively, the bovid taxa are

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A comparison of postnatal arterial patterns in a growth series of giraffe (Artiodactyla: Giraffa camelopardalis)

Nearly all living artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates) possess a derived cranial arterial pattern that is highly distinctive from most other mammals. Foremost among a suite of atypical arterial configurations is the functional and anatomical replacement of the internal carotid artery with an extensive, subdural arterial meshwork called the carotid rete. This interdigitating network branches from the maxillary artery and is housed within the cavernous venous sinus. As the cavernous sinus receives cooled blood draining from the nasal mucosa, heat rapidly dissipates

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Large giraffids (Mammalia, Ruminantia) from the new late Miocene fossiliferous locality of Kemiklitepe-E (Western Anatolia, Turkey)

Kemiklitepe is a well-known locality with four recognised fossiliferous horizons, KTA to KTD, which have yielded a plethora of mammalian remains. Previous taxonomic studies indicate the presence of three giraffid taxa: Samotherium major and Palaeotragus rouenii from the uppermost three horizons, KTA, KTB and KTC, as well as Palaeotragus rouenii and Samotherium? sp. from the lowermost KTD horizon. In this study a new locality, Kemiklitepe-E, is presented for the first time. Kemiklitepe-E is located approximately 350 m NW of the

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Key innovations in ruminant evolution: A paleontological perspective

Key innovations are newly acquired structures that permit the performance of a new function and open new adaptive zones, and are, therefore, of paramount significance for understanding the history of the Ruminantia, particularly its diversification through the Miocene. Here we review and discuss what is known about these evolutionary novelties, with special emphasis on the appearance and evolution of cranial appendages and highcrowned (or hypsodont) teeth. Cranial appendages probably favored the diversification of pecorans by being structures strongly related to

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Dietary innovations spurred the diversification of ruminants during the Caenozoic

Global climate shifts and ecological flexibility are two major factors that may affect rates of speciation and extinction across clades. Here, we connect past climate to changes in diet and diversification dynamics of ruminant mammals. Using novel versions of Multi-State Speciation and Extinction models, we explore the most likely scenarios for evolutionary transitions among diets in this clade and ask whether ruminant lineages with different feeding styles (browsing, grazing and mixed feeding) underwent differential rates of diversification concomitant with global

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Chapter 14: Giraffidae

792 specimens attributed to the Giraffidae were recovered by the Eyasi Plateau Paleontological Expedition (EPPE) from the three Pliocene stratigraphic units at Laetoli, with Giraffa stillei the most common taxon in all three levels. Giraffids are notably well represented in the Upper Laetolil Beds, with further evidence gathered by EPPE for the three previously recognized species from this unit. In the Lower Laetolil Beds Giraffa stillei is provisionally identified, as is Sivatherium. A third, large giraffid species may also be

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The running kinematics of free-roaming giraffes, measured using a low cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

The study of animal locomotion can be logistically challenging, especially in the case of large or unhandleable animals in uncontrolled environments. Here we demonstrate the utility of a low cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in measuring two-dimensional running kinematics from free-roaming giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) in the Free State Province, South Africa. We collected 120 Hz video of running giraffes, and calibrated each video frame using metatarsal length as a constant object of scale. We tested a number of methods

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A complete phylogeny of the whales, dolphins and even-toed hoofed mammals (Cetartiodactyla)

Despite the biological and economic importance of the Cetartiodactyla, the phylogeny of this clade remains controversial. Using the supertree approach of matrix representation with parsimony, we present the first phylogeny to include all 290 extant species of the Cetacea (whales and dolphins) and Artiodactyla (even-toed hoofed mammals). At the family-level, the supertree is fully resolved. For example, the relationships among the Ruminantia appear as (((Cervidae, Moschidae) Bovidae) (Giraffidae, Antilocapridae) Tragulidae). However, due to either lack of phylogenetic study or contradictory

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A complete estimate of the phylogenetic relationships in Ruminantia: a dated species-level supertree of the extant ruminants

This paper presents the first complete estimate of the phylogenetic relationships among all 197 species of extant and recently extinct ruminants combining morphological, ethological and molecular information. The composite tree is derived by applying matrix representation using parsimony analysis to 164 previous partial estimates, and is remarkably well resolved, containing 159 nodes (>80% of the potential nodes in the completely resolved phylogeny). Bremer decay index has been used to indicate the degree of certainty associated with each clade. The ages

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Evolution of ruminant headgear: a review

The horns, ossicones and antlers of ruminants are familiar and diverse examples of cranial appendages. We collectively term ruminant cranial appendages ‘headgear’; this includes four extant forms: antlers (in cervids), horns (in bovids), pronghorns (in pronghorn antelope) and ossicones (in giraffids). Headgear evolution remains an open and intriguing question because phylogenies (molecular and morphological), adult headgear structure and headgear development (where data are available) all suggest different pictures of ruminant evolution. We discuss what is known about the evolution of

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