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Comparative anatomy and phylogenetic contribution of intracranial osseous canals and cavities in armadillos and glyptodonts (Xenarthra, Cingulata)


Le Verger, Kévin; González Ruiz, Laureano R; Billet, Guillaume (2021). Comparative anatomy and phylogenetic contribution of intracranial osseous canals and cavities in armadillos and glyptodonts (Xenarthra, Cingulata). Journal of Anatomy, 239(6):1473-1502.

Abstract

The evolutionary history of the Cingulata, as for many groups, remains a highly debated topic to this day, particularly for one of their most emblematic representatives: the glyptodonts. There is no consensus among morphological and molecular phylogenies regarding their position within Cingulata. As demonstrated by recent works, the study of the internal anatomy constitutes a promising path for enriching morphological matrices for the phylogenetic study of armadillos. However, internal cranial anatomy remains understudied in the Cingulata. Here we explored and compared the anatomy of intracranial osseous canals and cavities in a diverse sample of extant and extinct cingulates, including the earliest well-preserved glyptodont crania. The virtual 3D reconstruction (using X-ray microtomography) of selected canals, that is, the nasolacrimal canal, the palatine canal, the sphenopalatine canal, the canal for the frontal diploic vein, the transverse canal, the orbitotemporal canal, the canal for the capsuloparietal emissary vein and the posttemporal canal, and alveolar cavities related to cranial vascularization, innervation or tooth insertion allowed us to compare the locations, trajectories, and shape of these structures and to discuss their potential interest for cingulate systematics. We tentatively reconstructed evolutionary scenarios for eight selected traits related to these structures in which glyptodonts often showed a close resemblance to pampatheres, to the genus Proeutatus, and/or to chlamyphorines. This latter pattern was partly congruent with recent molecular hypotheses, but more research is needed on these resemblances and on the potential effects of development and allometry on the observed variations. Overall, these comparisons have enabled us to highlight new anatomical variation that may be of great interest to further explore the evolutionary history of cingulates and the origins of glyptodonts on a morphological basis.

Abstract

The evolutionary history of the Cingulata, as for many groups, remains a highly debated topic to this day, particularly for one of their most emblematic representatives: the glyptodonts. There is no consensus among morphological and molecular phylogenies regarding their position within Cingulata. As demonstrated by recent works, the study of the internal anatomy constitutes a promising path for enriching morphological matrices for the phylogenetic study of armadillos. However, internal cranial anatomy remains understudied in the Cingulata. Here we explored and compared the anatomy of intracranial osseous canals and cavities in a diverse sample of extant and extinct cingulates, including the earliest well-preserved glyptodont crania. The virtual 3D reconstruction (using X-ray microtomography) of selected canals, that is, the nasolacrimal canal, the palatine canal, the sphenopalatine canal, the canal for the frontal diploic vein, the transverse canal, the orbitotemporal canal, the canal for the capsuloparietal emissary vein and the posttemporal canal, and alveolar cavities related to cranial vascularization, innervation or tooth insertion allowed us to compare the locations, trajectories, and shape of these structures and to discuss their potential interest for cingulate systematics. We tentatively reconstructed evolutionary scenarios for eight selected traits related to these structures in which glyptodonts often showed a close resemblance to pampatheres, to the genus Proeutatus, and/or to chlamyphorines. This latter pattern was partly congruent with recent molecular hypotheses, but more research is needed on these resemblances and on the potential effects of development and allometry on the observed variations. Overall, these comparisons have enabled us to highlight new anatomical variation that may be of great interest to further explore the evolutionary history of cingulates and the origins of glyptodonts on a morphological basis.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Paleontology
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Anatomy
Health Sciences > Histology
Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Developmental Biology
Life Sciences > Cell Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Histology, Anatomy
Language:English
Date:1 December 2021
Deposited On:06 Jan 2022 16:38
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:47
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0021-8782
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.13512
PubMed ID:34275130