Palaeoecology of Oligo-Miocene macropodoids determined from craniodental and calcaneal data

Christine Janis, John Damuth, Kenny Travouillon, Borja Figueirido, Michael Archer, Suzanne Hand

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Analyses of craniodental and calcaneal material of extant macropodoids show that both dietary and locomotor types are statistically distinguishable. Application of the craniodental data to fossil macropodoids from the Oligo-Miocene of South Australia (Lake Eyre Basin) and Queensland (Riversleigh World Heritage Area) shows that these taxa were omnivores or browsers. Specialized folivorous browsers were more prevalent in the Queensland deposits than in those of South Australia, suggesting more mesic conditions in the former. The calcaneal data showed that the Oligo-Miocene taxa clustered with extant generalized hoppers, in contrast to prior speculation that balbarids were quadrupedal rather than bipedal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-232
Number of pages23
JournalMemoirs of Museum Victoria
Volume74
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Papers on Palaeontology Honouring Thomas H. Rich

Keywords

  • Macropodoidea
  • Palaeoecology
  • Riversleigh
  • Lake Eyre Basin
  • craniodental measurements
  • dietary behaviour
  • calcaneal measurements
  • locomotion

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