Eurotamandua

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Eurotamandua
Temporal range: Early to Middle Eocene
Eurotamandua joresi 1.jpg
Eurotamandua joresi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Afredentata
Family: Eurotamanduidae
Genus: Eurotamandua
Storch, 1978
species

E. joresi

Eurotamandua ('European tamandua') is an extinct genus of mammal that lived some 49 million years ago, during the early Eocene.

A single fossil is known, coming from the Messel Pit in southwestern Germany. It was about 90 cm (3 ft) long. It is often classified as a pangolin. When it was first discovered, it was originally thought to be an anteater, as it lacked the characteristic fused-hair scales of other pangolins. Eurotamandua's placement within the pangolins was made primarily because of a lack of the characteristic "xenarthran" joints found in all xenarthrans such as tamanduas. Eurotamandua may still be a stem xenarthran, but likely belongs to another group entirely, the Afredentata (probably part of Afrotheria). While a distinct taxon, it is possible that Eomanis krebsi is also not a pangolin and belongs to this same group (Horovitz et al. 2005).

Paleobiology[edit]

Eurotamandua bears characteristics found in almost all ant-eating mammals: long claws, a strongly elongated snout and most likely the same long, sticky tongue. Presumably it also fed on ants and termites.[1] Eurotamandua got its name because it strongly resembled modern arboreal anteaters of the genus Tamandua, especially with its long, prehensile tail.

In popular culture[edit]

Eurotamandua appeared briefly in Episode 1 of Walking with Beasts, live acted by a tamandua.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 209. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  • Horovitz, Ines et al. 2005. Ankle structure in Eocene pholidotan mammal Eomanis krebsi and its taxonomic implications. Acta Palaeontol. Pol. 50 (3): 545–548
  • Hunter, John P. and Janis, Christine M. 2006. Spiny Norman in the Garden of Eden? Dispersal and early biogeography of Placentalia. J Mammal Evol 13:89–123

External links[edit]

  • Online discussion of Eurotamandua relations [1]
  • Photo of fossil [2]