Eurotamandua

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Eurotamandua
Temporal range: Early Eocene, 47 Ma
Eurotamandua joresi 1.jpg
Fossil
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Family: Eurotamanduidae
Genus: Eurotamandua
Storch, 1981
Type species
Eurotamandua joresi
Storch, 1981

Eurotamandua ('European tamandua') is an extinct genus of mammal that lived some 47 million years ago, during the early Eocene.

Life reconstruction of Eurotamandua joresi

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).[1] While a distinct taxon, it is possible that Eomanis krebsi is also not a pangolin and belongs to this same group.[2]

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.[3] The generic name comments on the strong, albeit possibly superficial resemblance to modern arboreal anteaters of the genus Tamandua, especially with its long, prehensile tail.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Horovitz, Ines et al. 2005. Ankle structure in Eocene pholidotan mammal Eomanis krebsi and its taxonomic implications. Acta Palaeontol. Pol. 50 (3): 545–548
  3. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 209. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 

External links[edit]

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