Thalassocnus on The Loom

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An aquatic sloth?

Skull of Thalassocnus yaucensis, sp. nov., holotype, MUSM 37 in lateral (A), ventral (B), dorsal (C), views; mandible in lateral left (D) and dorsal (E) views.

Carl Zimmer has the details. This is very cool—yet another series of transitional fossils, showing a set of Peruvian sloths, of all things, that adapted to an aquatic lifestyle over the course of several million years.

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We like to think of boundaries as being clear-cut borders, but at least in the biological world they generally turn out to be fuzzy zones of change. The line between land and sea is my own favorite example. Last summer... Read More



What paper is that figure from?

That figure is from:

De Muizon C, McDonald G, Salas R, Urbina M (2004) The youngest species of the aquatic sloth Thalassocnus and a reassessment of the relationships of the nothrothere sloths (Mammalia: Xenartha). J Vert Paleo 24(2)387-397.

Are there any disputes or disagreements about this fossil in the literature? Do all paleontologist consider this fella to be clearly transitional?


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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on June 21, 2004 5:38 PM.

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