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The earliest-known mammaliaform fossil from Greenland sheds light on origin of mammals
Polish Acad Sci, Inst Paleobiol, PL-00818 Warsaw, Poland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8839-2736
Warsaw Univ Technol, Inst Aeronaut & Appl Mech, Fac Power & Aeronaut Engn, PL-00665 Warsaw, Poland.
Univ Warsaw, Biol & Chem Res Ctr, Fac Biol, Dept Paleobiol & Evolut, PL-02089 Warsaw, Poland.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3358-9539
Polish Acad Sci, Inst Paleobiol, PL-00818 Warsaw, Poland; Univ Oxford, Dept Earth Sci, Oxford OX1 3AN, England.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6336-8916
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2020 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 117, no 43, p. 26861-26867Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Synapsids are unique in having developed multirooted teeth and complex occlusions. These innovations evolved in at least two lineages of mammaliamorphs (Tritylodontidae and Mammaliaformes). Triassic fossils demonstrate that close to the origins of mammals, mammaliaform precursors were "experimenting" with tooth structure and function, resulting in novel patterns of occlusion. One of the most surprising examples of such adaptations is present in the haramiyidan Glade, which differed from contemporary mammaliaforms in having two rows of cusps on molariform crowns adapted to omnivorous/herbivorous feeding. However, the origin of the multicusped tooth pattern present in haramiyidans has remained enigmatic. Here we describe the earliest-known mandibular fossil of a mammaliaform with double molariform roots and a crown with two rows of cusps from the Late Triassic of Greenland. The crown morphology is intermediate between that of morganucodontans and haramiyidans and suggests the derivation of the multicusped molariforms of haramiyidans from the triconodont molar pattern seen in morganucodontids. Although it is remarkably well documented in the fossil record, the significance of tooth root division in mammaliaforms remains enigmatic. The results of our biomechanical analyses (finite element analysis [FEA]) indicate that teeth with two roots can better withstand stronger mechanical stresses like those resulting from tooth occlusion, than teeth with a single root.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 117, no 43, p. 26861-26867
Keywords [en]
Greenland, Late Triassic, mammaliaform, multirooted tooth, complex occlusion
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
SWEDARCTIC; SWEDARCTIC 2016, Östra Grönland 2016
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8770DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2012437117ISI: 000582743300044PubMedID: 33046636OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8770DiVA, id: diva2:1605915
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Swedish Research Council, 2017-05248Available from: 2020-12-02 Created: 2021-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Sulej, TomaszTalanda, MateuszWolniewicz, Andrzej S.Sienkiewicz, MaksymilianNiedzwiedzki, Grzegorz
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