Advertisement

Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 285–298 | Cite as

Investigation into the Paleobiology of Dasypus bellus Using Geometric Morphometrics and Variation of the Calcaneus

  • Steven E. Jasinski
  • Steven C. Wallace
Original Paper

Abstract

The extinct taxon Dasypus bellus has long been considered identical to the extant Dasypus novemcinctus osteologically when disregarding allometric differences. In this study, we undertake a preliminary investigation into this extinct taxon and an extant relative D. novemcinctus, by comparing the calcanea of these two dasypodids. Clear osteological differences are observed including a mediolaterally-reduced facet region, an anteriorly-shortened calcaneal head, a reduced peroneal process, and a curved and dorsoventrally-shortened calcaneal foot in D. bellus. Such characters are not allometric and likely correlate to distinct behavioral differences. Specifically, we suggest that D. novemcinctus maintains a more fossorial lifestyle, while the larger D. bellus was likely more terrestrial, with potentially little digging behavior. Such lifestyle differences could not only explain the osteological differences present, but also why fossils of D. bellus have been recovered farther north than the present range of D. novemcinctus. Fossils of Dasypus may need to be re-evaluated to determine how these two taxa relate temporally and geographically, which may have further implications regarding some past interpretations and provide new details on the behavior and potential relationships between these (and other) xenarthrans.

Keywords

Dasypus Xenarthra Geometric morphometrics Calcaneus Evolutionary morphology Allometry 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Sandra Swift and Blaine Schubert for help with the specimens and discussions involving this manuscript; Jun Ebersole and the McWane Science Center for loaning RMM 6356 for study; Sharon Holte for discussion of ACb-3 cave; and the individuals who collected the material, including “ME” who is listed as having collected RMM 6356 on June 19, 1987. Eric Lynch and Anneke van Heteren both provided help with MorphoJ and analyses. The editor John R. Wible and four anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments and suggestions that greatly improved this manuscript. This research was also supported in part by the National Science Foundation (EAR-0958985).

Supplementary material

10914_2013_9239_MOESM1_ESM.doc (106 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 106 kb)

References

  1. Audubon JJ, Bachman J (1854) Quadrupeds of North America. Vol 3. George R. Lockwood, New York, 349 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Bassarova M, Janis CM, Archer M (2009) The calcaneum–On the heels of marsupial locomotion. J Mammal Evol 16:1–23Google Scholar
  3. Biewener AA (1989) Mammalian terrestrial locomotion and size. BioScience 39:776–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biewener AA (1990) Biomechanics of mammalian terrestrial locomotion. Science 250:1097–1103CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Biewener AA (2005) Biomechanical consequences of scaling. J Exp Biol 208:1665–1676CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Blackburn TM, Gaston KJ, Loder N (1999) Geographic gradients in body size: a clarification of Bergmann’s Rule. Divers and Distrib 5:165–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bookstein FL (1991) Morphometric Tools for Landmark Data: Geometry and Bioogy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 435 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Campione NE, Evans DC (2011) Cranial growth and variation in edmontosaurs (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae): implications for latest Cretaceous megaherbivore diversity in North America. PLoS ONE 6(9):e25186PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cardini A, O’Higgins P (2004) Patterns of morphological evolution in Marmota (Rodentia, Sciuridae): geometric morphometrics of the cranium in the context of marmot phylogeny, ecology and conservation. Bio J Linn Soc 82:385–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carrano MT (1997) Morphological indicators of foot posture in mammals: a statistical and biomechanical analysis. Zool J Linn Soc 121:77–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carrano MT (1998) Locomotion in non-avian dinosaurs: integrating data from hindlimb kinematics, in vivo strains, and bone morphology. Paleobiology 24:450–469Google Scholar
  12. Christiansen P (1999) Long bone scaling and limb posture in non-avian theropods: evidence for differential allometry. J Vertebr Paleontol 19(4):666–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Christiansen P (2002) Mass allometry of the appendicular skeleton in terrestrial mammals. J Morphol 251:195–209CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Currie PJ (2003) Allometric growth in tyrannosaurids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of North America and Asia. Can J Earth Sci 40:651–665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dodson P (1975) Taxonomic implications of relative growth in lambeosaurine dinosaurs. Syst Zool 24:37–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eichler SE, Gaudin TJ (2011) New records of the nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, in southeast Tennessee, and their implications. Edentata 12:7–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Elewa AMT (ed) (2004) Morphometrics: Applications in Biology and Paleontology. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 277 pGoogle Scholar
  18. Guilday JE, Hamilton HW, Anderson E, Parmalee, PW (1978) The Baker Bluff Cave deposit, Tennessee, and the late Pleistocene faunal gradient. Bull Carnegie Mus Nat Hist 11:1–67Google Scholar
  19. Hoffstetter R (1958) Xenarthra. In: Piveteau J (ed) Traité de Paléontologie. Paris, Masson et Cie, pp 535–636Google Scholar
  20. Hofmann JE (2009) Records of nine–banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus, in Illinois. Trans Ill State Acad Sci 102:95–106Google Scholar
  21. Hulbert RC, Jr., Pratt AE (1998) New Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) vertebrate faunas from coastal Georgia. J Vertebr Paleontol 18(2):412–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Humphrey S (1974) Zoogeography of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) in the United States. BioScience 24:457–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klippel WE, Parmalee PW (1984) Armadillos in North American late Pleistocene contexts. In: Genoways HH, Dawson MR (eds) Contributions in Quaternary Vertebrate Paleontology: A Volume In Memorial To John E. Guilday. Carnegie Mus Nat Hist Spec Pub 8: 149–160Google Scholar
  24. Kurtén B, Anderson E (1980) Pleistocene Mammals of North America. Columbia University Press, New York, 442 pGoogle Scholar
  25. Layne JN (2003) Armadillo: Dasypus novemcinctus. In: Feldhammer GA, Thompson BC, Chapman JA (eds) Wild Mammals in North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 75–97Google Scholar
  26. Letts B, Shapiro B (2010) The recovery of ancient DNA from Dasypus bellus provides new possibilities for investigating late Pleistocene mammal response to climate change. Geophys Res Abstr 12:14443Google Scholar
  27. Letts B, Shapiro B (2012) Case study: ancient DNA recovered from Pleistocene-age remains of a Florida armadillo. In: Shapiro B, Hofreiter M (eds) Ancient DNA: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press, New York, 259 pGoogle Scholar
  28. Loughry WJ, McDonough CM (2013) The Nine-Banded Armadillo: A Natural History. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 344 pGoogle Scholar
  29. McBee K, Baker RJ (1982) Dasypus novemcinctus. Mammal Spec 162:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McDonald HG, Naples VL (2008) Xenarthra. In: Janis CM, Gunnell GF, Uhen MD (eds) Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America: Volume 2, Small Mammals, Xenarthrans, and Marine Mammals. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 147–160Google Scholar
  31. McNab BK (1980) Energetics and the limits to a temperature distribution in armadillos. J Mammal 61:606–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Meiri S (2011) Bergmann’s Rule – what’s in a name? Global Ecol Biogeogr 20:203–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Meiri S, Dayan T (2003) On the validity of Bergmann’s Rule. J Biogeogr 30:331–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Polly PD, MacLeod N (2008) Locomotion in fossil Carnivora: an application of eigensurface analysis for morphometric comparison of 3D surfaces. Palaeontol Electron 11: 10A, 13pGoogle Scholar
  35. Rhodes RS II (1984) Paleoecology and regional paleoclimatic implications of the Farmdalian Craigmile and Woodfordian Waubonsie mammalian local faunas. Illinois St Mus Rept Inv 40:1–51Google Scholar
  36. Rincon AD, White RS, McDonald HG (2008) Late Pleistocene cingulates (Mammalia: Xenarthra) from Mene de Inciarte tar pits, Sierra de Perija, western Venezuela. J Vertebr Paleontol 28:197–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Robertson JS, Jr (1976) Latest Pliocene mammals from Haile XV A, Alachua County, Florida. Bull Florida State Mus Bio Sci Ser 20:111–186Google Scholar
  38. Rohlf FJ (2004a) tpsSuper, superimposition, image unwarping, and averaging, version 1.14. Department of Ecology and Evolution. State University of New York at Stony BrookGoogle Scholar
  39. Rohlf FJ (2004b) tpsSplin, thin-plate spline, version 1.20. Department of Ecology and Evolution. State University of New York at Stony BrookGoogle Scholar
  40. Rohlf FJ (2010a) tpsDig2, digitize landmarks and outlines, version 2.16. Department of Ecology and Evolution. State University of New York at Stony BrookGoogle Scholar
  41. Rohlf FJ (2010b) tpsUtil, file utility program, version 1.46. Department of Ecology and Evolution. State University of New York at Stony BrookGoogle Scholar
  42. Schubert BW, Graham RW (2000) Terminal Pleistocene armadillo (Dasypus) remains from the Ozark Plateau, Missouri, USA. PaleoBios 20:1–6Google Scholar
  43. Slaughter BH (1961) The significance of Dasypus bellus (Simpson) in Pleistocene local faunas. Texas J Sci 13:311–315Google Scholar
  44. Szalay FS (1994) Evolutionary History of the Marsupials and an Analysis of Osteological Characters. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 496 pGoogle Scholar
  45. Taulman JF, Robbins LW (1996) Recent range expansion and distributional limits of the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) in the United States. J Biogeogr 23:635–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Van Deelen TR, Parrish, JD, Heske, EJ (2002) A nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) from central Illinois. Southwest Nat 47:489–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. van Heteren AH, MacLarnon A, Rae TC, Soligo C (2009) Cave bears and their closest living relatives: a 3D geometric morphometrical approach to the functional morphology of the cave bear Ursus spelaeus. Slov Kras Acta Carsologica Slovaca 47:33–46Google Scholar
  48. van Heteren AH, MacLarnon A, Soligo C, Rae TC (2012) 3D geometric morphometrical analyses of intraspecific variation in the mandible of Ursus spelaeus from the Alpine region. Braunschw Naturkundliche Schr 11:111–128Google Scholar
  49. Vizcaíno SF, Bargo MS, Fariña RA (2008) Form, function, and paleobiology in xenarthrans. In: Vizcaino SF, Loughry WJ (eds) The Biology of the Xenarthra. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, pp 86–99Google Scholar
  50. Vizcaíno SF, Fariña RA (1997) Diet and locomotion of the armadillo Peltephilus: a new view. Lethaia 30:79–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vizcaíno SF, Fariña RA, Mazzetta G (1999) Ulnar dimensions and fossoriality in armadillos and other South American mammals. Acta Theriol 44:309–320Google Scholar
  52. Vizcaíno SF, Milne N (2002) Structure and function in armadillo limbs (Mammalia: Xenarthra: Dasypodidae). J Zool 257:117–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Vizcaíno SF, Milne N, Bargo MS (2003) Limb reconstruction of Eutatus seguini (Mammalia, Dasypodidae): paleobiological implications. Ameghiniana 40:89–101Google Scholar
  54. Voorhies MR (1987) Fossil armadillos in Nebraska: the northernmost record. Southwest Nat 32:237–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Webb SD (1974) Chronology of Florida Pleistocene mammals. In: Webb SD (ed) Pleistocene Mammals in Florida. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, pp 5–31Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences and Don Sundquist Center of Excellence in PaleontologyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Section of Paleontology and Geology, State Museum of PennsylvaniaHarrisburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geosciences and Don Sundquist Center of Excellence in PaleontologyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

Personalised recommendations