Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

A New Species of Docodon (Mammaliaformes: Docodonta) from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation and a Reassessment of Selected Craniodental Characters in Basal Mammaliaforms

  • Guillermo W. Rougier
  • Amir S. Sheth
  • Kenneth Carpenter
  • Lucas Appella-Guiscafre
  • Brian M. DavisEmail author
Original Paper


We describe a new species of the basal mammaliaform Docodon, D. apoxys, sp. nov., represented by three nearly complete dentaries from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of central Colorado. This species differs from other known species of Docodon in the relative heights of the principal molar cusps and in the size of the distal molars. In addition, we attribute a partial rostrum preserving much of the maxilla and most of the premaxilla, bearing a complete incisor and premolar count, to Docodon sp. These materials supply previously unknown morphology for this classic North American Jurassic taxon, and help establish a common morphology for Docodonta as a whole. While Docodon differs from the Portuguese docodont Haldanodon in the presence of only five upper incisors (none of which is entirely within the maxilla), an internarial bar is present in both taxa. The new specimens also unambiguously preserve a complete and undistorted angular process that differs conspicuously from the classical interpretation of the holotype of Docodon victor; this structure in docodonts closely resembles the angular process in australosphenidans and trechnotheres. We abandon the concept of a “pseudangular” process and we consider the angular process to be a homologous feature (where present) across Mammaliaformes.


Docodonta Mammaliaformes Angular process Jurassic Morrison North America 



We would like to thank Richard Stucky (Denver Museum of Nature and Science) for access to the docodont material central to this study. Michael Eisenback assisted with imaging, and Jade Bilyeu assisted with illustrations (both University of Louisville). Zhe-Xi Luo and an anonymous reviewer provided helpful comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by NSF grants DEB 0946430 and DEB 1068089 to GWR.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo W. Rougier
    • 1
  • Amir S. Sheth
    • 1
  • Kenneth Carpenter
    • 3
  • Lucas Appella-Guiscafre
    • 2
  • Brian M. Davis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anatomical Sciences and NeurobiologyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.University of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Prehistoric MuseumUtah State University EasternPriceUSA

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