Microwear in burrowing rodents

research7microwear

The study of microwear features on the enamel surface of mammalian teeth is widely used to reconstruct paleodiets of extinct mammals. Few of these prior studies have focused on rodents and those that did often focused on a single taxon or a few related taxa. We focused on mylagaulids and geomyids, two groups of extinct subterranean rodents present in the Great Basin during the Miocene. Knowledge of their diet will allow further investigation of the paleoecology of this peculiar family of fossil rodents.

The results of this research were presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Pittsburgh (2010) and are part of my M.S. thesis at the University of Oregon.

Collaborator: Samantha Hopkins

Great Basin Mylagaulidae

research5mylagaulids

Mylagaulids are abundant burrowing rodents in Miocene faunas from western North America. Recent taxonomic revisions of mylagaulids from the Great Plains suggest that their systematics may be best understood on a regional basis. Previous studies have addressed the taxonomy and evolutionary history of mylagaulids from the Great Basin, but recent discoveries of specimens, new phylogenetic data, and more detailed stratigraphic information necessitate a thorough reanalysis of their relationships and occurrences. We therefore present a revision of the systematics of the mylagaulids from the Great Basin.

The results of our research were presented at the Oregon Academy of Sciences annual meeting in Portland (2010) and are part of my M.S. thesis at the University of Oregon. The resulting paper is published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Calede J.J., and S.S.B. Hopkins. 2012. Intraspecific versus interspecific variation in Miocene Great Basin mylagaulids: implications for evolutionary history. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 164:427–450.
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Collaborator: Samantha Hopkins