The axial skeleton of Brachyodus onoideus (Mammalia, Anthracotheriidae): taxonomic and functional implications
Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, and Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Ciencias Sorbonne Université (CR2P, MNHN, CNRS, UPMC – Paris VI), 8, rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. email@example.com
Vertebrae of Brachyodus onoideus from Europe have never been described, yet several specimens have been curated in diverse museums for more than a century. The importance of the cervical vertebrae lies in the fact that they reveal that this species possessed a moderately elongated neck that in neutral posture was oriented upwards, somewhat as in some extant artiodactyls (Okapi, Eland and camels), unlike the low-slung head and neck posture of the two extant genera of hippopotamuses. The sacrum of Brachyodus is markedly different from those of Hippopotamus and Choeropsis. In morpho-functional terms it is closer to those of large ruminants and equids, indicating the possession of a less muscular tail than in hippos which wag their tails energetically during defecation.
Key words: Neurocranium, splanchnocranium, atlas, axis, sacrum, Anthracotheriidae, Hippopotamidae
How to cite: Pickford, M. 2022. The axial skeleton of Brachyodus onoideus (Mammalia, Anthracotheriidae): taxonomic and functional implications. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 37(1), 35-52.
Received 29 Nov 2021, Accepted 14 March 2022, Published online: 13 April 2022