Brian Beatty

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Metriorhynchidae was a peculiar but long-lived group of marine Mesozoic crocodylomorphs adapted to a pelagic lifestyle. Recent discoveries show that metriorhynchids evolved a wide range of craniodental morphotypes and inferred feeding strategies. One genus, Dakosaurus, is arguably the most aberrant marine crocodylomorph due to its large, robust, ziphodont(More)
Carcharocles megalodon ("Megalodon") is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.9-2.6 Ma). Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex(More)
Modern crocodylians, including Alligator mississippiensis, have a greatly elaborated system of pneumatic sinuses invading the cranium. These sinuses invade nearly all the bones of the chondrocranium and several bony elements of the splanchnocranium, but patterns of postnatal paratympanic sinus development are poorly understood and documented. Much of(More)
Whales repetitively dive deep to feed and should be susceptible to decompression syndrome, though they are not known to suffer the associated pathologies. Avascular osteonecrosis has been recognized as an indicator of diving habits of extinct marine amniotes. Vertebrae of 331 individual modern and 996 fossil whales were subjected to macroscopic and(More)
As the largest known vertebrates of all time, mysticetes depend on keratinous sieves called baleen to capture enough small prey to sustain their enormous size [1]. The origins of baleen are controversial: one hypothesis suggests that teeth were lost during a suction-feeding stage of mysticete evolution and that baleen evolved thereafter [2-4], whereas(More)
Pampatheriidae are a group of cingulates native to South American that are known from the middle Miocene to the lower Holocene. Two genera have been recognized between the lower Pleistocene and the lower Holocene: Pampatherium Gervais and Ameghino (Ensenadan, Bonaerian and Lujanian, lower Pleistocene-lower Holocene) and Holmesina Simpson (Blancan,(More)
Most living and fossil sea cows of the subfamily Dugonginae (Dugongidae, Sirenia, Mammalia) are characterized by large upper incisor tusks, which are thought to play an important role (at least primitively) in feeding on seagrass rhizomes. Testing this hypothesis is difficult, because the only extant tusked sirenian (Dugong dugon) is morphologically and(More)
Here we report a tooth of a large archosauriform from the Upper Triassic of New Mexico, USA that displays developmental anomalies of carina formation. This tooth has two supernumerary carinae, both on the lingual side of the tooth. Previously, carina anomalies of this sort were primarily known from theropod dinosaurs, but always from the labial surface.(More)
Miocene baleen whales were highly diverse and included tens of genera. However, their taxonomy and phylogeny, as well as relationships with living whales, are still a subject of controversy. Here, "Mesocetus" argillarius, a poorly known specimen from Denmark, is redescribed with a focus on the cranial anatomy. It was found to represent not only a new genus,(More)
Sthenurine kangaroos (Marsupialia, Diprotodontia, Macropodoidea) were an extinct subfamily within the family Macropodidae (kangaroos and rat-kangaroos). These "short-faced browsers" first appeared in the middle Miocene, and radiated in the Plio-Pleistocene into a diversity of mostly large-bodied forms, more robust than extant forms in their build. The(More)