J. Benoit

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We provide the first detailed description of the inner ear of the oldest artiodactyl, Diacodexis, based on a three-dimensional reconstruction extracted from computed tomography imagery of a skull of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Wasatchian age (ca. 55 Ma). This description provides new anatomical data for the earliest artiodactyls, and reveals that the bony(More)
A rich fossil record chronicles the distant origins of mammals, but the evolution of defining soft tissue characters of extant mammals, such as mammary glands and hairs is difficult to interpret because soft tissue does not readily fossilize. As many soft tissue features are derived from dermic structures, their evolution is linked to that of the nervous(More)
We report the discovery of three isolated primate petrosal fragments from the fossiliferous locality of Chambi (Tunisia), a primate-bearing locality dating from the late early to the early middle Eocene. These fossils display a suite of anatomical characteristics otherwise found only in strepsirhines, and as such might be attributed either to Djebelemur(More)
Virtually reconstructed and natural endocranial casts are used in the study of brain evolution through geological time. We here present work investigating the paleoneurological evolution of afrotherian mammals. Using microCT-generated endocasts we show that, with the exception of the subfamilies Macroscelidinae and Tenrecoidea, most Afroinsectiphilia(More)
Sea cows (manatees, dugongs) are the only living marine mammals to feed solely on aquatic plants. Unlike whales or dolphins (Cetacea), the earliest evolutionary history of sirenians is poorly documented, and limited to a few fossils including skulls and skeletons of two genera composing the stem family of Prorastomidae (Prorastomus and Pezosiren).(More)
Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma), has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective(More)
The third eye (pineal eye), an organ responsible for regulating exposure to sunlight in extant ectotherms, is located in an opening on the dorsal surface of the skull, the parietal foramen. The parietal foramen is absent in extant mammals but often observed in basal therapsids, the stem-group to true mammals. Here, we report the absence of the parietal(More)
Interest in the phylogeny of Macroscelididae (sengis or elephant shrews) has been prompted by molecular studies indicating that Elephantulus rozeti is best placed as the sister group of Petrodromus tetradactylus (this clade being in turn the sister taxon to Macroscelides proboscideus) than among other species of the genus Elephantulus. Until now, no(More)