Skeleton of the Oldest Known Pinniped, Enaliarctos mealsi

@article{Berta1989SkeletonOT,
  title={Skeleton of the Oldest Known Pinniped, Enaliarctos mealsi},
  author={A. Berta and C. Ray and A. Wyss},
  journal={Science},
  year={1989},
  volume={244},
  pages={60 - 62}
}
A nearly complete skeleton of the archaic pinniped Enaliarctos, found in late Oligocene or early Miocene rocks (approximately 23 million years old) of California, provides new evidence on the origin of pinnipeds. Enaliarctos retains many primitive features expected in the hypothesized common ancestor of pinnipeds. Skeletal modifications seen in Enaliarctos document swimming adaptations and indicate that pinnipeds primitively used the axial skeleton and both fore and hindflippers as sources of… Expand
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The structure of the vertebral column, especially the long transverse processes on the lumbar vertebrae and loose-fitting zygapophyses, indicates that the spine was capable of considerable flexion and extension, and the limbs, modified as flippers with strongly developed bony processes and expanded areas for muscle attachment, provide evidence of their use in both aquatic and terrestrial locomotion. Expand
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