“E” is for Elphidotarsius
Elphidotarsius is a member of the Family Carpolestidae, which means…
@paleololigo ummm, they get to use the HOV lane during rush hour? 😉
— Laura Kinsale (@LauraKinsale) March 21, 2013
…which is great, if you’re a carpolestid.
The Carpolestidae are part of the larger group Plesiadapiformes. The Plesiadapiformes are considered a sister group to modern ‘true’ primates. Others argue that the Plesiadapiformes are true primates. Most just say ‘archaic’ primates and dodge the whole argument. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter.
Carpolestids are interesting in that some possess a blade-like lower fourth premolar, similar to multituberculates. However, these mammals are clearly not multituberculates, based upon other features of the skull, teeth, and skeleton.
As a genus, Elphidotarsius is not very helpful for biostratigraphy in The Breaks, because it is known from the latest Torrejonian into the earliest Tiffanian.
Only one specimen is known from The Breaks. It comes from the overlap zone (very earliest Tiffanian).
This particular specimen I liked because it was completely dwarfed by the head of the pin to which it was glued. I also thought it looked a lot like a mitten.
Part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge.