MECANICA MASTICATORlA DE STEGOTHERlUM TESSELLATUM AMEGHINO (MAMMALIA, XENARTHRA) DEL MIOCENO DE SANTA CRUZ (ARGENTINA). ALGUNOS ASPECTOS PALEOECOLOGICOS RELACIONADOS.

Sergio F. Vizcaino

Abstract


The peculiar long-nosed and almost edentulous armadillo Stegotherium tessellatum was studied in order to establish its masticatory mechanics and food habits. It was compared with the living Xenarthra Dasypus, Priodontes and Myrmecophaga. Analysis of both the cranio-mandibular joint and the insertion of the muscles indicates that jaw movements were chiefly anterioposteriorly directed. The reduction of teeth and the elongated rostrum suggest a myrmecophagous diet. The presence of this ant-eater armadillo support the idea of a warm climate.

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