Postcranial morphology and springing adaptations in Pedetidae from Arrisdrift, middle Miocene (Namibia).

Senut, Brigitte
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Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
Arrisdrift, an early Middle Miocene site in the Proto-Orange river deposits of Namibia, was excavated in the mid 1970s by Corvinus and since 1993 by the Namibia Palaeontology Expedition. These excavations resulted in the discovery of several postcranial elements of springhares. Generally, these appear to have been smaller than those of modem Pedetes capensis or P. surdaster, but more robust that those of the extant taxa. The Arrisdrift pedetid was larger than the lower Miocene Namibian species, Parapedetes namaquensis; must smaller and less robust than the lower Miocene East African species, Megapedetes pentadactylus; but larger than Pedetes laeroliensis from the Pliocene site of Laetoli (Tanzani a). The limb proportions, morphology of the proximal femur, distal tibia, astragalus and the calcaneum suggest that the pedetid from Arrisdrift was saltatorial, but to a lesser degree than modern springhares. lt exhibits features probably related to locomotor behaviour which are different from Parapedetes, Megapedetes and Pedetes suggest that they may represent a different genus in accordance with results of research on the cranio-dental remains (Me in & Senut, in prep.)
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Pedetidae, Middle Miocene, Namibia, post-cranial anatomy, Arrisdrift.