Morphology of the petrosal and stapes of Borealestes (Mammaliaformes, Docodonta) from the Middle Jurassic of Skye, Scotland - NMS Research Repository
Skip to main content
Shared Research Repository
Journal article

Morphology of the petrosal and stapes of Borealestes (Mammaliaformes, Docodonta) from the Middle Jurassic of Skye, Scotland

31 August 2018

Abstract

We describe, in unprecedented detail, the petros-als and stapes of the docodont Borealestes from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland, using high resolution lCT and phase- contrast synchrotron imaging. We describe the inner ear endocast and the vascularized interior structure of the pet-rosal, and provide the first endocranial view of a docodontan petrosal. Our study confirms some similarities in petrosal and stapedial morphology with the better known Haldan-odon of the Late Jurassic of Portugal, including: (1) the degree of curvature of the cochlea; (2) multiple features related to the highly pneumatized paroccipital region; (3) the shape of lateral trough, the fossa of the M. tensor tym-pani, and the ridge on the promontorium; (4) the round shape of the fenestra vestibuli; and (5) overall morphology of the stapes. But Borealestes differs from Haldanodon in having a bony ridge that separates the tympanic opening of the prootic canal, the secondary facial foramen and the hia-tus Fallopii, from the fenestra vestibuli. We identify two new vascular structures: the anterior and posterior trans-cochlear sinuses, which traverse the pars cochlearis around the cochlear nerve (VIII). These trans-cochlear sinuses have not been observed in previous docodont specimens, and could be an autapomorphy of Borealestes, or apomorphic for this clade. We also establish the anatomical relationship of the circum-promontorium plexus to the inner endocast. The high quality of our scans has made these structures visible for the first time.

Files

File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
c6db4c3d109c4459bf3aeabcc36c11a7.pdf
8 Jan 2019
Public
11.2 MB