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Anatomy, Relationships, and Paleobiology of Cambaytherium (Mammalia, Perissodactylamorpha, Anthracobunia) from the lower Eocene of western India Project ID: 00000C750 Public
210 Media · 95 Specimens · Managed by: Rachel Dunn

The anatomy of Cambaytherium, a primitive, perissodactyl-like mammal from the lower Eocene Cambay Shale Formation of Gujarat, India, is described in detail on the basis of more than 350 specimens that represent almost the entire dentition and the skeleton. Cambaytherium combines plesiomorphic traits typical of archaic ungulates such as phenacodontids with derived traits characteristic of early perissodactyls. Cambaytherium was a subcursorial animal better adapted for running than phenacodontids but less specialized than early perissodactyls. The cheek teeth are bunodont with large upper molar conules, not lophodont as in early perissodactyls, like perissodactyls, however, the lower molars have twinned metaconids and m3 has an extended hypoconulid lobe. A steep wear gradient with heavy wear in the middle of the tooth row suggests an abrasive herbivorous diet. Three species of Cambaytherium are recognized: C. thewissi (∼23 kg), C. gracilis (∼10 kg), and C. marinus (∼99 kg). Body masses were estimated from tooth size and long bone dimensions. Biostratigraphic and isotopic evidence indicates an age of ca. 54.5 Ma for the Cambay Shale vertebrate fauna, the oldest Cenozoic continental vertebrate assemblage from India, near or prior to the initial collision with Asia. Cambaytheriidae (also including Nakusia and Perissobune) and Anthracobunidae are sister taxa, constituting the clade Anthracobunia, which is sister to Perissodactyla. We unite them in a new higher taxon, Perissodactylamorpha. The antiquity and occurrence of Cambaytherium—the most primitive known perissodactylamorph—in India near or before its collision with Asia suggest that Perissodactyla evolved during the Paleocene on the Indian Plate or in peripheral areas of southern or southwestern Asia.

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  ID Part Object Taxonomy Type Date Added Publication Status  
000083512 Skull gu:730 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-23 Open Download  
000083514 wihg:wif/a:4216 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-23 Open Download  
000083529 gu:402 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-23 Open Download  
000083540 gu:1701 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-23 Open Download  
000083645 axis gu:7003 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-24 Open Download  
000083648 gu:775 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-24 Open Download  
000083646 axis gu:7003 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-24 Open Download  
000083822 caudal vertebra gu:8017 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-26 Open Download  
000083825 canine gu:10 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-26 Open Download  
000083830 canine gu:792 Cambaytherium thewissi Mesh 2019-07-26 Open Download  
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