Kurtén Club 10.5.

Dear all,

next Tuesday, Pam Gill will give a talk about

Inside and out: what can we learn from the jaws of two basal mammals?

Time & Loc.:
16.00, 10.5.2011, C108 Physicum

We plan to go for a meal afterwards and all are welcome.

Title: Inside and out: what can we learn from the jaws of two basal mammals?

Abstract: Mesozoic mammals are traditionally viewed as small, generalized insectivores, but recent exceptionally preserved fossils hint at much greater evolutionary diversity. Despite these discoveries, Mesozoic mammals are still overwhelmingly represented by lower jaws or isolated teeth, so can these more incomplete remains also reveal niche separation? Late Triassic-Early Jurassic fissure fills located in Glamorgan, Wales, offer a unique window into the evolution of Mesozoic mammals, containing abundant fragmented remains of two of the first insectivorous mammals, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium. High definition synchrotron radiation XμCT (SRXTM) revealed internal detail and a 3-step functional approach of lever mechanics, finite element analysis (FEA) and tooth microwear analysis was used to tease out evidence for very early ecomorphological diversity in mammals, even amongst insectivores.

Dr Pam Gill lectures and researches in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK. Her research is focused on the early mammals from the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic; a time when critical changes were occurring to the jaw joint and dentition. Her main focus involves the basal mammals Kuehneotherium and Morganucodon, and she is particularly interested in how the selective pressures of feeding influenced mandibular evolution in these mammals and what biomechanics can tell us about why the jaw may have evolved in a particular manner.