Vintana sertichi is a sudamericid gondwanatherian mammal known only from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation in the Mahajanga Basin of northwestern Madagascar. It is based on a single specimen, a well-preserved and virtually complete cranium discovered in 2010 near Lac Kinkony. The cranium is superficially bizarre and constitutes the only cranial remains of the poorly known, phylogenetically enigmatic Gondwanatheria, which are otherwise known only from isolated teeth and fragmentary dentaries. Gondwanatheria are represented by seven other monotypic genera assigned to two families (Ferugliotheriidae and Sudamericidae). Historically, this clade was assigned to Xenarthra, Paratheria (as a sister group to Xenarthra), Multituberculata, Allotheria (as a sister group to Multituberculata), Mammalia incertae sedis, and, most recently, back to Multituberculata or a close relative of Multituberculata. The craniodental evidence provided by Vintana supports inclusion in Sudamericidae, the monophyly of Gondwanatheria, and the position of Gondwanatheria as nested within or sister to Multituberculata. In addition to briefly reviewing the taxonomic composition and phylogenetic history of Gondwanatheria, this introductory chapter sets the stage for the other chapters in the volume by (1) briefly summarizing the inferred life habits of gondwanatherians; (2) reviewing the systematic paleontology of V. sertichi; and (3) providing overviews of the discovery of the holotypic specimen, its preservation, its preparation, and the imaging and measurement techniques used to study it. The chapter closes with an overview of the geological context of V. sertichi, which indicates that the species lived in a coastal floodplain environment and in a highly seasonal, semiarid climate.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.