Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another skeletal reconstruction

Here's another skeletal reconstruction I've done. This time, it's of the large Middle-Late Miocene pinniped Allodesmus.
Allodesmus is a genus of very large sea lion-like pinniped. This is based on a skeletal mount of Allodesmus kernensis from the Middle Miocene Sharktooth Hill Bonebed of Central California. Allodesmus is known from the early Middle Miocene of California (Allodesmus packardi, found near Stanford University) and even the early Late Miocene of California (Santa Cruz County). Several species of Allodesmus have also been recovered from Baja California, the late Miocene of Washington state, and Japan. Thus, it appeared that Allodesmus had a circum-North Pacific distribution for a substantial chunk of the Miocene.

Allodesmus kernensis was approximately 10' long, and about in the size range of extant Steller's Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus). It is placed in the extinct family Desmatophocidae, which it shares with the much smaller Desmatophoca, two species of which are known from the early and middle Miocene of Oregon and Washington.


wfr.woman said...

I just stumbled onto your blog while I was trying to find instructions on skeletal reconstruction for my Mammalogy class. This is really cool! How did you get into this type of research?

Robert Boessenecker said...

Thanks! It took a few minutes to find which post you had commented on, this is a relatively old one.

I got into studying fossil marine vertebrates by digging up shark teeth and marine mammal bones/teeth in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains; prior to that I was interested in dinosaurs, like all little paleontology nerds.