Date of this Version
THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Number 3330, 24 pp.
The living Asian linsang, Prionodon pardicolor, shares marked anatomical similarities in basicranium and dentition with the extinct Oligocene aeluroid, Palaeoprionodon lamandini, from the Quercy fissures, France. The living African linsang, Poiana richardsoni, is similar yet slightly more derived in basicranial traits relative to Prionodon pardicolor, and also has basicranial and dental features indicating a relationship to the living genets (Genetta). The basicranial and auditory anatomy of a series Palaeoprionodon-Prionodon-Poiana can be interpreted as a morphocline showing the progressive alteration of the form of the petrosal and auditory bulla from the plesiomorphic aeluroid state in the Quercy fossils to a derived condition typical of the linsangs (Prionodon, Poiana) and living genets (Genetta). The basicranial anatomy of Genetta, including the structure of the petrosal and auditory bulla, is typical of other species of the Viverridae. The other lineages of living viverrids are believed to have undergone a similar transformation in their basicranial anatomical pattern from the plesiomorphic state present in Oligocene aeluroids, exemplified by Palaeoprionodon, to the modern patterns typical of the living subfamilies (including the endemic Malagasy viverrid genera).