STL Science Center

STL Science Center

01 December 2017

Rodents of North America

Reconstruction of the skull of
H. andersontau from Korth 1992
The final animal this week is a small rodent known as Hitonkala contains two species: H. andersontau Macdonald 1963 and H. macdonaldtau Korth 1992. The meaning of the name is very straightforward for this animal. Though some of the other species we saw this week had names that were multi-part translations, Hitonkala simply means "mouse" in Sioux. Hitonkala andersontau is known from isolated teeth and four skulls and H. macdonaldtau, however, is known from a fairly large collection of skulls, teeth, and mandibles. The descriptions of both Macdonald and Kroth detail the teeth in minute detail, but there is not as much description space dedicated to the skulls or any of the postcranial material (I have not found any described at all unfortunately).

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