Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM
FIRST RECORD OF SEXUAL DIMORPHISM IN A FOSSIL TAPIR (T. POLKENSIS) FROM THE GRAY FOSSIL SITE, NORTHEASTERN TN, USA
Many mammal groups display sexual dimorphism either in size or shape of certain osteological features. Tapirs, long considered to be living fossils, are an exception to this claim as no sexual dimorphism has been recorded in the osteology of either modern or fossil taxa. The large sample of fossil tapirs recovered from the Mio-Pliocene Gray Fossil Site presents an opportunity to look for sexually dimorphic characters within a single species. Linear measurements of cranial and post-cranial material were collected from twenty-five individual tapirs from the GFS so that sexual dimorphism could be evaluated. Here we present on one character within the pelvis which exhibited a bimodal distribution and its possible correlation to pregnancy and birthing. One specimen at GFS was a pregnant female with fetus in situ, and could be used as a proxy to classify sex in T. polkensis.