Studying the dental pattern of micromammals has proven to be a valuable tool in classifying and identifying extinct species, but problems may arise when dental morphology changes with wear. This holds particularly true for the high-crowned rodents, such as the Spalacinae. X-ray microtomography provides new opportunities to document the changes in dental morphology of the species with wear. Combining this technology with visualization and analysis software enables the examination of virtual occlusal surfaces of the molars mimicking the various wear stages. In this paper, we apply this technology on Pliospalax macoveii from the locality of Çalta in Turkey, P. tourkobouniensis and P. sotirisi from the Greek localities of Tourkobounia-1 and Maritsa, and the recent species Spalax microphthalmus from Hungary and Romania. This method enables the effective comparison between the spalacine species. As a result, we consider P. sotirisi as a junior synonym of P. macoveii.

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Coquina Press
Palaeontologia Electronica

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Staff publications

Skandalos, P., & van den Hoek Ostende, L. (2023). Wear-dependent molar morphology in hypsodont rodents: The case of the spalacine Pliospalax. Palaeontologia Electronica, 2023. doi:10.26879/1322