A large collection of dentigerous jaws quarried from the Gao Mine locality, late Paleocene, Paskapoo Formation, central Alberta, Canada, documents a new species of the early Paleogene phenacodontid “condylarth” Ectocion Cope, 1882. The new species, Ectocion stockeyae, the smallest of the genus, occurs well before the abrupt global warming at the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, an event purportedly causing the rapid evolution of “dwarfed” mammals, including a species of Ectocion; however, there is no evidence of increased temperatures at Gao Mine to account for the small size of Ectocion stockeyae, raising questions of the relationship between temperature and body size in Ectocion. Ectocion stockeyae also exhibits sexual dimorphism of the canines, a pattern in mammals often associated with a population structure in which the males are relatively few and polygynous, resulting in intense male rivalry for mating success. The sample of Ectocion stockeyae from Gao Mine includes a substantial majority of “juvenile” individuals retaining deciduous posterior premolars, many even after eruption of the molars had been completed, suggesting short life spans, accelerated growth, and rapid dental development in this species as expressed in Schultz’s Rule.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.