Vertebrate Paleontology practice questions,Exam3

Practice exam questions written by Timothy H. Heaton,
Professor of Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota

Click the circle by an answer with the mouse, then click on the Submit button to get a response. You will be told if your answer is correct or not and will be given some comments.

  1. Which cetacean skull bones became greatly expanded in advanced forms?
    Jugals.
    Nasals.
    Parietals.
    Occipitals.
    Squamosals.

  2. What group are whales thought to have arisen from?
    Arctocyonids.
    Carnivores.
    Condylarths.
    Creodonts.
    Mesonychids.

  3. What is the largest toothed whale?
    Blue whale.
    Narwhals.
    Orca whale.
    Porpoises.
    Sperm whale.

  4. Which of the following is a character of creodonts but not carnivores?
    Carnassials further back in the tooth row.
    Hooves rather than claws.
    Larger braincase.
    Long slender limbs.
    Ossified auditory bullae.

  5. What character is common in condylarths but lacking in its modified descendants?
    Diastema.
    Hooves on feet.
    Large canines.
    Ossified auditory bullae.
    Postorbital bar.

  6. Contrast the foot bones of horses and antelope giving all the major differences.

  7. Give a brief history of the horse family from its beginning to the present detailing the major developments that occurred and also the history of its diversity and intercontinental dispersions.

  8. Which of the following are artiodactyls?
    Chalicotheres.
    Hippos.
    Rhinos.
    Titanotheres.
    Tapirs.

  9. Which character is common in perissodactyls but not artiodactyls?
    Big hind stomach.
    Distinct premolars and molars.
    Double-pulley astragalus.
    Paraxonic foot.
    Rear horns.

  10. Which of the following is a character of primitive rather than advanced artiodactyls?
    Antlers or horns present.
    Fused digits.
    Selenodont molars.
    Tetradactyl feet.
    Upper incisors absent.

  11. What continent did proboscidians develop on?
    Africa.
    Asia.
    Australia.
    North America.
    South America.

  12. During which Cenozoic epoch did proboscidians spread to multiple continents?
    Eocene.
    Miocene.
    Oligocene.
    Paleocene.
    Pliocene.

  13. From what did the proboscidian tusks develop?
    Canines.
    Frontal bones.
    Incisor 1.
    Incisor 2.
    Incisor 3.

  14. Describe how advanced proboscidians dealt with the problems of tooth abrasion and shortening of the head.

  15. Which North American mammals has an extensive fossil history of being hunted by Man?
    Bears.
    Bison.
    Camels.
    Horses.
    Mammoths.

  16. Which continent has probably never sported any marsupials?
    Africa.
    Antarctica.
    Eurasia.
    North America.
    South America.

  17. Which group of mammals never reached South America?
    Carnivores.
    Condylarths.
    Creodonts.
    Primates.
    Rodents.

  18. Extra credit: List some fossil mammals from the South Dakota badlands and the groups they belong to.

Please report any problems or errors to Dr. Heaton.