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Mickaël Mourlam

PhD student Team Paleontology
Phone +33 (0)4 67 14 93 70
Localization Bâtiment 22, RDC
Mots clés Artiodactyla auditory region CT scan Paleogene phylogeny

I am a PhD student in palaeontology supervised by M. Orliac and R. Tabuce. I am interested in the evolutionary history and the diversification of the extant mammal groups. My PhD subject focusses on Artiodactyla which contains many exciting ecological adaptations, including the terrestrial origin of the cetaceans.

Nowadays, no consensus has yet been reached regarding the basal relationship of the Artiodactyla and major questions of its evolutionary history remain to be solved. Among those, the phylogenetic position of the different Paleogene European endemic artiodactyl families remain enigmatic.

The aim of my thesis consists in including a new promising source of morphological data to the phylogenetic analyses: the ear region – including data from the petrosal bone, tympanic bulla, middle ear ossicles and inner ear – based notably on the new perspectives offered by CT scan technology. Along with geometric morphometrics analyses, combining phylogenetic and functional aspects, my thesis will provide new elements to clarify the complex evolutionary history of Artiodactyla.

  1. Mourlam M. & Orliac M. 2017. Infrasonic and ultrasonic hearing evolved after the emergence of modern whales. Current Biology, 27: 1-6.
  1. Mourlam M. & Orliac M. 2017. Protocetid (Cetacea, Artiodactyla) bullae and petrosals from the Middle Eocene locality of Kpogamé, Togo: new insights into the early history of cetacean hearing. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (accepted)
  1. Mourlam M. Wet behind the ears? Underwater Directional Hearing in Protocetids. Oral presentation at YNHM 2017
  1. Mourlam M. & Orliac M. Sound Transmission Pathway in Protocetids. Poster presentation at ICVM 2016