Aplodontia Rufa BEST
The mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa)[Note 1] is a North American rodent. It is the only living member of its genus, Aplodontia, and family, Aplodontiidae. It should not be confused with true North American and Eurasian beavers, to which it is not closely related, being more closely related to squirrels. There are 7 subspecies of mountain beavers, 6 of which are found in California and 3 of which are endemic to the state.
Alternate spellings of the genus name have also been reported, with as many as 30 variants historically. These include Haplodontia, Haplodon, Aploodontia, Apluodontia, and Aplodontie, among others. The name Aplodontia ("simple tooth") is in reference to the single large basin comprising the bulk of each cheek tooth. The specific epithet, rufa means red or reddish.
Four species of fleas, 2 species of mites, and the cysticerci of Taenia tenuicollis were collected from mountain beavers, Aplodontia rufa, collected in Washington and Oregon. A summary of the metazoan parasites reported from A. rufa is included.
The paper is a solid piece of work in general; however, I have a couple of reservations. First, the article does not discuss some important work on the morphology of the jaw muscles in bathyergids, namely, the work of Meinertz (Meinertz, T. 1951. Das Fazialisgebiet der Nager. VIII. Bathergini Winge, sowie einige Bemerkungen über Pedetes Caffer (Pall.) Morphol. Jahrb. 90:105-147.), who did describe the facial muscles of bathyergids. My concern is that the substance of the finding is just not different from what we already know of bathergids; namely, that they're functionally protrogomorph and that this morphology is likely secondarily derived. Second, the article is a bit misinformed where it comes to the comparator Aplodontia rufa, which has been established (Eastman, Charles B. 1982. Hystricomorphy as the primitive condition of the rodent masticatory apparatus. Evolutionary Theory 6:163-165.) to have a technically hystricomorph condition. This omission is a bit less problematic than the first for the publication of the paper. 041b061a72