Darin A. Croft, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy

Contact Information:

Phone: (216) 368-5268
Office: EG 03, School of Medicine
E-mail: dac34@cwru.edu
Darin Croft

Biographical Information


2000 PhD - Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy
The University of Chicago
1996 MS - Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy
The University of Chicago
1993 BA - Zoology/Paleontology/Ecology
Interdepartmental Studies
The University of Iowa, Iowa City

Other Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University
Fellow, Institute for the Science of Origins, Case Western Reserve University
Research Associate, Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Research Associate, Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York
Research Associate, Zoology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh
Research Associate, Geology, The Field Museum, Chicago


Human Gross Anatomy

• WR2 Curriculum (CWRU Medical Curriculum): Like many Anatomy faculty, I participate in Block 7 (Structure) teaching in the WR2 Curriculum for medical students. I also coordinate anatomy instruction in Block 6 (Cognition, Sensation, and Movement), which focuses on head and neck anatomy.

• Gross Anatomy (ANAT 411): This semester-long course takes an in-depth look at human anatomy. I teach the last four weeks of the course, which cover head and neck anatomy.

• Surgical Anatomy of the Head and Neck (ANAT 516): I coordinate this intensive, four-week course that focuses on surgical approaches to head and neck pathology.

Mammalogy and Paleontology

• Mammal Diversity and Evolution (BIOL 345/445, ANAT 445): I currently teach this course in the fall of odd-numbered years. It is a survey of the major groups of living and extinct mammals and an introduction to methods for reconstructing evolutionary trees (phylogenetics). Most labs take place at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

• I oversee various undergraduate and graduate research projects dealing with anatomy and/or vertebrate paleontology.

Teaching Awards

Faculty Inductee, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, CWRU, 2012
Glennan Fellowship, University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education, CWRU, 2008
Outstanding Basic Science Teacher, Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago, 2003
Favorite Faculty, Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago, 2002-2006

Course Web Sites:

ANAT 411: Gross Anatomy (head and neck section)
BIOL 345/445, ANAT 445: Mammal Diversity and Evolution


I am a paleomammalogist. In other words, I study the evolution of mammals and mammal communities over geologic time using data from the fossil record. My research mostly focuses on the mammals of South America. This continent has a rich fossil record and was geographically isolated for most of the past 65 million years. Together, these attributes make it an excellent place to test models of mammal adaptation, diversification, and community ecology.

My research currently focuses on four areas:
• field investigations in Bolivia and Chile
• new species and evolutionary relationships of South American mammals
• paleobiology of extinct mammals, especially of notoungulates
• patterns of species diversities and distributions

Research Laboratory Website

Selected Publications

Croft, D.A., J.M.H. Chick & F. Anaya. 2011. New middle Miocene caviomorph rodents from Quebrada Honda, Bolivia. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 18(4)245-268.

Croft, D.A., F. Anaya, D. Auerbach, C. Garzione, and B.J. MacFadden. 2009. New data on Miocene Neotropical provinciality from Cerdas, Bolivia. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 16(3):175-198.

Croft, D.A., and L.C. Anderson. 2008. Locomotion in the extinct notoungulate Protypotherium. Palaeontologia Electronica 11(1); 1A: 20p.

Townsend, K.E. & D.A. Croft. 2008. Diets of notoungulates from the Santa Cruz Formation, Argentina: new evidence from enamel microwear. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(1):217-230.

Croft, D.A. 2006. Do marsupials make good predators? Insights from predator-prey diversity ratios. Evolutionary Ecology Research 8(7):1193-1214.

Flynn, J.J, A.R. Wyss, D.A. Croft, and R. Charrier. 2003. The Tinguiririca Fauna, Chile: biochronology, paleoecology, biogeography, and a new earliest Oligocene South American land mammal “age”. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 195(3-4):229-259.

Croft, D.A. 2001. Changing environments in South America as indicated by mammalian body size distributions (cenograms). Diversity and Distributions 7(6): 271-287.