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January 2017
Vol 40-3
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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Since 1967, Palaeovertebrata has published original research on all aspects of vertebrate paleontology, including taxonomy, phylogeny, paleobiogeography, functional anatomy, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and taphonomy.

 The new on-line version of Palaeovertebrata aims to meet a critical need for easier access to research outputs within the field of vertebrate paleontology, by providing the first "diamond open access" journal. All Palaeovertebrata articles are peer reviewed to ensure they meet the journal’s high quality standards. Palaeovertebrata’s primary objective is to accelerate the publication of high quality papers and provide immediate access to its published articles at no cost to its authors or readers. We anticipate that Palaeovertebrata will gain an Impact Factor in due course.

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Critical comments on the genus Propachynolophus Lemoine, 1891 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla, Equoidea)
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: Eocene; Eurohippus; Pachynolophus; Propalaeotherium; tooth morphology

doi: 10.18563/pv.41.1.e3

     The validity of Propachynolophus Lemoine, 1891, supposedly an intermediate between Hyracotherium Owen, 1841 and Pachynolophus Pomel, 1847, has been questioned for a long time. A detailed analysis of features on which this genus is based further supported by a formal cladistic analysis demonstrates that Propachynolophus is not a valid taxon. The type species, “Propachynolophus gaudryi Lemoine, 1891” shall be assigned to Propalaeotherium Gervais, 1849, under the new combination Propalaeotherium gaudryi (Lemoine, 1891). “Pachynolophus maldani Lemoine, 1878”, later assigned to Propachynolophus, typifies the new genus Orolophus, under the binomen Orolophus maldani (Lemoine, 1878). The other referred species, “Propachynolophus levei Hooker, 1994” and “P. remyi Checa-Soler, 1997” are poorly documented, and both species shall be provisionally referred to as “Hyracotherium levei (Hooker, 1994) and “Hyracotherium remyi (Checa-Soler, 1997), pending new discoveries.

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A new species of hippopotamine (Cetartiodactyla, Hippopotamidae) from the late Miocene Baynunah Formation, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Jean-Renaud Boisserie, Mathieu Schuster, Mark J. Beech, Andrew Hill and Faysal Bibi
Keywords: Arab Peninsula; Hippopotamidae; Hippopotamine event; systematics

doi: 10.18563/pv.41.1.e2

    The discovery of new hippopotamid material from the late Miocene Baynunah Formation (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) has prompted the revision of the existing material of this as yet unnamed fossil taxon. The Baynunah hippopotamid appears to be distinct from all other contemporary and later species in having a relatively more elongate symphysis, a feature similar to the earlier (and more primitive) Kenyapotamus. Yet, the Baynunah hippopotamid presents a dentition typical of the Hippopotaminae. It is therefore a distinct species attributed to the later subfamily, described and named in this contribution. This species provides further evidence for a ca. 8 Ma evolutionary event (termed “Hippopotamine Event”) that initiated the spread and ecological significance of the Hippopotaminae into wet habitats across Africa and Eurasia. The morphological affinities of the new species from Abu Dhabi suggest that the Arabian Peninsula was not a dispersal route from Africa toward southern Asia for the Hippopotamidae at ca. 7.5 Ma to 6.5 Ma. 

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A new Desmodillus (Gerbillinae, Rodentia) species from the early Pliocene site of Langebaanweg (South-western Cape, South Africa)
Christiane Denys and Thalassa Matthews
Keywords: Lower Pliocene; Muridae; Rodentia; RSA

doi: 10.18563/pv.41.1.e1

    Situated in the Cape region of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), the paleontological site of Langebaanweg is dated to 5.1 Myr and is famous for having yielded an abundant vertebrate assemblage, including numerous rodent species from the Mio-Pliocene transition. Based on molar morphology and skull anatomy, the single Gerbillinae taxon identified at Langebaanweg and described in this paper is allocated to Desmodillus, which is a modern monotypic South African endemic genus. It is significant in being the oldest representative of the genus in Africa. We describe here a new species of this genus which is larger than the modern D. auricularis, but nevertheless retains some of its main characteristics, namely the shape of the maxilla and mandible, the presence of poorly fused alternating cusps, and no longitudinal crest. This taxon differs from modern South African Gerbilliscus representatives in some mandibular and maxillary characters, in the m1 prelobe cusp, and in having less fused cusps. Two fossil Gerbillinae discovered in the Upper Miocene of Africa and Asia, Abudhabia and Protatera, have been compared with the new species. We discuss their relationships with modern and Plio-pleistocene Gerbillinae and conclude that Abudhabia could be the sister taxon of Desmodillus and that around 6-5 Myr a vicariance event allowed Gerbillinae to diversify into modern Desmodillus in South Africa, and Gerbilliscus in East Africa. The murine/gerbilline ratio, which is a good indicator of rainfall, supports other proxies which suggest that at 5.1 Myr the climate in the Langebaanweg region was more humid than today. 

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Current Issue

Autopsie d’une radiation adaptative : Phylogénie des Theridomorpha, rongeurs endémiques du Paléogène d’Europe - histoire, dynamique évolutive et intérêt biochronologique
Monique Vianey-Liaud and Laurent Marivaux
Keywords: Diversification; Extinction; Paléoenvironnements; Rodentia; Theridomyoidea

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.3.e1

    Résumé :
    L’étude des rongeurs Theridomorpha permet de suivre le déroulement d’une radiation adaptative pendant toute sa durée (Eocène moyen-Oligocène terminal), sur un territoire restreint à l’extrémité ouest de l’Europe Occidentale. Dans ce papier, la phylogénie de ce groupe est établie à partir d’une analyse cladistique reposant sur l’examen de 315 caractères (310 dentaires). Le groupe d’intérêt comprend 110 des 132 espèces (24 genres) de Theridomyoidea et deux genres encore inclus jusqu’ici dans les Reithroparamyinae qui rejoignent les Theridomorpha. Les groupes externes comprennent des Glires basaux, Cocomys, Tanquammys et 16 Ischyromyiformes. Un cadre phylogénétique robuste est produit, qui permet de clarifier la systématique des Theridomorpha. La position des Remyoidea (nov. sup.fam.) au sein des Ischyromyiformes, extérieure aux Theridomorpha, est confortée. Les Protadelomys et Tardenomys sont à la base des Theridomyoidea, avant la séparation en deux clades correspondant aux familles Pseudosciuridae et Theridomyidae. Les sous-familles sont consolidées : Pseudosciurinae et Sciuroidinae pour les Pseudosciuridae ; Issiodoromyinae, Oltinomyinae, Columbomyinae, Theridomyinae, auxquelles s’ajoute au moins une nouvelle sous-famille (Patriotheridomyinae), pour les Theridomyidae. La topologie des chrono-espèces (sensu Simpson), traitées antérieurement comme lignées évolutives, apparaît dans la plupart des cas sous forme de clades successifs dans lesquels les espèces sont le plus souvent arrangées de manière pectinée, émergeant dans l’ordre stratigraphique. L’analyse des caractères aux principaux nœuds permet de consolider les caractères diagnostiques des taxons et les tendances évolutives, ainsi que de discuter des divers parallélismes et convergences dans l’évolution des structures et patrons dentaires (e.g., émail des incisives unisérié chez les Issiodoromyinae et les Patriotheridomyinae, ou pseudo-multisérié chez les Blainvillimys les plus hypsodontes, les Protechimys et Archaeomys ; patrons dentaires téniodontes ; allongement des dents déciduales chez les Patriotheridomyinae, Issiodoromyinae et Theridomyidae ; sélénodontie ou lophodontie). Les dynamiques évolutives traduites par les changements morphologiques sont mises en relation avec les variations environnementales. Enfin, les implications biochronologiques de l’évolution des Theridomyoidea sont discutées.
    The adaptive radiation of the rodents Theridomorpha occurred during a limited time window (middle Eocene to late Oligocene), on an area restricted to Western Europe. In this paper, the phylogeny of this group is established via a cladistic assessment of 315 morphological characters (310 dental). The group of interest encompasses 110 upon 132 species (24 genera) of Theridomyoidea, and two genera formerly included within the Reithroparamyinae, and which are included here within the Theridomorpha. The outgroups include basal Glires, Cocomys, Tanquammys and 16 Ischyromyiformes. A robust phylogenetic frame is produced, which allows clarifying the systematics of the Theridomorpha. Within the Ischyromyiformes, the Remyoidea (nov. supfam.) are set apart from the Theridomorpha. Protadelomys and Tardenomys represent the earliest offshoots of the Theridomyoidea, before the dichotomy between Pseudosciuridae and Theridomyidae. It supports the former subfamilies Pseudosciurinae and Sciuroidinae within the Pseudosciuridae; and for the Theridomyidae: the Issiodoromyinae, Oltinomyinae, Columbomyinae, Theridomyinae, with at least one new subfamily (Patriotheridomyinae). The topologies of the chronospecies (sensu Simpson), formerly considered as evolutionary lineages, appear in most cases as successive clades, in which the species are generally pectinately arranged and emerging in the stratigraphic order. The analysis of characters supporting the main nodes allow consolidating the diagnosic characters of the taxa and their evolutionary trends, as well as discussing the various cases of parallelism and convergence in the evolution of structures and dental patterns (e.g., uniserial incisor enamel for Issiodoromyinae and Patriotheridomyinae, or pseudo-multiserial for the most hypsodont Blainvillimys, Protechimys and Archaeomys; taeniodont dental patterns; lengthening of deciduous premolars for Patriotheridomyinae, Issiodoromyinae and Theridomyidae; selenodonty or lophodonty).
    Evolutionary dynamics are analysed with respect to environmental changes. Finally, biochronological implications of the evolution of Theridomyoidea are discussed.

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