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December 2016
Vol.40-2
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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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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
 
  Abstract

    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
 
  Abstract

    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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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
 
  Abstract

    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.
    Abstract:
    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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Current Issue

A new species of Propalaeotherium (Palaeotheriidae, Perissodactyla, Mammalia) from the Middle Eocene locality of Aumelas (Hérault, France).
Jean-Albert Remy, Gabriel Krasovec and Bernard Marandat
Keywords: Eocene; new species; Palaeotheriidae; Propalaeotherium

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e1
 
  Abstract

    A new Propalaeotherium species, clearly distinct from the genus Eurohippus, is described. It is characterized by having a similar size as P. voigti from the German Geiseltal localities (MP 11 to MP 13 reference-level), but differs in several features suggesting a slighty more derived morphology. It presents indeed less brachyodont crowns with less prominent and less elevated cingula, slightly larger relative surface of premolars, and a more marked metaconid splitting on cheek teeth. This new species is unknown from other European localities except the nearby Saint-Martin de Londres locality which has been considered older than the MP 13 level. 


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An evening bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the late Early Eocene of France, with comments on the antiquity of modern bats
Suzanne J. Hand, Bernard Sigé, Michael Archer and Karen H. Black
Keywords: evolution; palaeobiogeography; Prémontré; Western Europe; Ypresian

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e2
 
  Abstract

    Bats are among the most numerous and widespread mammals today, but their fossil record is comparatively meagre and their early evolution poorly understood. Here we describe a new fossil bat from dental remains recovered from late Early Eocene sediments at Prémontré, northern France. This 50 million-year-old bat exhibits a mosaic of plesiomorphic and apomorphic dental features, including the presence of three lower premolars, a single-rooted p3, short p4 with metaconid, myotodont lower molars and a tall coronoid process of the dentary. This combination of features suggests it is an early member of Vespertilionidae, today’s most speciose and geographically widespread bat family. The Prémontré bat has bearing on hypotheses about the origins of vesper or evening bats (Family Vespertilionidae), as well as crown-group chiropterans.


      


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A reassessment of the giant birds Liornis floweri Ameghino, 1895 and Callornis giganteus Ameghino, 1895, from the Santacrucian (late Early Miocene) of Argentina.
Eric Buffetaut
Keywords: Argentina; Aves; Callornis; Liornis; Miocene

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e3
 
  Abstract

    The status of the giant bird taxa Liornis floweri and Callornis giganteus from the Santa Cruz Formation (late Early Miocene) of Patagonia, first described by Ameghino (1895) is reassessed on the basis of a re-examination of the type material at the Natural History Museum, London. Liornis floweri, which lacks a Pons supratendineus on the tibiotarsus and has an unbifurcated Canalis interosseus distalis on the tarsometatarsus, is clearly a brontornithid and is considered as a junior synonym of Brontornis burmeisteri. Ameghino’s replacement of Callornis by Eucallornis is unjustified. Callornis giganteus is a chimera based on a phorusrhacid tarsometatarsus (probably belonging to Phorusrhacos longissimus) and a brontornithid tibiotarsus. The latter can be considered as the lectotype of Callornis giganteus, which may represent a small morph of Brontornis burmeisteri or a distinct taxon. It is referred to here as Brontornithidae indet. The tarsometatarsus described by Dolgopol de Saez (1927a,b) as Liornis minor and considered by her as a gracile brontornithid apparently has a bifurcated Canalis interosseus distalis and should therefore be placed among the Phorusrhacidae. 


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