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Vol.40-2
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First early Eocene tapiroid from India and its implication for the paleobiogeographic origin of perissodactyls
Thierry Smith, Floréal Solé, Pieter Missiaen, Rajendra Rana, Kishor Kumar, Ashok Sahni and Kenneth D. Rose
Keywords: Ceratomorpha; Helaletidae; Paleogene; Tapiromorpha; Vastan

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e5
 
  Abstract

    The presence of cambaytheres, the sister group of perissodactyls, in western India near or before the time of collision with Asia suggests that Perissodactyla may have originated on the Indian Plate during its final drift towards Asia. Herein we reinforce this hypothesis by reporting two teeth of the first early Eocene tapiromorph Perissodactyla from the Cambay Shale Formation of Vastan Lignite Mine (c. 54.5 Ma), Gujarat, western India, which we allocate to a new genus and species, Vastanolophus holbrooki. It presents plesiomorphic characters typical of the paraphyletic “Isectolophidae,” such as small size and weak lophodonty. However, the weaker hypoconulid and low paralophid, higher cusps, lower cristid obliqua, and the lingual opening of the talonid are found in Helaletidae, the most primitive tapiroid family. V. holbrooki, gen. et sp. nov., may be the oldest and the most primitive tapiroid, suggesting that at least tapiroid perissodactyls originated on India. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol.39-2 (2015)

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There were giants upon the earth in those days
Pierre-Olivier Antoine
Keywords: Eurasia; history of science; Indricotheriinae; Paleogene; Rhinocerotoidea

doi: 10.18563/pv.38.1.e4
 
  Abstract

    Rhinoceros Giants: the Paleobiology of Indricotheres. Donald R. Prothero. Life of the Past Collection, Indiana University Press; 160 pp. (66 b&w illustrations). Hardback (7x10”): USD 42.00 plus shipping. ISBN: 978-0-253-00819-0. E-book: USD 34.99. ISBN: 978-0-253-00826-8.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol.38-1 (2014)

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Le genre Plagiolophus (Palaeotheriidae, Perissodactyla, Mammalia): révision systématique, morphologie et histologie dentaires, anatomie crânienne, essai d'interprétation fonctionnelle
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: New taxa; Paleogene; perissodactyls; skull anatomy; tooth histology
 
  Abstract

    The genus Plagiolophus is documented, almost solely in Western Europe, from the middle Eocene up to the mid Oligocene (MP 12 to MP 25), i.e. more than for 15 MY. Seventeen species are now recorded whose two of them are new, P. ringeadei nov. sp. and P. mamertensis nov. sp. Some anatomical variations and the deflection of certain evolutionary trends justify the distinction of three subgenera, Paloplotherium, Fraasiolophus nov. and Plagiolophus s.s. The genus displays a wide range in size and weight (between 10 and 150 kg). The detailed description of the skull of several species is here given for the first time.
    Despite important evolutionary drifts during this long time span, the dentition shows a great structural homogeneity, which renders difficult the determination of fragmentary specimens or isolated teeth. It is characterized by a great heterodonty; premolars are little molarized and present a certain regression through time with paradoxically some progress in the molarization. The hypsodonty increases: the first Plagiolophus are hardly less brachyodont than Propalaeotherium, and the last ones are nearly as hypsodont as Merychippus from the early Miocene. The upper molars change from a wide crown pattern, with an open occlusal surface, lightly oblique transverse lophs and rounded internal cusps, to a narrower pattern, with a frontally constricted occlusal surface and internal lophs aligned parallel to the ectoloph. The M3/3 become always longer.

    The dental enamel displays horizontal Schreger-bands with imprecise limits occupying only the middle part of the enamel layer. The dentine is remarkable by its high rate of pericanalicular dentine. The crown cementum, lacking in earlier forms, increases to the point where it fills the occlusal valleys of the
    teeth.

    The masticatory musculature shows a increasing prominence of the temporal, with probably an important role devoted to the pterygoid muscles in lateral movements related to a two-phase type of chewing.

    The evolution of the dentition, of the masticatory musculature and of the repartition of masticatory forces indicate that the Plagiolophus have known different diets through their long evolutionary history; at first browsers they became mixed feeders and finally grazers. Their relatively long neck allowed these animals to reach different vegetal layers. The strength of the nuchal crests also suggests that they were able to have strong backwards movements of the head to pull up their food.

    This evolution of diet seems related to the slow degradation of environmental conditions attested during this period in western Europe, with the generalization of more open landscapes, increasing aridity and more marked seasons.

    Besides, a remodeling of the face is ontogenetically and along time observed, in relation with the evolution of the masticatory apparatus and especially with that of the mandibular lever arm. The postcanine diastemata become longer in the course of evolution; the free extremities of the nasals are always relatively long which contradicts the hypothesis according to which Paloplotherium may have had a trunk. At last the lineage Fraasiolophus can be distinguished by the presence of a deep malar fossa, probably related to a strong development of the maxillo-labialis superior muscle.

    The orbit is always large and tends to increase in size, which indicates a good development of the vision and its increasing role in the life relations. A peculiar type of epitympanic sinus could have been used as a resonance chamber insuring a certain amplification of sounds before their transmission to the eardrum. The endocranial cast reveals a relatively large brain with an advanced degree of gyrencephaly. Beside the role eventually played in food research and social relations, these neurophysiological abilities, also related to an advance in cursorial fitness, could have contributed to the survival of these animals facing the predation pressure of the first fissipede carnivores and the competition with new immigrant herbivores after the "Grande Coupure".
    On the basis of some shared apomorphies with the Pachynolophinae, which prevent from considering the latter as Equidae (molarization of the premolars, reduction of the premaxilla dorsal apophysis, peculiar epitympanic sinus, splitting of the jugular process), the hypothesis of an autochthonous origin of Plagiolophus issued from a form near Propalaeotherium, is once again proposed and discussed. Finally, intra-generic relationships are taken into consideration. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 33, Fasc. 1-4 (2004)

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Un nouveau genre de ?Palaeotheriidae (Perissodactyla, Mammalia) décelé dans les phosphorites du Quercy (Eocène supérieur ou Oligocène) d'après un arrière crâne sans dents.
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: endocranial cast; Epitympanic sinus; Palaeotheriidae; Paleogene; Quercy phosphorites; skull anatomy
 
  Abstract

    A rear skull from the Quercy Phosphorites is described. It documents a new perissodactyl genus, likely assignable to the family Palaeotheriidae and probably paleogene of age. Owing to the lack of any tooth, this family assignment remains however somewhat hypothetical. The specimen is firstly characterised by the presence of a wide epitympanic sinus swelling and hollowing the squamosal shell and the post-glenoid process. This cavity might make up a peculiar pattern of improvement for the hearing apparatus by carrying out a kind of drum near the middle ear, whereas the bony tympanic remains barely bulged and forms but a few developed auditory bulla. This pattern appears an outcome of a trend observed with many palaeotheriids, such as Plagiolophus. Furthermore, the endocranial cast shows a rather high degree of gyrencephaly for a paleogene mammal. The prominent lambdoidal crest points out a powerful nape musculature and a lowered head bearing. Consequently, it is assumed that such an animal was probably living in somewhat open places, at the expense of rather tough vegetables. It might have been accordingly provided with a semi-hypsodont, cement covered, "plagiolophoid" dentition. 


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Published in Vol. 28, Fasc. 1 (1999)

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Recherches de mammifères paléogènes dans les départements de l'Aisne et de la Marne pendant la deuxième moitié du vingtième siècle
Pierre Louis
Keywords: Biochronology; Eastern Paris Basin; Fossil localities; Mammals; paleoenvironments; Paleogene; Paleogeography
 
  Abstract

    A brief historical account of fossil vertebrate discoveries in the Eastern part of the Paris Basin between the beginning of the nineteenth century and 1950 is given. Other localities discovered since then are presented. A reconstruction of past landscapes is briefly elaborated. A biozonation based on mammals is proposed, from the Late Thanetian to the Middle Bartonian. Paleogeographical considerations are added. Suggestions regarding the search for new marnmal localities are made. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 25, Fasc. 2-4 (1996)

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Observations sur l'anatomie crânienne du genre Palaeotherium (Perissodactyla, Mammalia): mise en évidence d'un nouveau sous-genre, Franzenitherium
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: Palaeotherium; Paleogene; Perissodactyla; skull anatomy; systematics
 
  Abstract

    The skull remains referred to the genus Palaeotherium are recorded and described. Biometrical tests are made to elucidate intrageneric allometric relationships and to allow comparisons with various other perissodactyls. Apart from the well known shortness of post canine diastems and deepness of the narial opening, the genus is characterized by a great lengthening of the splanchnocranium, owing to a spreading of the post-orbital facial region, by a reduced area of the eye-socket and by the prevalence of the temporal muscle with regard to the masseter; this original shape of the masticatory apparatus needs to be related to the morphology of the jugal teeth and particularly to their  asymmetrical semi-hypsodonty.
        These animals, whose running ability was evidently poor, appear to have been adapted to rather closed environments, feeding on relatively soft vegetable matter; olfactory sense was likely to play a leading part in interindividual and environmental relationships. Such evolutionary trends might explain the disappearance of most of them, as clirnatic conditions deteriorated at the end of the Eocene, before the "Grande Coupure" which affected mammalian faunas at that time.
          Although the present paper is not directly concemed with phylogenetics, it invalidates the supposed ancestor-descendant relationship between P. castrense and P. magnum, and it suggests a possible emergence of the P. medium lineage from a P. siderolithicum stock. Moreover, the structure of the post-orbital facial area allows the  erection of a new sub-genus, Franzenitherium, for the  species lautricense and duvali.

      


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 21, Fasc. 3-4 (1992)

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Hyracodontids and rhinocerotids (Mammalia, Perissodactyla, Rhinocerotoidea) from the Paleogene of Mongolia
Demberelyin Dashzeveg
Keywords: Hyracodontidae; Mongolia; Paleogene; Perissodactyla; Rhinocerotidae
 
  Abstract

        Two families are reviewed (Hyracodontidae and Rhinocerotidae) from the Paleogene of Mongolia. The following taxa are described from the former family:  Triplopus? mergenensis sp. nov., Prohyracodon meridionale CHOW, Prohyracodon? parvus sp. nov., Forstercooperia ergiliinensis GABUNIA & DASHZEVEG, Ardynia praecox MATTHEW & GRANGER, A. mongoliensis (BELIAYEVA), Ardynia sp., Urtinotheríum sp. (or Indricotherium) and Armania asiana GABUNIA & DASHZEVEG. All of them are from the Paleogene of the eastem Gobi Desert The hyracodontid Pataecops parvus RADINSKY is described from a new locality, Menkhen-Teg (Middle Eocene), in the Valley of Lakes.
        In the second family, a new species of Ronzotherium, R. orientale sp. nov. has been recognized from the Oligocene of Ergilin Dzo and Khoer Dzan of the eastem Gobi Desert. Ronzotherium sp. and Allacerops sp. have been described from the Oligocene of Khoer Dzan. The genus Ronzotherium, formerly known from the Oligocene of eastem Europe, has been reliably established in the Oligocene fauna of Mongolia. The genus Symphysorrachis BELIAYEVA, 1954, previously believed to be a junior synonym of Ronzotherium, is here resurrected.
        Descriptions are provided for key localities in the Eocene and Oligocene of Mongolia and the adjacent territories of northern China, containing fossil Hyracodontidae and Rhinocerotidae. In addition, the question of the Eocene-Oligocene boundary in these Mongolian and Chinese sections is discussed. Paleontological evidence has been used to correlate Eocene-Oligocene boundary layers in the eastem Gobi Desert (Mongolia) and Inner Mongolia (China). A brief discussion is provided on the phylogenetic affinities of the genera within the family Hyracodontidae. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 21, Fasc. 1-2 (1991)

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Mammals and stratigraphy : the Paleocene of Europe
Donald E. Russell, Jean-Louis Hartenberger, Charles Pomerol, Sevket Sen, Norbert Schmidt-Kittler and Monique Vianey-Liaud
Keywords: Europe; Mammalia; Mammalian biochronology; Paleogene; Stratigraphy
 
  Abstract

    The mammalian faunas of the Paleogene of Europe and their localities are reviewed with comments on problems of European stratigraphy (epoch, stage and substage limits) and on the possibilities of faunal migrations. Radiometric dating is discussed. A stratigraphic scale for the Paleogene is presented, as well as a refined system of sequential faunal levels. 


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Published in Vol. 12, Ext (1982)

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Les Issiodoromyinae (Rodentia, Theridomyidae) de l'Eocène supérieur à l'Oligocène supérieur en Europe occidentale
Monique Vianey-Liaud
Keywords: Climate; Faunal turnover; Paleogene
 
  Abstract

    Based on material from 30 localities, morphologic dental, cranial and biometric analyses have permitted the characterization of two parallel Issiodoromyine lineages, and also the definition of diverse species representing several evolutive stages. Thus it is that new lineages complete the contribution made by the Theridomyinae and Cricetidae and permit, for the Quercy in particular, additional precision in the biochronologic succession of the localities. One of the lineages is limited to the genus Pseudoltinomys LAVOCAT; the other evolves from the genus Elfomys HARTENBERGER to the genus Issiodoromys BRAVARD in GERVAIS. The latter is affected by profound anatomical changes due to a functional modification of the mastication apparatus. These changes seem to be able to be put in relation with the aridification and cooling of the climate at the end of the Eocene. At the end of the middle Oligocene, a new chewing structure is achieved. It is found in diverse living rodents that inhabit a rather arid steppe environment (Cavia, Pedetes, Ctenodactylus). To these supposed nearby ecologic conditions, these rodents have responded in a convergent fashion. It is possible to attribute to the extreme specialization of Issiodoromys its incapacity to adapt to the new climatic crisis of the end of the Oligocene. The arrival of immigrants may be considered as another cause of its disappearance at this time, complementary or not with the first. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 07, Fasc. 1-2 (1976)

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