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The new Algerian locality of Bir el Ater 3: validity of Libycosaurus algeriensis (Mammalia, Hippopotamoidea) and the age of the Nementcha Formation
Fabrice Lihoreau, Lionel Hautier and Mahammed Mahboubi
Keywords: Dispersal event; Miocene; North Africa; Tetralophodon

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e1

    The description of original material of anthracothere and proboscidean in the new locality of Bir el Ater 3 from East Algeria, and a thorough review of early Libycosaurus remains of Bir el Ater 2 allows us validating L. algeriensis as the smallest and earliest species of Libycosaurus and probably the earliest migrant of the genus from Asia. The presence of a Tetralophodon in the Neogene Nementcha formation might represent the earliest occurrence of the genus in Africa. These original fossil remains allow us to discuss the age of the Neogene part of the Nementcha formation close to the Serravalian/Tortonian boundary. 

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Published in Vol.39-2 (2015)

New datation of the Tafna Basin (Algeria): A combination between biochronological and magnetostratigraphical data
Salamet Mahboubi, Mouloud Benammi and Jean-Jacques Jaeger
Keywords: correlations; Late Miocene; North Africa; Rodentia

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.1.e1

    The Tafna Basin corresponds to the lowlands, which are located in front of Tessala and Traras ranges, below the Tlemcen mountains, Algeria. This basin displays a complete sedimentary cycle dominated by lagoonal-fluvial and marine deposits. The continental formations located at the base of these deposits are mainly composed of alternating sandstones and clays. An early late Miocene age has been previously attributed to them, based on direct correlations with marine deposits. Search for micromammal fossils led to the discovery of three different rodent species from a single level of the Djebel Guetaf section, located at the bottom of these deposits. The rodent assemblage indicates a late Miocene age. Combined magnetostratigraphical and biostratigraphical investigations were carried out to provide a more accurate age control of these continental deposits. Sixty-four oriented rock samples were collected for a magnetostratigraphic study along a 92 meters thick section including the fossiliferous layer. Rock magnetic investigations indicate the presence of both high and low coercivity minerals. Specimens subjected to progressive thermal demagnetization procedures show that the samples exhibit a high temperature magnetization component and display a normal polarity. Based on biostratigraphic constraints, the Guetaf section is correlated with Chron C4An, indicating an age ranging from
    9.1 to 8.7 Myr.

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Published in Vol.39-1 (2015)

A new and primitive species of Protophiomys (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from the late middle Eocene of Djebel el Kébar, Central Tunisia
Laurent Marivaux, El M. Essid, Wissem Marzougui, Hayet Khayati Ammar, Sylvain Adnet, Bernard Marandat, Gilles Merzeraud, Rodolphe Tabuce and Monique Vianey-Liaud
Keywords: Adaptive radiation; Bartonian; dental morphology; North Africa; Paleobiogeography

doi: 10.18563/pv.38.1.e2

    Based on fossil discoveries and phylogenetic studies, an Eocene Asian origin for hystricognathous rodents and anthropoid primates has gained strong support in recent years. The two groups then invaded both Africa and South America, which promoted their evolutionary success. However, the fossil record has so far failed to constrain the nature and precise timing of these pivotal dispersal events. In Africa, given the apparent absence of hystricognaths and anthropoids in early to early middle Eocene localities, it is suggested that these mammal groups dispersed from Asia to Africa sometime during the middle Eocene. In this paper, we report the discovery of several isolated teeth of a rodent from a new vertebrate locality situated in central Tunisia (Djebel el Kébar, KEB-1), dating from the late middle Eocene (Bartonian, ~39.5 Myr). These fossils document a diminutive new species of Protophiomys (P. tunisiensis nov. sp.), a basal genus of hystricognathous rodents which is well known from several North African mammalian-bearing localities of the end of the Eocene. The teeth of P. tunisiensis display a suite of anatomical details comparable with those observed in the other species of the genus, but with a lesser degree of development. Such an apparent primitive evolutionary stage is corroborated by the greater antiquity of this Tunisian species. P. tunisiensis nov. sp. is so far the most ancient representative of hystricognaths in Africa. However, it can be expected that hystricognaths were already present on that landmass given the new data on early caviomorphs recently reported from South America (at ~41 Myr). The arrival of hystricognaths in Africa from South Asia certainly predates the depositional period of the Kébar sediments, but perhaps not by much time. 

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Published in Vol.38-1 (2014)

Diversity among north african dinosaur eggshells.
Monique Vianey-Liaud and Géraldine Garcia
Keywords: Cretaceous; Dinosaurs diversity; Eggshells; Maastrichtian; Morocco; North Africa; Taxonomy

    Until the discovery of dinosaur eggshells locality in the Oukdiksou syncline, (Middle Atlas, Morocco) in 1999 (Garcia et al. this volume) the maastrichtian reptiles faunas were unknown in North Africa. Additional material from Achlouj-2 allows us to describe five oospecies, belonging to four oofamilies. The Megaloolithidae is recorded by Megaloolithus maghrebiellsis Garcia el al. and Pseudomegaloolithus atlasi oogen. novo oospec. nov. Tipoolithus achloujensis Garcia et al. is questionably considered as a Subtiliolithidae. A relatively small Elongatoloolithidae is represented by Rodolphoolithus arioul oogen. nov. oospec. nov. A thin Prismatoolithidae is described as a new oospecies of ? Pseudogeckoolithus Vianey-Liaud & Lopez-Martinez, 1997: P. tirboulensis. The diversity of these oospecies indicates that the dinosaur fauna comprises at least five dinosaur oospecies, with perhaps one sauropod and three theropods. 

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Published in Vol. 32, Fasc. 2-4 (2003)

Diversity of triconodont mammals from the early Cretaceous of North Africa-affinities of the Amphilestids
Denise Sigogneau-Russell
Keywords: amphilestines; Early Cretaceous; gobiconodontines; North Africa; Teeth; triconodonts

    The mammalian fauna (represented only by isolated teeth) from the early Cretaceous of Morocco includes a number of non-'therian' specimens, characterized by the antero-posterior alignement of the main molar cusps. This assemblage is very heterogenous, including forms (among them Gobiconodon palaios sp. nov.) that can be related to Laurasian triconodonts and several forms so far known only in this part of Gondwana (among them Kryptotherium polysphenos gen. et sp. nov.). The latter, in particular, exemplifies the diversity of the mammalian dental morphology in the Mesozoic, often largely underestimated. In the last part of this paper, the 'therian' affinity of the 'amphilestids' is discussed, on the basis of the arrangement of molar cusps, the interlocking mechanism and the occlusal pattem. 

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Published in Vol. 32, Fasc. 1 (2003)

Nouvelles données sur les mammifères du Thanétien et de l'Yprésien du bassin d'Ouarzazate (Maroc) et leur contexte stratigraphique.
Emmanuel Gheerbrant, Jean Sudre, Sevket Sen, Claude Abrial, Bernard Marandat, Bernard Sigé and Monique Vianey-Liaud
Keywords: early Paleogene; magnetostratigraphy; Mammals; Morocco; North Africa; Ouarzazatz basin; systematics

    New faunal and stratigraphical data on the vertebrates localities from the early Paleogene of the Ouarzazate Basin (Adrar Mgorn 1, Adrar Mgorn 1 bis et N'Tagourt 2), Morocco, are presented. A magnetostratigraphical study, the first for such early Paleogene Arabo-African mammal localities, and the discovery of probable remains of the nannofossil Discoaster support the Thanetian age of the Adrar Mgorn 1 site. The magnetostratigraphy suggests a slightly later age than was thought for the Paleogene formations of the local series of Tinerhir and for the vertebrate localities: late or latest Thanetian for Adrar Mgorn 1 and Adrar Mgorn 1 bis, middle Ypresian for N'Tagourt 2. It also indicates a lower position of the KT boundary in the series. Two tons of matrix recovered in the vertebrate sites have vielded new data on the micromammals. A damaged lower molar from N'Tagourt 2 is referable to Khamsaconus bulbosus  and supports the proboscidean affinities of this species and especially possible relationships with bunolophodont taxa such as elephantiforms. A lower molar from Adrar Mgorn 1 bis belongs to a new form which can be identified as a plesiadapiform or an euprimate close to Altiatlasius koulchii though significantly larger. A new material from Adrar Mgorn 1 illustrates a new dilambdodont adapisoriculid species which is referable to Garatherium : ?Garatherium todrae n. sp. Another species referred to Garatherium is known in the locality (?Garatherium n. sp.). Garatherium is a new lineage from the Ouarzazate basin which crosses the Paleocene-Eocene boundary together with Palaeoryctes, Didelphodontinae gen. and sp. 2, Todralestes, and Afrodon, and it is the first Paleocene-Eocene lineage identified outside of this basin (Garatheríum is based on a species from El Kohol, Algeria). Among the Paleocene-Eocene lineages from the Ouarzazate basin, it should be also mentioned a new possible carnassial form (carnivoran or creodont; Adrar Mgorn 1), and an upper molar of Cimolestes cf. incisus (Adrar Mgorn 1 bis). The upper molar THR 168 previously reported as from an indeterminate didelphodontine is here identified as the M1/ of Afrodon chleuhi. The micromammal faunas from the Ouarzazate basin are positioned in the global chronological framework of the mammal localities from the Paleogene of the Arabo-African domain. 

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Published in Vol. 27, Fasc. 3-4 (1998)

Les rongeurs du Miocène moyen et supérieur du Maghreb
Jean-Jacques Jaeger
Keywords: Neogene; North Africa; Rodentia

         The Faunas of Rodents from seven north-african fossiliferous beds distributed from the Middle up to the Uppest Miocene are studied. One genus, seventeen species, one subspecies described are new.
           A detailed description is given of the evolution of the numerous specific lines, systematic groups and communities. The evidence of the strong endemism of the North African faunas of that time compared with those of Europe as well as of Tropical Africa is clearly shown. Special relationships with Asia clearly also appear, mostly in the Middle Miocene and the beginning of the Upper Miocene.
           Using the specific lines with a biostratigraphic purpose gives the opportunity to establish a biochronological scale for the continental formations of the Maghreb. This scale is calibrated by a few absolute datations. These datations, as well as the stratigraphical study of several fossiliferous localities have given the possibility to establish precise correlations with the corresponding scales of Europe and of Tropical Africa, as well as with the marine formations of the Neogene of occidental Mediterranean sea.
           The paleoclimatic data connected with this period in North Africa are explained and the contribution of the micromammals is discussed. 

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Published in Vol. 08, Fasc. 1 (1977)