Les Périssodactyles (Mammalia) du gisement Bartonien supérieur de Robiac (Éocène moyen du Gard, Sud de la France)
Chasmotherium; new species; Palaeotheriidae; paleoenvironments
We present here a new updated counting of the perissodactyls of Robiac, the type locality of the MP 16 level of the biochronological scale of paleogene mammals and that of the Robiacian stage of Eocene Land Mammals Ages in Western Europe.
The outcrop of Robiac consists actually of two 500m apart loci, Robiac-Nord and Robiac-Sud, considered of the same age according to the current discriminating power, and is dated from -38,7 MA after the last faunal, magnetostratigraphic and climatic calibrations.
It has yielded a very abundant and rich of 21 taxa perissodactyl fauna, topped by the giant Lophiodon lautricense, last representative of the family Lophiodontidae, of which it is the last proved deposit. The Palaeotheriidae are much diversified with 5 genera and 9 species of "Pachynolophinae", 3 genera and 10 species of Palaeotheriinae. Nine taxa have been defined from Robiac: Chasmotherium depereti n. sp., Palaeotherium castrense robiacense Franzen, 1968, the genus Leptolophus Remy, 1965 with the species L. stehlini Remy, 1965 and L. magnus Remy, 1998, Anchilophus (Paranchilophus) jeanteti Remy, 2012, Metanchilophus chaubeti Remy, 2012, Lophiotherium robiacense Depéret, 1917 and Pachynolophus gaytei n. sp.
The faunal Robiac cenogram with the associated flora testify to a hot, wet and forestal environment, likely corresponding to a short warming climatic phase; the broken up fossil bones should have been carried away and then gathered in swamp areas along the banks of a meandering river.
The swarm of mammals of Robiac, the richest of contemporaneous deposits, has been followed by a drastic drop in perissodactyl diversity at the MP 17A level; a crisis which could have originated in a renewal of the global Eocene cooling. Fons 4, the type-locality of this level, is largely scarcer in perissodactyls and its cenogram testifies to a less diversified fauna, with on the whole smaller species, that likely means a cooler and drier climatic environment; a new perissodactyl diversification occurred but later.
Published in Vol.39-1 (2015)