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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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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
 
  Abstract

    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. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol.38-1 (2014)

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The Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia) from the Oligocene of Ulantatal (inner Mongolia, China)
Monique Vianey-Liaud, Norbert Schmidt-Kittler and Laurent Marivaux
Keywords: Adaptive radiation; Ctenodactylidae; Mongolia; Oligocene; Rodents
 
  Abstract

    This paper proposes a systematic revision of the Oligocene Mongolian Ctenodactylidae, on the basis of abundant material obtained by screen/washing operations in stratified localities of the Ulantatal area (Inner Mongolia) (UTL1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 6 & 8). A Chinese-German team has collected several thousands of isolated rodent teeth, and a number of fragmentary jaws. A new genus is identified (Alashania nov. gen. tengkoliensis nov. sp.), and eight former species are reevaluated, Karakoromys decessus, Tataromys sigmodon, T. minor, T. plicidens, Yindirtemys ulantatalensis, Y. bohlini, Y. deflexus, with several synonymies. A new Yindirtemys species is described: Y. shevyrevae nov. sp. and another one close to that: Y. aff. shevyrevae nov. sp. Four new species, which are rare in the localities, remain in open nomenclature because they are not well-represented. Yindirtemys differs from the other genera by the permanence of crescentic structures, while the other genera show a general reduction of the trigonoid area (= anterior valley). We define a range of size variation for each well documented population. Although the dental morphology shows a wide range of variation, given that transitional morphologies occur in a single locality, it is possible to provide a clear definition for most species. We show that dental patterns of the different genera can be derived from the pattern of Karakoromys. As a number of Tataromyinae have been determined in several localities from China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, usually on the basis of scarce material, or surface collections, the present study would be used to re-evaluate their attribution inasmuch as the taxa are now placed in the Oligocene stratigraphy. The diversity of sizes and forms reflects the adaptive radiation of the family during the Oligocene, within a forested environment where the vegetation was probably abundant. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 34, Fasc. 3-4 (2006)

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