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June 2018
Vol 41-1
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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Palaeovertebrata Vol 41-1:June 2018

Table of contents


Articles


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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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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Critical comments on the genus Propachynolophus Lemoine, 1891 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla, Equoidea)
 
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: Eocene; Eurohippus; Pachynolophus; Propalaeotherium; tooth morphology

doi: 10.18563/pv.41.1.e3
 
  Abstract

    Abstract
     The validity of Propachynolophus Lemoine, 1891, supposedly an intermediate between Hyracotherium Owen, 1841 and Pachynolophus Pomel, 1847, has been questioned for a long time. A detailed analysis of features on which this genus is based further supported by a formal cladistic analysis demonstrates that Propachynolophus is not a valid taxon. The type species, “Propachynolophus gaudryi Lemoine, 1891” shall be assigned to Propalaeotherium Gervais, 1849, under the new combination Propalaeotherium gaudryi (Lemoine, 1891). “Pachynolophus maldani Lemoine, 1878”, later assigned to Propachynolophus, typifies the new genus Orolophus, under the binomen Orolophus maldani (Lemoine, 1878). The other referred species, “Propachynolophus levei Hooker, 1994” and “P. remyi Checa-Soler, 1997” are poorly documented, and both species shall be provisionally referred to as “Hyracotherium levei (Hooker, 1994) and “Hyracotherium remyi (Checa-Soler, 1997), pending new discoveries.
     
      


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