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October 2021
Special Volume 1-2021
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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Since 1967, Palaeovertebrata has published original research on all aspects of vertebrate paleontology, including taxonomy, phylogeny, paleobiogeography, functional anatomy, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and taphonomy.

 The new on-line version of Palaeovertebrata aims to meet a critical need for easier access to research outputs within the field of vertebrate paleontology, by providing the first "diamond open access" journal. All Palaeovertebrata articles are peer reviewed to ensure they meet the journal’s high quality standards. Palaeovertebrata’s primary objective is to accelerate the publication of high quality papers and provide immediate access to its published articles at no cost to its authors or readers. We anticipate that Palaeovertebrata will gain an Impact Factor in due course.

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The beginning of the adaptive radiation of Theridomorpha (Rodentia) in Western Europe: morphological and phylogenetic analyses of early and middle Eocene taxa; implications for systematics
Monique Vianey-Liaud and Laurent Marivaux
Keywords: characters analyses; Dental morphology; Eocene; Rodentia; variability

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.2.e2

    This paper provides a revision of the early and middle Eocene European rodents previously referred to as Ischyromyoidea, including taxa considered to be at the origin of the Theridomorpha. The use of an accurate dental terminology and a better understanding of the size and shape of their infra-orbital foramen (i.o.f.) led us to a substantial revision of this group, which allowed to better characterize them and to appreciate their variability. On these bases, phylogenetic analyses (cladistic and standard Bayesian
    approaches) of early Ypresian to late Priabonian European rodent species were undertaken in order to highlight the root of the early Theridomorpha and its content. In this paper, the phylogeny was established based on 343 characters (338 dental) through 45 early Paleogene taxa using both cladistic and bayesian analyses. The ingroup included on one hand a few North American genera (Reithroparamys, Microparamys, and Acritoparamys) and European ones (Eogliravus, Ailuravus, Corbarimys, Meldimys, Euromys, Plesiarctomys, and Pseudoparamys) considered until now as being related with the North American superfamily Ischyromyoidea. On the other hand, it included genera close to the root of the Theridomorpha (Sparnacomys, Pantrogna, and Hartenbergeromys) and early Theridomyoidea (Masillamys, Protadelomys, and some Pseudosciuridae). The phylogenetic results obtained via the two
    distinct reconstruction approaches are consistent in virtually all relationships. The proposed systematics here derives from these phylogenetic results. This phylogenetic context led us to change the suprafamilial, familial, subfamilial or generic attribution of several species. Characters of Theridomorpha, like the obliquely developed postprotocristid allied with the occurrence of a metalophulid I, have been found in genera previously considered as Ischyromyidae (Pseudoparamys, Euromys, Sparnacomys, Meldimys, Pantrogna, and Hartenbergeromys) as well as the large i.o.f., when preserved (Pseudoparamys, Hartenbergeromys, and Masillamys). Based on these morphological observations and new phylogenetic considerations, the content of the Theridomorpha clade is here enlarged, thereby extending back the first theridomorph radiations to the early Eocene. Aside, a new taxon (Reinomys rhomboides gen and sp. nov.) is described from Avenay. In addition, a new genus, Auroremys, is created for the species subita (Comte et al., 2012) from Chery-Chartreuve. 

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S.I. Data
Additions to the elasmobranch assemblage from the Bandah Formation (middle Eocene, Bartonian), Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan, India, and the palaeobiogeographic implications of the fauna
Rajendra S. Rana, Raman Patel, David J. Cicimurri and Jun A. Ebersole
Keywords: Chondrichthyes; Elasmobranchii; Indian Ocean; Palaeogene; South Asia

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.2.e1

    Isolated elasmobranch teeth (sharks and rays) from the middle Eocene (Bartonian) Bandah Formation in the Jaisalmer District of Rajasthan, India are described. The remains improve our knowledge of the environment represented by this lithostratigraphic unit and the ecology preserved therein. Seventeen unequivocal taxa were identified, including Nebrius sp., Striatolamia aff. S. macrota, Brachycarcharias atlasi, B. lerichei, cf. Jaekelotodus sp., Carcharhinus mancinae, Rhizoprionodon sp., Physogaleus sp., Galeocerdo clarkensis, G. eaglesomei, Odontorhytis aff. O. pappenheimi, “Rhinobatos” sp., “Dasyatis” sp., Coupatezia sp., “Aetomylaeus” sp., “Rhinoptera” sp., and Ouledia aff. O. lacuna. Of these, “Aetomylaeus” sp., B. atlasi, C. mancinae, G. clarkensis, G. eaglesomei, cf. Jaekelotodus sp., Nebrius sp., Odontorhytis aff. O. pappenheimi, Ouledia aff. O. lacuna, and “Rhinoptera” sp. are reported from the middle Eocene of India for the first time. The Bandah Formation elasmobranch palaeofauna has close affinities to the Palaeocene-Eocene Tethyan/Paratethyan faunas of Africa, Madagascar, Asia, and Europe, and some taxa indicate a western hemisphere influence from North America. The Bandah Formation palaeofauna indicates that deposition occurred in a moderately shallow marine environment. The Bartonian age is primarily based on foraminifera but is corroborated by the presence of elasmobranch taxa that also occur in contemporaneous deposits elsewhere. The marine regression started during the early Palaeogene, and our study indicates that the sea completely withdrew from the Jaisalmer Basin after the deposition of the Bandah Formation. This event may have been synchronous with the middle Eocene uplift of the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau. 

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Designating a lectotype for Mesacanthus pusillus (Gnathostomata: Acanthodii)
Matthew Baron and Kevin Seymour
Keywords: acanthodians; Chordata; Devonian; Midland Valley; Orcadian Basin

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.1.e2

    The early gnathostome genus Mesacanthus is well represented in both Lower Old Red Sandstone and Middle Old Red Sandstone assemblages of northern and central Scotland. This ‘acanthodian’ taxon is currently thought to comprise two valid species: M. mitchelli and M. pusillus. Although the whereabouts of the holotype of M. mitchelli (NHMUK PV P560) is known, the syntype material for M. pusillus has long been thought lost. Here we identify at least one specimen that formed part of the original syntype material for M. pusillus, albeit in a slightly different condition than when it was originally figured. This specimen is ROM 25872, which is here designated as the lectotype. A second specimen – ELGNM 1978.191.1 – could represent another of the syntype specimens, but poor preservation quality makes it impossible to be certain. 

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S.I. Data
Latest Early-early Middle Eocene deposits of Algeria (Glib Zegdou, HGL50), yield the richest and most diverse fauna of amphibians and squamate reptiles from the Palaeogene of Africa
Jean-Claude Rage, Mohamed Adaci, Mustapha Bensalah, Mahammed Mahboubi, Laurent Marivaux, Fateh Mebrouk and Rodolphe Tabuce
Keywords: Africa; Algeria; amphibians; Eocene; squamates

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.1.e1

    HGL50 is a latest Early-early Middle Eocene vertebrate-bearing locality located in Western Algeria. It has produced the richest and most diverse fauna of amphibians and squamate reptiles reported from the Palaeogene of Africa. Moreover, it is one of the rare faunas including amphibians and squamates known from the period of isolation of Africa. The assemblage comprises 17 to 20 taxa (one gymnophionan, one probable caudate, three to six anurans, seven ‘lizards’, and five snakes). Two new taxa were recovered: the anuran Rocekophryne ornata gen. et sp. nov. and the snake Afrotortrix draaensis gen. et sp. nov. The locality has also yielded the first confirmed anilioid snake, the first Palaeogene gymnophionan, and probably the first caudate from the Palaeogene (and possibly from the Tertiary) of Africa. The presence of a caudate at that time in Africa would be of particular interest; unfortunately, the available material does not permit a definitive identification. The fauna comprises Gondwanan and more specifically West Gondwanan vicariants, probably autochthonous groups and a Eurasian immigrant (assuming that the identification of the caudate is accurate). The fauna from HGL50 is clearly distinguished from the few other Eocene assemblages of Africa. However, if this results largely from differences in geological ages, geographic positions of the localities and mainly differences in environments took a part in the composition of the faunas. 

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The digital endocast of Necrolemur antiquus
Arianna Harrington, Gabriel Yapuncich and Doug Boyer
Keywords: brain evolution; Eocene; Omomyiforms; Primates

doi: 10.18563/pv.43.2.e1

    The study of endocasts, or casts of the endocranial space, have played an important role in shaping understanding of mammalian, and particularly primate, brain evolution. Recently, the reconstructions of three-dimensional virtual endocasts from high-resolution computed tomography images have allowed for the visualization and quantification of endocasts in several Paleocene and Eocene primate species. Here we present the virtual endocast of MaPhQ 289 (informally known as the Montauban 9 skull), a specimen of Necrolemur antiquus Filhol 1873, a middle to late Eocene European primate of the family Microchoeridae. The virtual endocast of MaPhQ 289 reveals a lissencephalic surface morphology with expanded temporal poles and minimal overlap of the cerebellum or olfactory bulb by the cerebrum, which closely resembles the morphology of the endocast of its contemporary relative, Microchoerus erinaceus (Primates, Microchoeridae). MaPhQ 289 yields an endocranial volume (ECV) of 2.36 cm3, about 60% smaller than the volume of the most commonly cited ECV of N. antiquus. Thus, the size of the brain of N. antiquus relative to its body size is likely to be smaller than has been reported in previous literature, highlighting the importance of corroborating older ECV estimates with new evidence using 3-D imaging techniques. 

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Current Issue

Abstract book of the 18th Conference of the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (EAVP), 5-9 July 2021, Benevento, Italy
Matteo Belvedere, Verónica Díez Díaz and Raffaele Sardella
Keywords: 2021; Benevento; EAVP

doi: 10.18563/pv.eavp2021

    Welcome to the 18th conference of the EAVP, the first online meeting of our association. The pandemic emergency made it impossible to organize the in-person meeting in Benevento as we all had hoped. However, we couldn’t miss another EAVP meeting. Therefore, this year we are meeting online, trying to make the experience the closest to the in-person meeting possible, in order to offer the delegates the opportunity to share knowledge, build new networks and reinforce the old ones. We have received 137 communications, with more than 150 delegates from 24 countries. All the abstracts have passed a peer review process and are part of this special volume of Palaeovertebrata, the official journal of the EAVP. This year we are also offering a variety of workshops, roundtables and symposia on different topics. These include the annual “Pride EAVP: An LGBTQ+ Roundtable” and “Women in Palaeontology Roundtable Discussion”, together with the workshops on “Gendered Perspective in Palaeontological Research: from Definition to Action”, “International Palaeontology Education: Virtual Teaching and Real-World Learning”, “Stepping out of Academia: Why, When and How?”, “Introduction to Hypothesis Testing in Statistics”, “The Early-Middle Pleistocene Transition: Marked Mammal Turnover and Ecosystem Dynamic” (included in the early event for the XXI INQUA Congress in Rome 2023, “A Mediterranean Perspective on Quaternary Sciences”). To conclude, we are hosting two symposia on “Palaeoart: Diversity on and behind the Canvas” and “3D fossils, Robotic and Experimental Palaeontology”. We wish you all a happy and productive meeting. And see you in Benevento next year! 

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