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August 2020
Vol 43-1
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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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
 
  Abstract

    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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