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A pangolin (Manidae, Pholidota, Mammalia) from the French Quercy phosphorites (Pech du Fraysse, Saint-Projet, Tarn-et-Garonne, late Oligocene, MP 28)
Jean-Yves Crochet, Lionel Hautier and Thomas Lehmann
Keywords: Oligocene; Pangolin; Pech du Fraysse; Quercy phosphorites

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e4
 
  Abstract

    Pangolins have never shown a high taxic diversity and their fossil record is scarce. We report here the first discovery of a partial humerus from late Oligocene deposits in Pech du Fraysse (MP28, France). The new specimen from Pech du Fraysse is described and compared to various extant and extinct species of pangolins. It shows a suite of morphological features very similar to the humeri discovered in Saint-André (MP 26), Solnhofen (Burdigalien), and Saulcet (Aquitanian), attributed here to Necromanis franconica. The description of the specimen from Pech du Fraysse allowed us to discuss the systematics of Paleogene and Neogene pholidotans. The differences between PFY 4051 and N. franconica on the one side, and N. quercyi on the other side, might be sufficiently important to justify a generic distinction. A comparison with extant species showed that N. franconica was likely terrestrial and fossorial based on its humeral morphology. 



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  Article infos

Published in Vol.39-2 (2015)

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Révision des Rhombodontidae (Neoselachii Batomorphii) des bassins à phosphate du Maroc
Abdelmajid Noubhani and Henri Cappetta
Keywords: Batomorphii; Maastrichtian; Morocco; New taxa; Phosphate; Rbombodontidae
 
  Abstract

    The revision of the Rhombodontidae from the Maastrichtian of Morocco led us to the description of a new species: Rhombodus andriesi.

    The biometrical study of populations of R. binkhorsti and R. microdon, species sometimes considered as synonymous, supports the conclusion that they represent two distinct species and not young and adult specimens of a single species. The stratigraphical range of these two species confirms this
    result.

    The reexarnination of type-series studied by C. Ararnbourg led us to revise the generic status of Rhombodus bondoni which is now ranged, because his dental features, in the new genus Dasyrhombodus showing a less derived dentition than Rhombodus. The stratigraphical range of each species is clarified within the phosphatic series. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 23, Fasc. 1-4 (1994)

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The skull of Tetraceratops insignis (Synapsida, Sphenacodontia)
Frederik Spindler
Keywords: cranium; pelycosaur; Permian; therapsid origins

doi: 10.18563/pv.43.1.e1
 
  Abstract

    Tetraceratops insignis is known from a single, crushed skull from the Lower Permian of Texas. Its unique proportions and osteological details gained central meaning in the question of the origins of Therapsida since this early synapsid has been determined as the oldest and less derived therapsid. Apart from Tetraceratops, the ‘mammal-like’ Therapsida and their sister, the pelycosaur-grade Sphenacodontidae, are separated by one of the longest ghost lineages in tetrapod fossil record. However, the minor, though well justified critique faced insistent publication regarding the therapsid hypothesis. A carefull re-evaluation of the holotypic skull reveals that therapsid traits cannot be supported, including a rejection of the formerly supposed adductor shelf in the temporal fenestra. Increased understanding of ‘pelycosaur’ character variation underlines a haptodontine-grade or, less likely, sphenacodontid position for Tetraceratops


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Macroscelidea, Insectivora and Chiroptera from the Miocene of east Africa.
Percy M. Butler
Keywords: Chiroptera; East Africa; Insectivora; Macroscelidea; Miocene; systematics
 
  Abstract

    The East African Miocene Macroscelidea, lnsectivora and Chiroptera are revised on the basis of new material. New taxa proposed are: Miorhynchocyon, .n. gen. (Macroscelididae): Míorhynchocyon meswae, n. sp.: Pronasílío ternanensis. n. gen.. n. sp. (Macroscelididae); Hiwegicyon juvenalis, n. gen. n. sp. (Macroscelididae); Parageogale, n. gen. (Tenrecidae): Prochrysochlorinae, n. subfam. (Chrysochloridae): Propottininae, n. subfam, (Pteropodidae); Chamtwaria pickfordi, n. gen., n. sp. (Vespertilionidae). Gymnurechnínus songhorensis is synonymised with G. camptolophus. The new material provides additional information on the dentition, especially of Myohyrax oswaldi. Galerix africanus. Amphechínus rusingensis, Protenrec tricuspis and Parageogale aletris. Partial skulls are described of Amphechinus rusingensis, Protenrec tricuspis, Prochrysochloris míocaenicus and Taphozous incognita. The oldest member of the Macroscelidinae (Pronasilio) is described from Fort Ternan. Galerix africanus is closely related to G. exilis from Europe. Amphechinus rusingenesis is compared with Asiatic Oligocene Erinaceinae. The Miocene age of Crocidura is rejected. On the evidence of humeri, the following families of Chiroptera are newly reported: Pteropodidae, Nycterididae, Vespertilionidae, Molossidae. Propotto is regarded as an offshoot from the Pteropodidae, not ancestral to modern forms. Chamtwaria is a primitive vespertilionoid, provisionally placed in the Kerivoulinae. Erinaceidae probably entered Africa at the beginning of the Miocene, before 20 Ma. Faunistic differences between deposits are largely to be ascribed to differences in local environment. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 14, Fasc. 3 (1984)

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A new species of bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the early Oligocene global cooling period, Brule Formation, North Dakota, USA
Nicholas Czaplewski, Jeff Person, Clint Boyd and Robert Emry
Keywords: Eocene-Oligocene global cooling; Mammalia; Oligocene; Plecotini; Quinetia

doi: 10.18563/pv.42.2.e2
 
  Abstract

    We report the first confirmed fossil bats from North Dakota, including a new species referable to the Vespertilionidae represented by a maxilla with P4-M3 from the Brule Formation, Fitterer Ranch local fauna, early Oligocene, Whitneyan North American Land Mammal Age. Unassociated postcranial fragments of the humerus and femur also represent a vespertilionoid, but appear to reflect a different, unidentified species. The new taxon, Quinetia frigidaria sp. nov., is referred to the genus Quinetia, previously known only from approximately contemporaneous deposits in Europe. The new species is larger than Quinetia misonnei from the early Oligocene of Belgium. It is similar in some morphological characters to Chadronycteris rabenae (Chiroptera incertae sedis) of the late Eocene (Chadronian) of northwestern Nebraska and to Stehlinia species (?Palaeochiropterygidae) from the Eocene and Oligocene of Europe, but differs from each in morphological details of the dentition and maxilla. An unassociated talonid of a lower molar from Fitterer Ranch shows myotodont morphology, unlike the nyctalodont lower molars in Q. misonnei, and thus represents a second chiropteran taxon in the fauna. Quinetia frigidaria is a member of a Paleogene radiation of bats near the low point of the Eocene-early Oligocene decline in global temperatures, increased seasonal aridity, and loss of tropical floras from mid-latitude North America. 


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Discovery of the most ancient Notidanodon tooth (Neoselachii: Hexanchiformes) in the Late Jurassic of New Zealand. New considerations on the systematics and range of the genus
 
Henri Cappetta and Jack Grant-Mackie
Keywords: Chondrichthyes; Hexanchiformes; new genus; New Zealand; Tithonian

doi: 10.18563/pv.42.1.e1
 
  Abstract

    This paper describes the first hexanchid tooth from the Tithonian (Late Jurassic) of New Zealand. For the moment, this tooth represents the earliest representative of the fossil genus Notidanodon in the world and one of the most ancient neoselachians in the Southern Hemisphere. Despite the perfect state of preservation of the unique tooth, the species is left in open nomenclature, pending the discovery of additional specimens. Few nominal species have been assigned to the genus Notidanodon. Four from Cretaceous deposits: N. antarcti Grande & Chatterjee, 1987, Notidanodon dentatus (Woodward, 1886), Notidanodon lanceolatus (Woodward, 1886), Notidanodon pectinatus (Agassiz, 1843) and only two from Paleocene: Notidanodon brotzeni Siverson, 1995, and Notidanodon loozi (Vincent, 1876). Considering the important morphological variations observed between some of these species, it seems obvious that the genus Notidanodon is not monophyletic and will need a revision in the future. 
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol 42-1 (2019)

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A femur of the Late Cretaceous giant bird Gargantuavis from Cruzy (southern France) and its systematic implications
 
Eric Buffetaut and Delphine Angst
Keywords: Aves; femur; France; Gargantuavis; Late Cretaceous

doi: 10.18563/pv.42.1.e3
 
  Abstract


    A large avian femur recently discovered at the Late Cretaceous Montplo-Nord locality at Cruzy (Hérault, southern France) is referred to the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos. The estimated mass of the bird is 57 kg, within the range of living cassowaries. The specimen provides new evidence about the anatomy of G. philoinos, notably showing that the distal end of the femur was similar to that of modern birds in having a condylus lateralis subdivided into two semicondyles. A new diagnosis of Gargantuavis philoinos is provided and the taxon is placed in a new family of basal ornithurines.
      


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Published in Vol 42-1 (2019)

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Les traces de pas de Dinosaures et autres Archosaures du Lias inférieur des grands Causses, Sud de la France
Georges Demathieu, Georges Gand, Jacques Sciau, Pierre Freytet and Jacques Garric
Keywords: Dinosauroid footprints; France; Grands-Causses; Hettangian; ichnostratigraphy; paleoenvironments; Sinemurian; statistical results

doi: 10.18563/pv.31.1-4.1-143
 
  Abstract

    The Causses" is a near 3400 km2 large plateau located in the south of France. Here the first dinosaur footprints where found in 1935. After this, this area has yielded an ever-increasing number of ichnites now in excess of 500 specimens. These latter, 15 to 50 cm long, tridactyl or tetradactyl footprints of generally biped animals, were discovered at the surface of Hettangian to lower Sinemurian dolomite layers within 4 distinct stratigraphic units. The 35 sites bearing ichnites are located on the plateau margin. For the first time, morphologic characters studied through descriptive statistic methods with the usual parameters and classical Student and Snédecor tests, allowed us, to divide the whole set of biped traces into 6 ichnospecies. Their definitions are further constrained by multivariate statistical results using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Factor Analysis of correspondances (FAC) and Discriminant Analysis (DA). All have confirmed the morphologic observations. So that now, the following taxa are identified : Grallator variabilis, G. lescurei, G. sauclierensis, G. minusculus, Eubrontes giganteus, Dilophosauripus williamsi, cf. Moraesichnium, Orníthopus fabrei nov ichnosp. The more immediately visible differences relate to the interdigital II-IV divarication and the digit length ratio. To this panel, we must add Batrachopus deweyi and shapes suggesting Trisauropodichnus and/or Anomoepus. Among all ichnite associations described in the lower Liasic, the New England assemblage presents the most affinities with ours. It shows the ichnotaxa Grallator, Dilophosauripus, Eubrontes, Batrachopus without forgetting Ornithopus fabrei nov. ichnosp. which is close to Ornithopus gallinaceus from the Massachusetts and Connecticut basins. On comparing the present early Jurassic ichnofauna of the Causses with the ones of the Middle and Upper Triassic formations of the eastem border of the Massif Central (France), it appears that tridactyl footprints become more and more numerous and large from Triassic to Early Jurassic. In the Causses, these latest are prevalent but in Quercy (France), Poland, Italy, USA, they are also associated with Omithopoda, Thyreophora and Sauropoda ichnites. Footprint areas considered here were generaly under an arid climate. Animals that passed by were heavy and bulky possible Megalosaur trackmakers, and lighter and slender Coelophysids or Ceratosaurs. For all, these areas were pathways as the orientations of the trackways seem point out. The directions followed by these reptiles were without any important variation during the Hettango-Sinemurian stages. These areas were also used from time to time by Crocodilomorpha and may be tetradactyl (I-IV) bipedal avian Theropods. However, the number of such trackways in sites, sometimes substantial, should not lead us to overestimate the trackmakers populations. These last were probably relatively moderately abondant in this inter-supratidal swamp environment. In the Causses, ichnites are connected with former algo-laminated deposits (Algal mats) which were rapidly hardened by means of calcitisation of cyanobacteria. The result has been a moderate depth of footprints; autopodia disturbing only a few cm of the carbonate substrate. Other fossils have been discovered : invertebrates with thin bivalve and gastropod shells, crustaceans tests and plants. These latter suggest the existence of paleomangroves like environments but also continental vegetation periodically overruning the swamp environment during regression/transgression cycles. At these times, wooded parts of it, could become protecting, feeding, resting and nesting places.

      


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 31, Fasc. 1-4 (2002)

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La palichnofaune de vertébrés tétrapodes du permien supérieur du Bassin de Lodève (Languedoc-France).
Georges Gand, Jacques Garric, Georges Demathieu and Paul Ellenberger
Keywords: Footprints; France; Languedoc; Lodève basin; new ichnotypus; Saxonian; Upper Permian
 
  Abstract

    Near "la Lieude", in the Lodève basin, more than a thousand of footprints are distributed in a twenty of trackways which amounts to 220 m length. They have been found on calcareous siltstone level in the B site named also "Réserve Naturelle Volontaire". This last is located in the Saxonian summit dated Upper Permian. "La Lieude" tracks are described by using statistical methods then they are compared with others from the world Permian. What allows to distinguish 4 following ichnotaxa: Lunaepes ollierorum nov.ichnosp., Merifontichnus thalerius nov. ichnogen. and nov. ichnosp., Planipes brachydactylus nov.ichnosp. and Brontopus circagiganteus nov. ichnosp. All these traces are attributed with possibility or probability to Therapsida or to Therosauria, except Brontopus circagiganteus nov. ichnosp. that could be due to Caseamorpha. All these animals whose sizes have been estimated between l and 5 m lived probably in a playa environment.The biological and sedimentological data from "la Lieude" footprints levels compared with informations provided by the tracks orientations, suggest the following scenario. Animals coming from the North have crossed a sandy channel bank with plants zones by directing to the South for the majority. Maybe, they were going to the lacustrine part of the playa, close to "la Lieude" footprints that they have just trampled on. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 29, Fasc. 1 (2000)

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New Late Miocene plecotine bats (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae: Plecotini) from Gritsev, Ukraine
Valentina V. Rosina, Sergei Kruskop and Yuriy Semenov
Keywords: Barbastella; bats; late Neogene; Mammalia; Plecotus

doi: 10.18563/pv.42.1.e2
 
  Abstract

    The Late Miocene site of Gritsev (MN 9, Ukraine) has yielded a very rich bat fauna, the remains of which are well preserved. Compared to other Neogene bat assemblages of Europe, the Gritsev bat community is unique in preserving plecotine bats, which are rare from Neogene sites. Some peculiar and new bat species, including a large plecotin Otonycteris, already were described from the Gritsev mammal site. Here we report new records of small plecotin bats from Gritsev, including a new taxon, Barbastella maxima nov. sp. This is the earliest reliable fossil record of this genus and it differs from more recent species of Barbastella in being considerably larger. The evolutionary patterns in the odontology within the tribe Plecotini, supported by biostratigraphical distribution of fossil records of Plecotus are discussed. The morphological peculiarities of the new fossils of plecotine bats from Gritsev are discussed in connection with its possible taxonomical affinity. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol 42-1 (2019)

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Analysis of changing diversity patterns in Cenozoic land mammal age faunas, South America
Larry G. Marshall and Richard L. Cifelli
Keywords: Cenozoic; Chronofaunas; diversity; Equilibrium theory; Extinction; Land mammal faunas; Origination; South America
 
  Abstract

    Comparison of various measurements of taxonomic evolution using stratigraphic range data for orders, families and genera of land mammals indicates several means by which deficiencies of the South American fossil record (e.g., presence of hiatuses, unequal temporal and geographic representation of ages, unequal systematic treatment) may be normalized, thus permitting a less distorted appreciation of diversity pattern and trend. Initial radiation of native taxa resulted in a relative equilibrium by early Eocene time. Subsequent increases in absolute diversity were apparently induced by immigration at the family level and by environmental factors at the generic level. Miocene through Pleistocene phases of faunal stability, herein characterized as chronofaunas, are punctuated by rapid turnover events resulting from a complex of factors, including adaptive radiation of immigrant taxa into unoccupied eco-space; environmental and concomitant habitat change induced by orogenic events of the Andes; and biotic interactions between native and immigrant taxa, including competition and prey naivete. The first two factors account for major faunal transitions in the South American middle and late Tertiary; immigration-induced turnover may have been of greater importance in shaping the character of the fauna upon the Great American Interchange and the arrival of man in the Neotropics 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 19, Fasc. 4 (1990)

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Terrestrial vertebrate paleocommunities from the Cerro del Pueblo Formation (Late Cretaceous; Late Campanian) at Las Aguilas, Coahuila, Mexico
Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva, Eberhard Frey, Wolfgang . Stinnesbeck, Natalia Amezcua Torres and Diana Flores Huerta
Keywords: Campanian; Coahuila; dinosaurs; Mexico.; vertebrates

doi: 10.18563/pv.42.2.e1
 
  Abstract

    The Las Águilas site near Porvenir de Jalpa, Coahuila, Mexico, is extremely rich in tetrapod remains comprising both bones and trackways of several dinosaur taxa of late Campanian age. Within a 50 m thick section we identified at least nine layers with dinosaur bone assemblages. In one of these the dinosaur bones are associated with remnants of eusuchian crocodilians, turtles, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, tyrannosaurids, dromaeosaurids, parksosaurid, hadrosaurids, ceratopsids, and ankylosaurs. This layer is also rich in coprolites of turtles, crocodilians and likely theropods, thus providing evidence for the wealth of Late Cretaceous vertebrate life in the area. 


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Physogaleus hemmooriensis (Carcharhinidae, Elasmobranchii), a new shark species from the early to middle Miocene of the north sea basin.
Thomas Reinecke and Kristiaan Hoedemakers
Keywords: Carcharhinidae; Early Miocene; Elasmobranchii; Hemmoorian; new species; North Sea Basin; Physogaleus
 
  Abstract

    A new carcharhinid shark species, Physogaleus hemmooriensis sp. nov., is described from the Lower Hemmoorian (Behrendorfian, late Burdigalian, early Miocene) of Werder, Lower Saxony, Germany. P. hemmooriensis also occurs in the Edegem and Antwerpen Sands Members of the Berchem Formation, Belgium, and in the Miste Bed, Aalten Member of the Breda Formation, The Netherlands, which have an early to middle Miocene age. In the Western Atlantic region, the taxon is present in the early Miocene Calvert Formation of Delaware, U.S.A, which is largely contemporaneous with the Hemmoorian. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 34, Fasc. 1-2 (2006)

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There were giants upon the earth in those days
Pierre-Olivier Antoine
Keywords: Eurasia; history of science; Indricotheriinae; Paleogene; Rhinocerotoidea

doi: 10.18563/pv.38.1.e4
 
  Abstract

    Rhinoceros Giants: the Paleobiology of Indricotheres. Donald R. Prothero. Life of the Past Collection, Indiana University Press; 160 pp. (66 b&w illustrations). Hardback (7x10”): USD 42.00 plus shipping. ISBN: 978-0-253-00819-0. E-book: USD 34.99. ISBN: 978-0-253-00826-8.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol.38-1 (2014)

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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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Late Campanian theropod trackways from Porvenir de Jalpa, Coahuila, Mexico
Hector E. Rivera-Sylva, Eberhard Frey, Christian Meyer, Anne S. Schulp, Wolfgang . Stinnesbeck and Valentin Vanhecke
Keywords: Dinosaur tracks; Late Cretaceous; Mexico.; Tetanura; Theropod

doi: 10.18563/pv.41.2.e1
 
  Abstract

    Confident attribution of bipedal tridactyl dinosaur tracks to theropods or ornithopods can be challenging. Here we describe trackways produced by tetanuran dinosaurs, previously attributed to hadrosaurs, from Coahuila State, northeastern Mexico. Multiple trackways headed in the same direction suggest gregarious behaviour in these late Campanian theropods.  


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Published in Vol 41-2 (2018)

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Types dentaires adaptatifs chez les sélaciens actuels et post-paléozoïques.
Henri Cappetta
Keywords: Dental types; evolution; Fossil selachians; Recent selachians; Trophic adaptations
 
  Abstract

    The dentition of selachians is characterized by an often very pronounced heterodonty involving a great morphological diversity. Despite this fact, the dentitions of selachians can be grouped in a rather reduced number of dental types corresponding to trophic adaptations: grasping, tearing, cutting, crushing, grinding and grasping-grinding type. The numerous exemples of convergence and parallelism that can be observed in fossil selachians and between Recent and fossil ones is the result of this reduced number of dental types. These dental specialisations allow to try a reconstruction of the way of life of fossil forms. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 16, Fasc. 2 (1986)

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Recherches de mammifères paléogènes dans les départements de l'Aisne et de la Marne pendant la deuxième moitié du vingtième siècle
Pierre Louis
Keywords: Biochronology; Eastern Paris Basin; Fossil localities; Mammals; paleoenvironments; Paleogene; Paleogeography
 
  Abstract

    A brief historical account of fossil vertebrate discoveries in the Eastern part of the Paris Basin between the beginning of the nineteenth century and 1950 is given. Other localities discovered since then are presented. A reconstruction of past landscapes is briefly elaborated. A biozonation based on mammals is proposed, from the Late Thanetian to the Middle Bartonian. Paleogeographical considerations are added. Suggestions regarding the search for new marnmal localities are made. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 25, Fasc. 2-4 (1996)

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Les Périssodactyles (Mammalia) du gisement Bartonien supérieur de Robiac (Éocène moyen du Gard, Sud de la France)
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: Chasmotherium; new species; Palaeotheriidae; paleoenvironments

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.1.e3
 
  Abstract

    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.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol.39-1 (2015)

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Le genre Plagiolophus (Palaeotheriidae, Perissodactyla, Mammalia): révision systématique, morphologie et histologie dentaires, anatomie crânienne, essai d'interprétation fonctionnelle
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: New taxa; Paleogene; perissodactyls; skull anatomy; tooth histology
 
  Abstract

    The genus Plagiolophus is documented, almost solely in Western Europe, from the middle Eocene up to the mid Oligocene (MP 12 to MP 25), i.e. more than for 15 MY. Seventeen species are now recorded whose two of them are new, P. ringeadei nov. sp. and P. mamertensis nov. sp. Some anatomical variations and the deflection of certain evolutionary trends justify the distinction of three subgenera, Paloplotherium, Fraasiolophus nov. and Plagiolophus s.s. The genus displays a wide range in size and weight (between 10 and 150 kg). The detailed description of the skull of several species is here given for the first time.
    Despite important evolutionary drifts during this long time span, the dentition shows a great structural homogeneity, which renders difficult the determination of fragmentary specimens or isolated teeth. It is characterized by a great heterodonty; premolars are little molarized and present a certain regression through time with paradoxically some progress in the molarization. The hypsodonty increases: the first Plagiolophus are hardly less brachyodont than Propalaeotherium, and the last ones are nearly as hypsodont as Merychippus from the early Miocene. The upper molars change from a wide crown pattern, with an open occlusal surface, lightly oblique transverse lophs and rounded internal cusps, to a narrower pattern, with a frontally constricted occlusal surface and internal lophs aligned parallel to the ectoloph. The M3/3 become always longer.

    The dental enamel displays horizontal Schreger-bands with imprecise limits occupying only the middle part of the enamel layer. The dentine is remarkable by its high rate of pericanalicular dentine. The crown cementum, lacking in earlier forms, increases to the point where it fills the occlusal valleys of the
    teeth.

    The masticatory musculature shows a increasing prominence of the temporal, with probably an important role devoted to the pterygoid muscles in lateral movements related to a two-phase type of chewing.

    The evolution of the dentition, of the masticatory musculature and of the repartition of masticatory forces indicate that the Plagiolophus have known different diets through their long evolutionary history; at first browsers they became mixed feeders and finally grazers. Their relatively long neck allowed these animals to reach different vegetal layers. The strength of the nuchal crests also suggests that they were able to have strong backwards movements of the head to pull up their food.

    This evolution of diet seems related to the slow degradation of environmental conditions attested during this period in western Europe, with the generalization of more open landscapes, increasing aridity and more marked seasons.

    Besides, a remodeling of the face is ontogenetically and along time observed, in relation with the evolution of the masticatory apparatus and especially with that of the mandibular lever arm. The postcanine diastemata become longer in the course of evolution; the free extremities of the nasals are always relatively long which contradicts the hypothesis according to which Paloplotherium may have had a trunk. At last the lineage Fraasiolophus can be distinguished by the presence of a deep malar fossa, probably related to a strong development of the maxillo-labialis superior muscle.

    The orbit is always large and tends to increase in size, which indicates a good development of the vision and its increasing role in the life relations. A peculiar type of epitympanic sinus could have been used as a resonance chamber insuring a certain amplification of sounds before their transmission to the eardrum. The endocranial cast reveals a relatively large brain with an advanced degree of gyrencephaly. Beside the role eventually played in food research and social relations, these neurophysiological abilities, also related to an advance in cursorial fitness, could have contributed to the survival of these animals facing the predation pressure of the first fissipede carnivores and the competition with new immigrant herbivores after the "Grande Coupure".
    On the basis of some shared apomorphies with the Pachynolophinae, which prevent from considering the latter as Equidae (molarization of the premolars, reduction of the premaxilla dorsal apophysis, peculiar epitympanic sinus, splitting of the jugular process), the hypothesis of an autochthonous origin of Plagiolophus issued from a form near Propalaeotherium, is once again proposed and discussed. Finally, intra-generic relationships are taken into consideration. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 33, Fasc. 1-4 (2004)

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