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New Squalicorax species (Neoselachii: Lamniformes) from the Lower Maastrichtian of Ganntour phosphate deposit, Morocco
Henri Cappetta, Sylvain Adnet, Driss Akkrim and Mohammed Amalik
Keywords: Anacoracidae; Chondrichthyes; Maastrichtian; Morocco; New taxa

doi: 10.18563/pv.38.2.e3
 
  Abstract

    Two new Squalicorax species, S. benguerirensis nov. sp. and S. microserratus nov. sp. are described from the Lower Maastrichtian of the Benguérir phosphate open mine, Ganntour deposit, Morocco. The species S. benguerirensis nov. sp. was classically assigned to S. yangaensis since Arambourg (1952) and has been also recognized in coeval deposits from eastern USA to Mid-East. The species S. microserratus nov. sp. correspond to the lateral teeth of S. kaupi as reported by Arambourg (1952) and which is now referred in fact to S. bassanii. The comparison of these two new species with other Anacoracids, known in Moroccan or elsewhere, allows highlighting the great taxonomic and ecological diversities of this family during the Cretaceous.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol.38-2 (2014)

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Les insectivores des phosphorites du Quercy
Jean-Yves Crochet
Keywords: Insectivores; Quercy phosphorites
 
  Abstract

    Many types of insectivores have been described from specimens found in the Quercy phosphorites. These remains very often were not dated because they came from old collections. Recent excavations have permitted the situation of Amphidozotherium cayluxi FILHOL in the late Eocene. Two new genera are descrlbed based on material both from the old collections (Cryplotopos nov. g.) and from that recently recovered (Darbonetus nov. g., beginning of the middle Oligocene). Their systematic positions are revised and comparisons with American faunas are made. Amphidozotherium is not a talpid, but an erinaceoid belonging to an indeterminate family. Saturninia gracilis STHELIN is classified among the Nyctitheriinae, Myxomygale antiqua FILHOL among the Urotrichini Talpinae, and the genus Geotypus POMEL among the Scaptonichini Talpinae. A new study of the talpids from Auvergne has been rendered necessary. During the late Eocene and Oligocene precise morphology relationships existed between certain insectivores of Europe and North America. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 06, Fasc. 1-2 (1974)

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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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Study of the Turolian hipparions of the lower Axios valley (Macedonia, Greece). 4. Localities of Dytiko.
George D. Koufos
Keywords: Equidae; Greece; Hipparion; Lower Axios Valley; Macedonia; Mammalia; Turolian
 
  Abstract

    The hipparions from the Dytiko localities of the lower Axios valley (Macedonia, Greece) are studied. The material comes from three localities Dytiko-l, 2, 3 (DTK, DIT, DKO), which are situated near the village of Dytiko, about 60 km northwest to Thessaloniki. Three species have been determined, the medium-sized H. mediterraneum, the small-sized H. matthewi and the very small-sized H. periafricanum. The determined Hipparion species, their morphological characters and their comparison with the other Axios valley material indicate a Late Turolian age for the Dytiko localities. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 18, Fasc. 4 (1988)

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Les serpents des phosphorites du Quercy
Jean-Claude Rage
Keywords: Grande Coupure; Quercy phosphorites; Serpents
 
  Abstract

    A short review of the genera and species of snakes from the Quercy's phosphorites described by former authors is followed by the study of specimens recently collected. Most of these latter specimens belong to the Aniliidae, Boidae, Colubridae and to the Scolecophidia; the precise systematic position of some of them is not defined yet. The following genera and species are described: Eonilius europae nov. gen. and nov. sp., Platyspondylia lepta nov. gen. and nov. sp., Coluber cadurci nov. sp. and Dunnophis cadurcensis nov.  sp.; a species described by de Rochebrune (Palaeopython filholi) is revised. One of the most important conclusions of this study is that the Colubridae appear as early as the Upper Eocene. The stratigraphic repartition of these snakes shows that the rich Upper Eocene fauna is followed by the very reduced fauna of the Lower Oligocene; then the oligocene «Grande Coupure» corresponds to a very important faunistic renewal. The fauna remains poor and little diversified during the beginning of the Middle Oligocene after which there is a new faunistic explosion. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 06, Fasc. 3-4 (1975)

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Mode de vie et affinités de Paschatherium (Condylarthra, Hyopsopontidae) d'après ses os du tarse
Marc Godinot, Thierry Smith and Richard Smith
Keywords: Astragalus; Calcaneum; Condylarthra; Eocene; Functional morphology; Paschatherium; Phylogeny
 
  Abstract

    Tarsals that can be confidently attributed to Paschatheríum dolloi from Dormaal (Belgium) are described. The astragalus is short; its broad neck is set at an angle of 30 degrees to the trochlea. The trochlea is pulley-shaped and proximally extended. There is no astragalar foramen. The medial tibial facet extends distally in a cup deeply excavated in the neck and buttressed. The sustentacular facet extends toward the navicular facet but is not fully confluent with it. The calcaneum bears a proximo-distally extended proximal facet for the astragalus. A relatively large peroneal tubercle projects from the body, and is situated distally. Functionally, the trochlea indicates extensive flexion-extension movements of the foot. Calcaneo-astragalar facets indicate sliding and rotation between the two tarsals. The inclination of the navicular facet suggests frequent foot inversion. The peroneal tubercle reflects good muscular capacities for foot rotation. Overall morphology is interpreted as a scansorial adaptation similar to that of sciurids.Comparisons are made with the tarsals of Macrocranion vandebroeki from Dormaal and Hyopsodus paulus from the Bridgerian of Wyoming. Some similarities between the astragali of Paschatherium and Macrocraníon (trochlea) are interpreted as convergences for rapid locomotion. However absence of mobility at the lower ankle and midtarsal joints in M. vandebroekzi suggests that this species was cursorial, as is known for M. tenerum from Messel. Similarities in the calcanea of Paschatherium and Hyopsodus are probably the result of close phylogenetic relations, and confirm the placement of Paschatherium in the hyopsodontids. The differences in the calcanea of Paschatherium and Macrocranion underline that Paschatherium is distinct from erinaceomorph insectivores. The differences in astragalar morphology between Paschatherium and Hyopsodus show that a marked adaptive divergence separates the two genera. We speculate about the common occurrence of a deep tibial cup (“cotylar fossa”) and a pulley-shaped trochlea in Paschatherium and hyracoids, suggesting that an adaptive scenario similar to that having led to Paschatherium (scansoriality) might explain the acquisition of the peculiar hyracoid tarsal characters; such a scenario contradicts the concept of Pantomesaxonia. Other peculiar characters of Hyopsodus suggest that hyopsodontids might be given more consideration in the search for hyracoid (and tethythere) origins. 


  Article infos

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

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Fossil mammals and the age of the changxindian formation, Northeastern China
Spencer G. Lucas
Keywords: Changxindian Formation; China; Eocene; Fossil mammals
 
  Abstract

    Re-evaluation of the small collection of mammal fossils from the Changxindian Formation near Beijing, China indicates the following taxa are present: Eutheria, Hypsimilus beifingensis, cf. Miacis sp., Anthracotheriidae and Forstercooperia grandis. The presence of Forstercooperia grandis indicates an Irdinmanhan age and does not support previous assignment of a Sharamurunian age to the Changxindian Formation. 


  Article infos

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

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Les artiodactyles du gisement yprésien terminal de Premontre (Aisne, France)
Jean Sudre and Jorg Erfurt
Keywords: Artiodactyls; France; Mammals; new species; Ypresian
 
  Abstract

    The artiodactyls (Mammalia) from the latest Ypresian locality of Prémontré from the Paris Basin (niveau repère MP 10 in the lower Eocene of the Paris Basin) are described in this paper. Three species have been identified: 1) Diacodexis cf. varleti SUDRE et al., 1983; 2) a new species of Eurodexis ERFURT & SUDRE (E. russelli nov. sp.) defined after the revision of the species Messelobunodon? ceciliensis from the Lutetian beds of Geiseltal (Germany); and 3) Eurodexeinae indet., a probable ancestor of another form from the Geiseltal which was previously recorded as Homacodon? sp. (Erfurt 1993) and now named Parahexacodus germanicus. The two later forms are referred to the new subfamily Eurodexeinae (Erfurt & Sudre 1996). The analysis of these forms as weIl as comparative studies have led us to reconsider our previous conclusions regarding the content of the species Protodichobune oweni LEMOINE 1878 and some aspects of Ypresian diacodexid evolution. One can postulate that the divergence of E. russelli nov. sp. occurred during the first radiation of these primitive artiodactyls. Some other stem form with bunodont teeth such as Protodichobune and Aumelasia have also differentiated from Diacodexis. Like Eurodexis, these two genera persist during the middle Eocene. The absence of Protodichobune and Aumelasia at Prémontré is probably due to particular ecological conditions. 


  Article infos

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

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Les rongeurs de l'Eocène d'Afrique Nord-Occidentale [Glib Zegdou ( Algérie) et Chambi (Tunisie)] et l'origine des anomaluridae.
Monique Vianey-Liaud, Jean-Jacques Jaeger, Jean-Louis Hartenberger and Mahammed Mahboubi
Keywords: Africa; Eocene; New taxa; Paleobiogeography; Phylogeny; Rodents
 
  Abstract

    This paper is about the oldest African rodents faunas, from the late Early Eocene, or early Middle Eocene, Glib Zegdou (Algeria) and Chambi (Tunisia) localities. Five species are described and figured, belonging to a new family here created, the Zegdoumyidae.

    This family is compared to the Early and Middle Eocene rodents families from Asia, Europe and North America (Chapattimyidae, Yuomyidae, Gliridae, Theridomyidae, lschyromyidae and Sciuravidae), as well as to those known from the Late Eocene African locality Bir El Ater (Anomaluridae and Phiomyidae).

    On the one hand, it seems clear that the African endemic Anomaluridae arise from the Zegdoumyidae. On the other hand, the lschyromyidae, or primitive Sciuravidae, may be the most reliable ancestral groups for the Zegdoumyidae. Thus, this new family can be considered as the sister group for the American Sciuravidae on the one hand, and for the European Gliridae on the other hand.

    The biogeographical consequences of these phylogenetic hypotheses are discussed. A new phase of communication between Europe and North Africa is inferred, during the Early Eocene. It has been followed by a short period of endemism, allowing the adaptive radiation for the Zegdoumyidae, preceding the immigration of the Phiomyidae, during the Late Eocene, probably from Asian relatives. 


  Article infos

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

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Contributions à l'étude du gisement Miocène supérieur de Montredon (Hérault). Les grands mammifères. 2 - les carnivores
Gérard de Beaumont
Keywords: Anatomy; Carnivora; France; Montredon; systematics; Upper Miocene
 
  Abstract

    The locality of Montredon has provided 8 species of camivores, often little documented, that are discribed and depicted. All the remains are fragmentary and generally badly preserved which lowers very much the possible precision of the taxonomic study; this one has however allowed the creation of a new subspecies. The most richlypdocumented forms are an ursid (Indarctos) and a felid (Machairodus). Issuing often from a westem Europe evolution, the carnivores are well inserted between those of the better known faunas of the "Classical Pontian" and of the lower Vallesian and this situation fits also well with their stratigraphic level, that cannot however be more accurately defined with them alone.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 18, Ext (1988)

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An evening bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the late Early Eocene of France, with comments on the antiquity of modern bats
Suzanne J. Hand, Bernard Sigé, Michael Archer and Karen H. Black
Keywords: evolution; palaeobiogeography; Prémontré; Western Europe; Ypresian

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e2
 
  Abstract

    Bats are among the most numerous and widespread mammals today, but their fossil record is comparatively meagre and their early evolution poorly understood. Here we describe a new fossil bat from dental remains recovered from late Early Eocene sediments at Prémontré, northern France. This 50 million-year-old bat exhibits a mosaic of plesiomorphic and apomorphic dental features, including the presence of three lower premolars, a single-rooted p3, short p4 with metaconid, myotodont lower molars and a tall coronoid process of the dentary. This combination of features suggests it is an early member of Vespertilionidae, today’s most speciose and geographically widespread bat family. The Prémontré bat has bearing on hypotheses about the origins of vesper or evening bats (Family Vespertilionidae), as well as crown-group chiropterans.


      


  Article infos

Published in Vol.40-2 (2016)

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Pantolestidae nouveaux (Mammalia, Insectivora) de l'Eocène moyen de Bouxwiller (Alsace).
Jean-Jacques Jaeger
Keywords: Bouxwiller; Insectivora; Mammalia; Middle Eocene; Pantolestidae

doi: 10.18563/pv.3.3.63-82
 
  Abstract

    The Pantolestidae from the middle eocene of Bouxwiller are the subject of a detailed study. Buxolestes hammeli (n. g., n. sp.) is not closely related to any other European or North American form described until now; it presents, however, some characters in common with Pantolestes, a form of the same age from North America. A parallel evolution from a common ancestral form could explain this ressemblance.
    Another form (gen. and sp. indet.) accompanies Buxolertes hammeli in the Bouxwiller fauna.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 03, Fasc. 3 (1970)

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First record of the family Protocetidae in the Lutetian of Senegal (West Africa)
Lionel Hautier, Raphaël Sarr, Fabrice Lihoreau, Rodolphe Tabuce and Pierre Marwan Hameh
Keywords: innominate; Lutetian; Protocetid; Senegal

doi: 10.18563/pv.38.2.e2
 
  Abstract

    The earliest cetaceans are found in the early Eocene of Indo-Pakistan. By the late middle to late Eocene, the group colonized most oceans of the planet. This late Eocene worldwide distribution clearly indicates that their dispersal took place during the middle Eocene (Lutetian). We report here the first discovery of a protocetid fossil from middle Eocene deposits of Senegal (West Africa). The Lutetian cetacean specimen from Senegal is a partial left innominate. Its overall form and proportions, particularly the well-formed lunate surface with a deep and narrow acetabular notch, and the complete absence of pachyostosis and osteosclerosis, mark it as a probable middle Eocene protocetid cetacean. Its size corresponds to the newly described Togocetus traversei from the Lutetian deposits of Togo. However, no innominate is known for the Togolese protocetid, which precludes any direct comparison between the two West African sites. The Senegalese innominate documents a new early occurrence of this marine group in West Africa and supports an early dispersal of these aquatic mammals by the middle Eocene.
      



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  Article infos

Published in Vol.38-2 (2014)

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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. 


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in press

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Un giraffidae dans le pliocène de Montpellier ?
Claude Guérin
Keywords: Artiodactyla; France; Giraffidae; Mammalia; Montpellier; Ruscinian
 
  Abstract

    An upper giraffid premolar without any indication about its origin is preserved at the Montpellier University among numerous fossils from the ruscinian formation of Montpellier. It can be related to Samotherium, of the Upper Miocene in Eastern Europe, North Africa and Asia, or more probably to Bramatherium  or Hydaspitherium of the Pliocene of South East Asia. The sedimentological study of the matrix shows a calcareous background, which may indicate that this tooth does not come from the Montpellier formation. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 16, Fasc. 3 (1986)

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Une nouvelle espèce de Steneosaurus (Thalattosuchia, Teleosauridae) dans le Callovien du Poitou (France) et la systématique des Steneosaurus longirostres du Jurassique moyen d'Europe Occidentale.
Patrick Vignaud
Keywords: middle Jurassic; nov. sp.; phylogenetic relationships; skulls; Steneosaurus pictaviensis; systematics; thalattosuchian crocodile
 
  Abstract

    The study of all the available skulls allows us to review the systematic relationships of the longirostrine Steneosaurus from the Middle Jurassic of western Europe. Up to now, Aalenian and Bajocian deposits have not yielded any significant Steneosaurus remain. In the Bathonian, the only valid longirostrine species, S. megistorhynchus, is known in the Britain-Normandy Basin, the Poitou and the Lorraine. In the Callovian, most of the longirostrine Steneosaurus remains can be attributed to the species S. leedsi. Nevertheless, some remains from the Middle Callovian of Poitou (France) show important differences with S. leedsi. A new Steneosaurus species, only known in Poitou, is created and named S. pictaviensis. The specific characters are carried by the skull (preorbital pit well marked, orbit and ptetygoid fossae shapes), by the mandible (symphysis shape) and by the teeth (ornamentation). S. megistorhynchus is probably situated near the stem of the Callovian species but remains from the Bathonian and Lower Callovian are very scarce and it is very difficult to precise the phylogenetic relationships between the longirostrine species of the Middle Jurassic.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 27, Fasc. 1-2 (1998)

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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. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol 41-1 (2018)

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S.I. Data
Schmelzmikrostruktur in den inzisiven alt-und neuweltlicher histricognather nagetiere
Thomas Martin
Keywords: Africa; Caviomorpha; Ctenodactyloidea; Deseadan; Enamel microstructure; Hunter-Schreger bands; Hystricognathi; Incisors; Ischyromyoidea; multiserial; Paleobiogeography; pauciserial; Phiomorpha; Rodentia; South America
 
  Abstract

    Enamel microstructure in the incisors of Old- and New World hystricognath rodents:

    The incisor enamel microstructure in more than 100 genera of fossil and Recent hystricognath and sciurognath rodents was studied. A multiserial schmelzmuster is present in the Hystricognathi, the Ctenodactylidae, advanced Chapattimyidae, and in Pedetes. A redefinition of pauciserial and multiserial HSB is given that makes the two enamel types unambiguously distinguishable which apparently represent well defined evolutionary levels. In the pauciserial Schmelzmuster the IPM is thicker than in the multiserial one. In pauciserial HSB the IPM always surrounds each prism, and the crystallites of the IPM run parallel to prism direction; transition zones between HSB are lacking; the inclination of the HSB is normally very low and the prism cross sections are not flattened but somewhat irregular. The number of prisms per HSB is no good distinctive character for pauciserial and multiserial HSB, since there exists a wide overlap. The pauciserial schmelzmuster is primitive, the multiseiial derived because: 1. the pauciseiial schmelzmuster appears earlier in the fossil record in the most primitive rodents (Paramyids s.l. and Ctenodactyloids); 2. the Eocene Ctenodactyloidea show pauciserial HSB but the Oligocene and younger ones are characterized by multiserial HSB; 3. in the outgroup comparison, the Eurymylidae (Mixodontia) show pauciserial HSB; 4. biomechanically, multiserial HSB strenghten the enamel better than pauciserial HSB, since their IPM runs nearly always in an angle of 45° or more to the prisms.

    In multiseríal HSB three subtypes can be distinguished which are differentiated by the IPM orientation. Primitive is a (rarely strict) parallel or acute angular, anastomozing IPM, and derived is an interrow sheet-like ("plattenartige") IPM. This evolutionary polarity is indicated by enamel evolution in the Ctenodactylidae which show an acute angular IPM in the Oligocene and a rectangular interrow sheet-like IPM since the Miocene. Among the Caviomorpha a rectangular interrow sheet-like IPM is restricted to the Octodontoidea; therefore they must be considered derived in terms of their enamel structure. The first multiserial HSB in rodent incisors appear in phiomyids or chapatrimyids from the Upper Eocene of Algeria. The IPM is acute angular and anastomozing. The worldwide next younger multiserial HSB are found in Lower Oligocene phiomyids of Fayum, Egypt There already a rectangular interrow sheet like IPM is present (in Metaphiomys) besides the acute angular anastomozing IPM.

    The first Caviomorpha from the Deseadan (Oligocene-Miocene) likewise show already acute angular anastomozing IPM (e.g. Scozamys) and rectangular interrow sheet-like IPM (Platypittamys). Therefore the first Caviomorpha cannot be positioned close to a transition from pauciserial to multiserial HSB. In none of the potential caviomorph ancestors from southern North America multiserial HSB or transitional stage between pauciserial and multiserial HSB could be found. The similarities between the enamel types of the Fayum rodents and the rodents from the Deseadan of South America make a derivation of the Caviomorpha from Paleogene North African phiomorph rodents or their direct ancestors most probable. This supports at the same time a descent of the platyrrhine Primates from North African anthropoids.
      


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 21, Ext (1992)

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Premier catalogue des specimens-types Paléontologiques déposés dans les collections de l'Université de Montpellier II (Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc)
Bernard Marandat
Keywords: Collections; Inventory; Type specimens; University Montpelllier II
 
  Abstract

    More than 400 paleontological type-specimens housed in the Montpellier University collections have been inventoried in this catalogue which includes charophytes, Paleozoic plants, brachiopodes, molluscs, arthropodes and vertebrates (selachians, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals). The vertebrates have been treated exhaustively in the catalogue and one can consider that it includes most of the type specimens deposited in the Montpelier II collections. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 23, Ext (1994)

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The Quaternary avifauna of Crete, Greece.
Peter D. Weesie
Keywords: Avifauna; Crete; Quaternary; systematics
 
  Abstract

    Pleistocene bird fossils have been studied from nine localities on Crete. Part of this material was described earlier by the author (Weesie, 1982) and will not be treated here in extenso, the results will be incorporated. More than one third of the over 10,000 fossil bird bones available could be identified ; they were found to represent at least 65 bird species. The following species of the Pleistocene Cretan avifauna are new to the fauna of Crete : Branta ruficollis, Haliaeetus albicilla, Gyps melitensis, Aquila chrysaetos simurgh n. ssp., Ketupa zeylomensis, Aegolius funereus, Dendrocopos leucotos, Zoothera dauma, Turdus iliacus and Pyrrhula pyrrhula. The Pleistocene Cretan avifauna differs less from comparable mainland avifaunas than (fossil) avifaunas from oceanic islands do. Still, the Pleistocene Cretan avifauna has two qualities that are characteristic of island avifaunas : the almost complete absence of a group of birds (the Galliformes) and the presence of two endemic (sub)species : the giant eagle Aquila chrysaetos simurgh n. ssp. and the long-legged owl Athene cretensis (Weesie, 1982). The new subspecies is described in the present study.
    These endemic birds of prey were found in association with their supposedly principal prey species (now extinct as well) : endemic mice for the owl and endemic deer for the eagle. Endemic mammals have been found in association with endemic birds of prey on many islands, not only in the Mediterranean. There is evidence that the size of endemic birds of prey becomes optimally adapted to their feeding on certain endemic mammals, especially rodents. Another characteristic of the Pleistocene Cretan avifauna is the great number of species of birds of prey. This appears to be a common characteristic of fossil avifaunas from caves on Mediterranean islands as well as from caves on the European mainland. However, we think that ecological conditions on Pleistocene Crete (especially the abundant presence of mice) helped to account for the high representation of birds of prey. Furthemore, the fossil avifauna enables us to draw some conclusions about the climate and vegetation on Pleistocene Crete : it is concluded that the climate was cooler than today and that Crete was largely covered with forests. Finally, the reasons for the extinction or disappearance from Crete of some bird species of the Pleistocene Cretan avifauna are discussed. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 18, Fasc. 1 (1988)

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