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December 2015
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
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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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A new species of Propalaeotherium (Palaeotheriidae, Perissodactyla, Mammalia) from the Middle Eocene locality of Aumelas (Hérault, France).
Jean-Albert Remy, Gabriel Krasovec and Bernard Marandat
Keywords: Eocene; new species; Palaeotheriidae; Propalaeotherium

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.2.e1

    A new Propalaeotherium species, clearly distinct from the genus Eurohippus, is described. It is characterized by having a similar size as P. voigti from the German Geiseltal localities (MP 11 to MP 13 reference-level), but differs in several features suggesting a slighty more derived morphology. It presents indeed less brachyodont crowns with less prominent and less elevated cingula, slightly larger relative surface of premolars, and a more marked metaconid splitting on cheek teeth. This new species is unknown from other European localities except the nearby Saint-Martin de Londres locality which has been considered older than the MP 13 level. 

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S.I. Data
A mandible of the hyracoid mammal Titanohyrax andrewsi in the collections of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (France) with a reassessment of the species
Rodolphe Tabuce
Keywords: Afro-Arabia; Fayum; Oligocene; Titanohyracidae

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.1.e4

    An unpublished mandible of the large hyracoid Titanohyrax andrewsi from the early Oligocene Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Depression, Egypt is described. This specimen has a twofold importance. Firstly, it opens an unexpected window on early paleontological research in the Fayum because it was discovered as early as 1904 by the French paleontologist René Fourtau during an expedition to the Fayum organized by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN). This expedition has remarkably never been mentioned in the literature. Secondly, the mandible documents the best-preserved specimen of T. andrewsi, permitting a revision of one of the very rare Paleogene hyracoids. Interestingly, the new mandible was discovered two years before the first report of the species by Charles W. Andrews. The hypodigm of T. andrewsi is reviewed and the dentition as a whole is compared in detail, notably with other Titanohyrax species from the Fayum. The validity of the large Titanohyrax schlosseri” species is discussed, but a pronounced sexual size dimorphism for T. andrewsi is favoured. 

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Fallen in a dead ear: intralabyrinthine preservation of stapes in fossil artiodactyls
Maeva J. Orliac and Guillaume Billet
Keywords: allometry; bony labyrinth; inner ear; middle ear ossicles

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.1.e3

    The stapes is the last of the middle ear ossicle chain and the smallest bone of the mammalian skeleton. Because it rests on the membrane of the fenestra vestibuli during life, the stapes may often fall within the bony labyrinth cavity when soft structures decay after death. In this work, we highlight the unexpected role that the bony labyrinth plays in the preservation of the stapes. Systematic investigation of the bony labyrinth of 50 petrosal bones of extinct and extant artiodactyls led to the discovery of eight cases of “intralabyrinthine” stapes. Three dimensional reconstructions of these stapes allow documenting stapes morphology of four extinct artiodactyl taxa: Microstonyx erymanthius (Suidae), Elomeryx borbonicus (Hippopotamoidea), ?Helohyus plicodon (Helohyidae), and an undetermined Cainotheriidae; and four extant ones Choeropsis and Hippopotamus (Hippopotamidae), and Tayassu and Phacochoerus (Suoidea). ?Helohyus plicodon from the Middle Eocene documents the oldest stapes known for the order Artiodactyla. Morphological study and metric analyses of our sample of artiodactylan stapes show that stapes are likely to carry relevant phylogenetic characters/signal within artiodactyls, and a potential Euungulata signature. 

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S.I. Data
New remains of the very small cuckoo, Chambicuculus pusillus (Aves, Cuculiformes, Cuculidae) from the late Early/early Middle Eocene of Djebel Chambi, Tunisia
Cécile Mourer-Chauviré, El M. Essid, Hayet Khayati Ammar, Laurent Marivaux, Wissem Marzougui, Rim Temani, Monique Vianey-Liaud and Rodolphe Tabuce
Keywords: Cuckoos; Eocene; Fossil bird

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.1.e2

    Abstract: A very tiny cuckoo, Chambicuculus pusillus, was recently described after a few fragments of tarsometatarsi from the late Early/early Middle Eocene of Djebel Chambi, Tunisia. New remains, notably a coracoid, confirm the attribution of this genus to the recent family Cuculidae. This coracoid shows a very elongate and strap-like processus procoracoideus. This morphological feature is otherwise only known in the family Cuculidae. The characteristics of the coracoid and tarsometatarsi show that Chambicuculus is morphologically more advanced over the other stem cuculids described in Europe and North America. Chambicuculus is the oldest Cuculidae known so far. 

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A classic in the making : VERTEBRATE PALAEONTOLOGY (4th edition). By Michael J. Benton.
Eric Buffetaut
Keywords: Book review; Vertebrate Palaeontology

doi: 10.18563/pv.40.1.e1

    When the first edition of Mike Benton’s Vertebrate Palaeontology came out in 1990, sauropods still dragged their tails on the ground, the closest relatives of whales were mesonychids, and Mesozoic birds consisted essentially of Archaeopteryx, Ichthyornis and Hesperornis. Twenty-five years later, the book, now in its fourth edition, is a third longer, in a larger format and sports fine colour plates – in addition to a companion website. 

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Current Issue

The new Algerian locality of Bir el Ater 3: validity of Libycosaurus algeriensis (Mammalia, Hippopotamoidea) and the age of the Nementcha Formation
Fabrice Lihoreau, Lionel Hautier and Mahammed Mahboubi
Keywords: Dispersal event; Miocene; North Africa; Tetralophodon

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e1

    The description of original material of anthracothere and proboscidean in the new locality of Bir el Ater 3 from East Algeria, and a thorough review of early Libycosaurus remains of Bir el Ater 2 allows us validating L. algeriensis as the smallest and earliest species of Libycosaurus and probably the earliest migrant of the genus from Asia. The presence of a Tetralophodon in the Neogene Nementcha formation might represent the earliest occurrence of the genus in Africa. These original fossil remains allow us to discuss the age of the Neogene part of the Nementcha formation close to the Serravalian/Tortonian boundary. 

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Batoids (Rajiformes, Torpediniformes, Myliobatiformes) from the Sülstorf Beds (Chattian, Late Oligocene) of Mecklenburg, northeastern Germany: a revision and description of three new species
Thomas Reinecke
Keywords: Batoids; Chattian; Elasmobranchii; North Sea Basin; Oligocene

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e2

    Bulk-sampling of fossil-rich tempestites from the Chattian Sülstorf Beds of
    Mecklenburg, north-eastern Germany, yielded a rich selachian fauna in which batoids
    predominate by the abundance of teeth but are subordinate by the number of taxa. Thirteen
    taxa are identified, among which rajiform batoids are the most diverse (six species). One
    genus and three species are newly described: Raja thiedei sp. nov., Oligoraja pristina gen. et
    sp. nov., and Torpedo chattica sp. nov. Two species are reallocated: Atlantoraja cecilae
    (Steurbaut & Herman, 1978) new comb., and Dipturus casieri (Steurbaut & Herman, 1978)
    new comb. Ontogenetic heterodonty is documented for the first time in the dental pattern of
    Myliobatis sp. Stratigraphical ranges of batoid taxa in the period from Rupelian to Langhian
    are presented and partly discussed in context with the palaeoclimatic evolution and
    palaeogeographic situation of the North Sea Basin. 

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New remains of the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos from the Late Cretaceous of Provence (south-eastern France)
Eric Buffetaut, Delphine Angst, Patrick Mechin and Annie Mechin-Salessy
Keywords: Aves; Gargantuavis; Late Cretaceous; Pelvis; South-eastern France

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e3

    Two incomplete pelves of the giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos are described from Late Cretaceous deposits at Fox-Amphoux (Var, south-eastern France). They consist of synsacra with attached parts of the ilia. One of them has undergone considerable dorsoventral compression, which makes it very similar in appearance to the holotype pelvis of Gargantuavis philoinos from Campagne-sur-Aude (Aude, southern France). The second specimen has suffered some lateral distortion but is uncrushed dorsoventrally. Because of this, its avians characters (including an arched synsacrum and widespread pneumatisation) are especially clear. These new specimens confirm the avian nature of Gargantuavis and reveal new details about its pelvic anatomy, but provide little new evidence about its systematic position within Aves. The geographical distribution and general rarity of Gargantuavis are discussed.

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First early Eocene tapiroid from India and its implication for the paleobiogeographic origin of perissodactyls
Thierry Smith, Floréal Solé, Pieter Missiaen, Rajendra Rana, Kishor Kumar, Ashok Sahni and Kenneth D. Rose
Keywords: Ceratomorpha; Helaletidae; Paleogene; Tapiromorpha; Vastan

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.2.e5

    The presence of cambaytheres, the sister group of perissodactyls, in western India near or before the time of collision with Asia suggests that Perissodactyla may have originated on the Indian Plate during its final drift towards Asia. Herein we reinforce this hypothesis by reporting two teeth of the first early Eocene tapiromorph Perissodactyla from the Cambay Shale Formation of Vastan Lignite Mine (c. 54.5 Ma), Gujarat, western India, which we allocate to a new genus and species, Vastanolophus holbrooki. It presents plesiomorphic characters typical of the paraphyletic “Isectolophidae,” such as small size and weak lophodonty. However, the weaker hypoconulid and low paralophid, higher cusps, lower cristid obliqua, and the lingual opening of the talonid are found in Helaletidae, the most primitive tapiroid family. V. holbrooki, gen. et sp. nov., may be the oldest and the most primitive tapiroid, suggesting that at least tapiroid perissodactyls originated on India. 

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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

    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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