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June 2015
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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Current Issue

New datation of the Tafna Basin (Algeria): A combination between biochronological and magnetostratigraphical data
Salamet Mahboubi, Mouloud Benammi and Jean-Jacques Jaeger
Keywords: correlations; Late Miocene; North Africa; Rodentia

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.1.e1

    The Tafna Basin corresponds to the lowlands, which are located in front of Tessala and Traras ranges, below the Tlemcen mountains, Algeria. This basin displays a complete sedimentary cycle dominated by lagoonal-fluvial and marine deposits. The continental formations located at the base of these deposits are mainly composed of alternating sandstones and clays. An early late Miocene age has been previously attributed to them, based on direct correlations with marine deposits. Search for micromammal fossils led to the discovery of three different rodent species from a single level of the Djebel Guetaf section, located at the bottom of these deposits. The rodent assemblage indicates a late Miocene age. Combined magnetostratigraphical and biostratigraphical investigations were carried out to provide a more accurate age control of these continental deposits. Sixty-four oriented rock samples were collected for a magnetostratigraphic study along a 92 meters thick section including the fossiliferous layer. Rock magnetic investigations indicate the presence of both high and low coercivity minerals. Specimens subjected to progressive thermal demagnetization procedures show that the samples exhibit a high temperature magnetization component and display a normal polarity. Based on biostratigraphic constraints, the Guetaf section is correlated with Chron C4An, indicating an age ranging from
    9.1 to 8.7 Myr.

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First Neogene Otonycteris (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Ukraine: its biostratigraphic and paleogeographic significance.
Valentina V. Rosina
Keywords: bats; East Europe; Gritsev; Late Miocene; Mammalia

doi: 10.18563/pv.39.1.e2

    A new species, Otonycteris rummeli nov. sp., is described from the Late Miocene site Gritsev (MN 9) in the Ukraine. Otonycteris rummeli nov. sp. differs from those of most vespertilionids, except recent Otonycteris, Antrozous and Early Miocene Karstala silva, in having a well-developed entocingulid at the foot of the trigonid valley in the lower molars. The morphological resemblance of Otonycteris, Antrozous and Karstala is apparently a case of convergence in the evolution of the Old and New Worlds bat faunas. From at least the Middle Miocene the range of Otonycteris distribution spread to the whole of Central Europe and such a situation continued during the whole Late Miocene. This indicates a more arid climate in Europe during the Upper Miocene compared to the Quaternary. The reduction of the distribution range of Otonycteris and its extinction in most of the territory of Europe could have been caused by the global climatic cooling and increasing glacial cycle amplitude during the onset of the Quaternary. 

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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

    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.

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