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November 2014
Vol.38-1
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: quarterly

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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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Comparative bone histology of rhabdodontid dinosaurs
Edina Prondvai
Keywords: bone histology-based ontogeny; Mochlodon; Rhabdodon; skeletal maturation; Zalmoxes
 
  Abstract

    A comparative bone histological study of the three known genera of the endemic European ornithopod dinosaur family, Rhabdodontidae, is presented here in an ontogenetic context. Investigated specimens were assigned to different ontogenetic stages based exclusively on the histological indicators of osteologic maturation during diametrical bone growth; an entirely size-independent method as opposed to most previous studies. Qualitative comparison of bone histology of corresponding ontogenetic stages and elements among the three valid rhabdodontid genera, Mochlodon, Zalmoxes, and Rhabdodon, revealed some consistent patterns. Genus specific histological differences within Rhabdodontidae are most expressed between Rhabdodon and the Mochlodon-Zalmoxes clade. These indicate a prolonged phase of fast growth and a less constrained cyclicity in the growth dynamics of Rhabdodon, as opposed to the slower and more regulated growth strategy reflected in the bones of Mochlodon and Zalmoxes. These genus specific differences are consistent with the phylogenetic interrelation of the genera and are most probably related to the pronounced differences in body size. However, when compared to other ornithopods, most detected histological features in rhabdodontids do not seem to reliably reflect either phylogenetic relations or body size. A notable common feature of all rhabdodontid genera irrespective of body size is the ontogenetically early onset of cyclical growth and secondary remodelling; a pattern that more resembles the condition found in derived ornithopods than that described in more basal taxa which are closer relatives of rhabdodontids. The recognition of taxon-specific histological patterns as well as patterns indicative of ecological and thereby functional traits clearly requires more accurate, preferably quantitative evaluations.   


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Two new scyliorhinid shark species (Elasmobranchii, Carcharhiniformes, Scyliorhinidae), from the Sülstorf Beds (Chattian, Late Oligocene) of the southeastern North Sea Basin, northern Germany.
 
Thomas Reinecke
Keywords: Chattian; Elasmobranchii; North Sea basin.; Scyliorhinidae; Scyliorhinus
 
  Abstract


    Based on isolated teeth two new scyliorhinid shark species, Scyliorhinus biformis nov. sp. and Scyliorhinus suelstorfensis nov. sp., are described from the Sülstorf Beds, early-middle Chattian, of Mecklenburg, northeastern Germany. They form part of a speciose assemblage of necto-benthic sharks and batoids which populated the warm-temperate to subtropical upper shelf sea of the south-eastern North Sea Basin.
      


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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
 
  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. 


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Rodent paleocommunities from the Oligocene of Ulantatal (Inner Mongolia, China)
Helder Gomes Rodrigues, Laurent Marivaux and Monique Vianey-Liaud
Keywords: late Paleogene; Mammalia; Mongolian Plateau; Rodentia; Systematics
 
  Abstract

    The Oligocene deposits of the Ulantatal area in Inner Mongolia (China) contain among the richest mammalian faunas from Asia. To date, only some parts of the rodent faunas have been described. Here, we propose to review the rodent faunal lists for each site, including the description of a few new rodent specimens. We describe three additional rodent species: the Cylindrodontidae Anomoemys lohiculus, the Eomyidae Asianeomys sp., and the Dipodidae Litodonomys huangheensis. This study allows us to constrain the stratigraphic range of Anomoemys lohiculus, which ranged from the late Early Oligocene to the early Late Oligocene in this area. Asianeomys sp. and Litodonomys huangheensis are dated from the latest Oligocene. These Oligocene deposits consist now of more than 70 species of mammals if we include the fauna from Kekeamu. This latter corresponds to the basal part of the Ulantatal Formation and could be dated biochronologically from the earliest Oligocene. When compared to the faunas from the Valley of Lakes in Central Mongolia, the Ulantatal faunas present a great majority of rodents, and this difference can be partly explained by sampling and description biases regarding macro-mammals. This study also shows that variations existed between Inner and Central Mongolia, especially regarding the composition of the rodent paleocommunities. However, the assessment of their evolutionary history in this part of Asia with respect to the important climate and environment changes, require further precisions and more material than current data allow. 


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


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