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PalaeovertebrataVol. 25, Fasc. 2-4:371-390. 1996
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Eurodexeinae, eine neue unterfamilie der Artiodactyla (Mammalia) aus dem unter- und mitteleozän europas
Jorg Erfurt and Jean SudreKeywords: Artiodactyls; Eocene; evolution; Germany; Lutetian; new genus; New subfamily
Cite this article: Erfurt J., Sudre J., 1996. Eurodexeinae, eine neue unterfamilie der Artiodactyla (Mammalia) aus dem unter- und mitteleozän europas. Palaeovertebrata 25 (2-4): 371-390.
Dichobunoid artiodactyls are described in this paper from the middle Eocene Geiseltal lignite deposits near Halle (Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany). The genera Eurodexis and Parahexacodus are established based on odontologica1 studies. The type-species are E. ceciliensis (FRANZEN & KRUMBIEGEL, 1981) and P. germanicus n. sp. from the "obere Mittelkohle" (see text), MP 13. The genera are referred to the new subfamily Eurodexeinae (Dichobunidae, Artiodactyla, Mammalia), which also contains the monospecific genus Eygalayodon SUDRE & MARANDAT, 1993. These new genera show many features similar to North American homacodontids and antiacodontids. They exemplify a high degree of diversity in European dichobunids. Moreover, the family Dichobunidae includes the Dichobuninae and the Hyperdichobuninae. The connection of the posthypocristid with the postentocristid, the shift of a medial to a lingual position of the hypoconulid on the lower molars and the development of a large, caniniform P1 are regarded as the principal tendencies of the eurodexeines. The entoconid is larger and more mesially situated compared to that of Diacodexis. The hypoconulid has a lingual position on a broad postcingulid. The elongation of the premolars and the presence of diastemata are considered associated with extension of the muzzle. This and the acute tubercles of the molars could indicate a limited degree of insectivory. Protodichobune cf. oweni and Diacodexis cf. varleli, first reported here from the "untere Unterkohle" (MP 11) of the Geiseltal, demonstrate the existence of forms in the basal part of the middle Eocene, that are direct descendants of lower Eocene ones. Eurodexis russelli n. sp. from MP 10 of Premontre is the most primitive representative of Eurodexis. A further part of this lineage could be Messelobunodon sp. from MP 11 of Messel (Germany). Another form from Premontre, referred to Eurodexeinae indet., represents the origin of the lineage to Parahexacodus germanicus n. sp. from the Geiseltal (MP 13). The identification of several lineages in MP 10 is evidence of an adaptive radiation during this time. Unfortunately the history of the earlier species of Diacodexis is not known well enough to exclude earlier diversifications. Our study shows the independent development of artiodactyls at the end of the lower Eocene in Europe, North America (and maybe in Asia) with much convergence. The question of the geographic origin of the genus Diacodexis is still open.
Published in Vol. 25, Fasc. 2-4 (1996)