December 2021
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
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Palaeovertebrata 44-2:December 2021

Table of contents


Additions to the elasmobranch assemblage from the Bandah Formation (middle Eocene, Bartonian), Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan, India, and the palaeobiogeographic implications of the fauna
Rajendra S. Rana, Raman Patel, David J. Cicimurri and Jun A. Ebersole
Keywords: Chondrichthyes; Elasmobranchii; Indian Ocean; Palaeogene; South Asia

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.2.e1

    Isolated elasmobranch teeth (sharks and rays) from the middle Eocene (Bartonian) Bandah Formation in the Jaisalmer District of Rajasthan, India are described. The remains improve our knowledge of the environment represented by this lithostratigraphic unit and the ecology preserved therein. Seventeen unequivocal taxa were identified, including Nebrius sp., Striatolamia aff. S. macrota, Brachycarcharias atlasi, B. lerichei, cf. Jaekelotodus sp., Carcharhinus mancinae, Rhizoprionodon sp., Physogaleus sp., Galeocerdo clarkensis, G. eaglesomei, Odontorhytis aff. O. pappenheimi, “Rhinobatos” sp., “Dasyatis” sp., Coupatezia sp., “Aetomylaeus” sp., “Rhinoptera” sp., and Ouledia aff. O. lacuna. Of these, “Aetomylaeus” sp., B. atlasi, C. mancinae, G. clarkensis, G. eaglesomei, cf. Jaekelotodus sp., Nebrius sp., Odontorhytis aff. O. pappenheimi, Ouledia aff. O. lacuna, and “Rhinoptera” sp. are reported from the middle Eocene of India for the first time. The Bandah Formation elasmobranch palaeofauna has close affinities to the Palaeocene-Eocene Tethyan/Paratethyan faunas of Africa, Madagascar, Asia, and Europe, and some taxa indicate a western hemisphere influence from North America. The Bandah Formation palaeofauna indicates that deposition occurred in a moderately shallow marine environment. The Bartonian age is primarily based on foraminifera but is corroborated by the presence of elasmobranch taxa that also occur in contemporaneous deposits elsewhere. The marine regression started during the early Palaeogene, and our study indicates that the sea completely withdrew from the Jaisalmer Basin after the deposition of the Bandah Formation. This event may have been synchronous with the middle Eocene uplift of the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau. 

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The beginning of the adaptive radiation of Theridomorpha (Rodentia) in Western Europe: morphological and phylogenetic analyses of early and middle Eocene taxa; implications for systematics
Monique Vianey-Liaud and Laurent Marivaux
Keywords: characters analyses; Dental morphology; Eocene; Rodentia; variability

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.2.e2

    This paper provides a revision of the early and middle Eocene European rodents previously referred to as Ischyromyoidea, including taxa considered to be at the origin of the Theridomorpha. The use of an accurate dental terminology and a better understanding of the size and shape of their infra-orbital foramen (i.o.f.) led us to a substantial revision of this group, which allowed to better characterize them and to appreciate their variability. On these bases, phylogenetic analyses (cladistic and standard Bayesian
    approaches) of early Ypresian to late Priabonian European rodent species were undertaken in order to highlight the root of the early Theridomorpha and its content. In this paper, the phylogeny was established based on 343 characters (338 dental) through 45 early Paleogene taxa using both cladistic and bayesian analyses. The ingroup included on one hand a few North American genera (Reithroparamys, Microparamys, and Acritoparamys) and European ones (Eogliravus, Ailuravus, Corbarimys, Meldimys, Euromys, Plesiarctomys, and Pseudoparamys) considered until now as being related with the North American superfamily Ischyromyoidea. On the other hand, it included genera close to the root of the Theridomorpha (Sparnacomys, Pantrogna, and Hartenbergeromys) and early Theridomyoidea (Masillamys, Protadelomys, and some Pseudosciuridae). The phylogenetic results obtained via the two
    distinct reconstruction approaches are consistent in virtually all relationships. The proposed systematics here derives from these phylogenetic results. This phylogenetic context led us to change the suprafamilial, familial, subfamilial or generic attribution of several species. Characters of Theridomorpha, like the obliquely developed postprotocristid allied with the occurrence of a metalophulid I, have been found in genera previously considered as Ischyromyidae (Pseudoparamys, Euromys, Sparnacomys, Meldimys, Pantrogna, and Hartenbergeromys) as well as the large i.o.f., when preserved (Pseudoparamys, Hartenbergeromys, and Masillamys). Based on these morphological observations and new phylogenetic considerations, the content of the Theridomorpha clade is here enlarged, thereby extending back the first theridomorph radiations to the early Eocene. Aside, a new taxon (Reinomys rhomboides gen and sp. nov.) is described from Avenay. In addition, a new genus, Auroremys, is created for the species subita (Comte et al., 2012) from Chery-Chartreuve. 

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S.I. Data


Morphological description and identification of an extraordinary new elephant cranium from the early Pliocene of Ileret, Kenya
William Sanders, Meave Leakey, Louise Leakey, Craig Feibel, Timothy Gichunge Ibui, Cyprian Nyete, Mbatha P. Mbete and Francis Brown
Keywords: Elephantidae; Loxodonta adaurora; cranium; early Pliocene; Ileret; Kenya

doi: 10.18563/pv.44.2.e3

    Abstract: Paleontological exploration in the Turkana Basin near Ileret, Kenya yielded the most complete adult elephant cranium (KNM-ER 63642) known from the late Miocene to mid-Pliocene. KNM-ER 63642 derives from the lower Lonyumun Mb. of the Koobi Fora Fm. and dates to the early Pliocene, >4.3 Ma. The cranium is immense in size and preserves most of its structures including left and right M2-3, permitting its comprehensive comparative study and secure taxonomic assignment to Loxodonta adaurora. Features distinctive of the species and exhibited by KNM-ER 63642 include very elongate, divergent tusk alveoli, a short, biconvex cranial roof, anterosuperior angulation of the occipital planum, non-inflated occipital planum and absence of supralateral parietal "bossing," broad, flat premaxillary nasal processes, broad, laterally downturned nasal aperture superior to the level of the orbits, and M3s with wide, subhypsodont plates that are parallel-faced and separated by U-shaped transverse valleys. The M3s also exhibit characteristic L. adaurora traits of greatest width at their bases, rounded cross-sectional shape, thick enamel, abundant cementum, and strong anterior and posterior accessory conules. Of extant taxa, KNM-ER 63642 most closely resembles crania of African elephants. Its inclusion in the Loxodonta clade is tenuous, however, because shared features are either symplesiomorphic or are difficult to test for synapomorphy due to the poor fossil record of crania of late Miocene-early Pliocene elephants. Overall, the cranial morphology of KNM-ER 63642 is unexpectedly advanced for an elephant of its antiquity. Its anteroposterior compression and height are concordant with efficient proal masticatory action, indicating that by the early Pliocene L. adaurora evolved craniodental adaptations in phase with feeding preference for C4 grasses. The advantage of synchrony of morphology and behavior is reflected by the dominance of the species in the greater Turkana Basin during that interval.

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