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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
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Paleobiology of Messel Erinaceomorphs
Gerhard Storch
Keywords: Erinaceomorpha; Germany; Grube Messel; Lipotyphla; Middle Eocene; Paleobiology

    Three erinaceomorph species are known from the early Middle Eocene of Grube Messel near Darmstadt, Germany, which are referred to the family Amphilemuridae. Pholidocercus hassiacus, Macrocranion tupaiodon, and Macrocranion tenerum showed extraordinary adaptations to their different life strategies, and several of their specializations are unknown among living insectivores. Pholídocercus was a well-defended robust animal with an opportunistic feeding strategy. Macrocraníon zupaiodon was a slender forest floor-dweller with saltatorial specializations to escape from predators; fishes were the preferred component of its omnivorous diet. Macrocranion tenerum exhibited a combination of both survival strategies, extremely elongated hind limbs for rapid and even ricochetal flight and a spiny exterior as an effective protective device; it was probably specialized for feeding on ants. Thus, closely related, omnivorous-insectivorous forest floor-dwellers could exploit the Messel ecosystem. 

  Article infos

Published in Vol. 25, Fasc. 2-4 (1996)

Additions of the Geiseltal mammalian faunas, Middle Eocene: Didelphidae, Nyctitheriidae, Myrmecophagidae.
Gerhard Storch and Hartmut Haubold
Keywords: Edentata; Geiseltalian; German Democratic Republic; Lipotyphla; Marsupialia; MP 11-13

    New and hitherto unpublished mammals from the stratigraphical levels Unterkohle, Untere Mittelkohle and Obere Mittelkohle of the Geiseltal near Halle, GDR, are described (= biochronological levels MP 11-13, Geiseltalian sensu Franzen & Haubold 1986a, b). The marsupial taxa Amphiperatherium aff. maximum (MP 12), A. goethei (MP 12), and Peratherium aff. monspeliense (MP 12 and 13) are recorded for the first time. A lectotype for Amphiperatherium giselense is designated, and the alleged primate Microtarsioides voigzi is assigned to Marsupialia, incertae sedis. A new insectivore species, Saturninia ceciliensis n. sp., is described (MP 13). The anteater Eurotamandua joresi is recorded for the first time outside its type locality, Grube Messel, FRG (MP 11). The present humerus and ulna display the autapomorphic features of the myrmecophagids. 

  Article infos

Published in Vol. 19, Fasc. 3 (1989)