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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.

  Article infos

Published in Vol.39-1 (2015)

Les traces de pas de Dinosaures et autres Archosaures du Lias inférieur des grands Causses, Sud de la France
Georges Demathieu, Georges Gand, Jacques Sciau, Pierre Freytet and Jacques Garric
Keywords: Dinosauroid footprints; France; Grands-Causses; Hettangian; ichnostratigraphy; paleoenvironments; Sinemurian; statistical results

doi: 10.18563/pv.31.1-4.1-143

    The Causses" is a near 3400 km2 large plateau located in the south of France. Here the first dinosaur footprints where found in 1935. After this, this area has yielded an ever-increasing number of ichnites now in excess of 500 specimens. These latter, 15 to 50 cm long, tridactyl or tetradactyl footprints of generally biped animals, were discovered at the surface of Hettangian to lower Sinemurian dolomite layers within 4 distinct stratigraphic units. The 35 sites bearing ichnites are located on the plateau margin. For the first time, morphologic characters studied through descriptive statistic methods with the usual parameters and classical Student and Snédecor tests, allowed us, to divide the whole set of biped traces into 6 ichnospecies. Their definitions are further constrained by multivariate statistical results using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Factor Analysis of correspondances (FAC) and Discriminant Analysis (DA). All have confirmed the morphologic observations. So that now, the following taxa are identified : Grallator variabilis, G. lescurei, G. sauclierensis, G. minusculus, Eubrontes giganteus, Dilophosauripus williamsi, cf. Moraesichnium, Orníthopus fabrei nov ichnosp. The more immediately visible differences relate to the interdigital II-IV divarication and the digit length ratio. To this panel, we must add Batrachopus deweyi and shapes suggesting Trisauropodichnus and/or Anomoepus. Among all ichnite associations described in the lower Liasic, the New England assemblage presents the most affinities with ours. It shows the ichnotaxa Grallator, Dilophosauripus, Eubrontes, Batrachopus without forgetting Ornithopus fabrei nov. ichnosp. which is close to Ornithopus gallinaceus from the Massachusetts and Connecticut basins. On comparing the present early Jurassic ichnofauna of the Causses with the ones of the Middle and Upper Triassic formations of the eastem border of the Massif Central (France), it appears that tridactyl footprints become more and more numerous and large from Triassic to Early Jurassic. In the Causses, these latest are prevalent but in Quercy (France), Poland, Italy, USA, they are also associated with Omithopoda, Thyreophora and Sauropoda ichnites. Footprint areas considered here were generaly under an arid climate. Animals that passed by were heavy and bulky possible Megalosaur trackmakers, and lighter and slender Coelophysids or Ceratosaurs. For all, these areas were pathways as the orientations of the trackways seem point out. The directions followed by these reptiles were without any important variation during the Hettango-Sinemurian stages. These areas were also used from time to time by Crocodilomorpha and may be tetradactyl (I-IV) bipedal avian Theropods. However, the number of such trackways in sites, sometimes substantial, should not lead us to overestimate the trackmakers populations. These last were probably relatively moderately abondant in this inter-supratidal swamp environment. In the Causses, ichnites are connected with former algo-laminated deposits (Algal mats) which were rapidly hardened by means of calcitisation of cyanobacteria. The result has been a moderate depth of footprints; autopodia disturbing only a few cm of the carbonate substrate. Other fossils have been discovered : invertebrates with thin bivalve and gastropod shells, crustaceans tests and plants. These latter suggest the existence of paleomangroves like environments but also continental vegetation periodically overruning the swamp environment during regression/transgression cycles. At these times, wooded parts of it, could become protecting, feeding, resting and nesting places.


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 31, Fasc. 1-4 (2002)

Recherches de mammifères paléogènes dans les départements de l'Aisne et de la Marne pendant la deuxième moitié du vingtième siècle
Pierre Louis
Keywords: Biochronology; Eastern Paris Basin; Fossil localities; Mammals; paleoenvironments; Paleogene; Paleogeography

    A brief historical account of fossil vertebrate discoveries in the Eastern part of the Paris Basin between the beginning of the nineteenth century and 1950 is given. Other localities discovered since then are presented. A reconstruction of past landscapes is briefly elaborated. A biozonation based on mammals is proposed, from the Late Thanetian to the Middle Bartonian. Paleogeographical considerations are added. Suggestions regarding the search for new marnmal localities are made. 

  Article infos

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