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Les traces de pas d'amphibiens, de dinosaures et autres reptiles du Mesozoïque Français : inventaire et interprétations.
Georges Gand, Georges Demathieu and Christian Montenat
Keywords: Footprints; France; Inventory; Mesozoic; palaeontology; palaeovenvironments; Stratigraphy

doi: 10.18563/pv.35.1-4.1-149

    Since the 19th century, thousands of footprints were observed in the geological series of the French Mesozoic. All are located in the Triassic and Jurassic. After a promising beginning, in France, it is only a few papers which will be published in the first half 20th century, unlike the USA and of others countries of Western Europe. One ought to wait about 1950 for a revival and now they are nearly 200 papers which were devoted to the ichnofossils. The literature abundance and the renewed interest of the naturalists for the palichnologic studies decided to us to write a synthesis work. This one begins with a stratigraphic inventory in which, localisation, age and paleontological contents of about 180 fossiliferous sites are specified. After having pointed out the followed methods, the footprints paleontological interpretation is then approached in detail and the results obtained are replaced in stratigraphy to deduce the fauna evolution during the Mesozoic. So, it appears that Ichnologic data, more varied and rich in the Triassic and Liassic than those relating to the bones, very rare for the considered periods, are very informative. The middle Triassic (Anisian-Ladinian), thus reveals Cotylosauria, Lepidosauria, Crurotarsi with Rauisuchia, Ornithosuchidae, Crocodylia and Dinosauromorpha more the "Prodinosauria": Dinosamiforme whose skeletons are known in Argentina but only in Ladinian. The rather fast domination of Dinosaurs during Norian is also as well shown. The almost exclusive presence of their footprints, up to fifty cm long, in the Lower Hettangian indicates their supremacy in the environments. Footprints characterise not very deep life places located between inter-supratidal limits and often out of water. Sedimentologic and Palaeontologic studies showed that they were great coastal spaces during Middle Triassic, flood-plain with sebkhas while Upper Triassic, and a large !!coastal marsh!! in Grands-Causses during Liassic in which, mainly, fine stromatolithic layers were deposited. During the same periad, bay beaches spread in Vendée. During the Middle Jurassic, they are also brackish to lacustrine environments and recifallagoons in- the Upper Jurassic. Numerous measurements of the footprints and trackways directions showed that the animaIs moved there in weil defined directions, for long periods. They seem due to the palaeotopography of the life environments relatively stable. Also, the discovery of vegetal radicular networks and small footprints far away from the continental borderlands has suggested that the animals continuously lived in these palaeoenvironnements, belonging to large ecosystems, where the sedimentation rate was weak. This explains that thebadies could not fossilize there but only their footprints through the cyanobacterian action in main cases. From the vertical distribution of different ichnospecies, defined with adapted statistical methods, explained in this work, a palichnostratigraphy was established for the Middle Triassic. Although the footprints are also abundant in Hettango-Sinemurian of "Grands-Causses" and the Vendée, it was not possible, up to now, to establish any zonation in this series; Probably because the palichnofauna is too little diversified there, currently reduced to a majority of Theropods II-IV tridactyl traces.

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Published in Vol. 35, Fasc. 1-4 (2007)

Mammals of the Eocene locality Toru Ajgyr (Kyrgyzstan)
Jorg Erfurt and Alexander Averianov
Keywords: Eocene; Kyrgyzstan; Mammalia; Olsenia; Palaeoecology; Stratigraphy; taxonomy

    Morphological descriptions are given of Eocene mammals from the locality Toru Ajgyr (NEKyrgyzstan) that were excavated in 1997 and 1998 in a cooperation between the Martin-Luther-University Halle (Germany), the Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg (Russia) and the Seismological Institute in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). The species found belong mostly to perissodactyls, as Lophialetes sp., Teleolophus sp. and brontotheres. The primitive ungulate family Olseniidae is represented by a complete foot skeleton of cf. Olsenia sp. In addition, postcranial materials of Gobiatherium mirificum (Dinocerata) and of artiodactyls have been collected and are described herein. Based on mammals, the locality is part of the Asian Land Mammal Age Arshantan and is stratigraphically equivalent with the Bridgerian Land Mammal Age in North America and with the lower and middle Geiseltalian of the European Middle Eocene. 

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Published in Vol. 34, Fasc. 3-4 (2006)

Stratigraphy and Oligocene-Miocene mammalian biochronology of the Aktau Moutains, Dzhungarian Alatau Range, Kazakhstan
Elena G. Kordikova and Alexander V. Mavrin
Keywords: Dzhungarian Alatau; Kazakhstan; Lithologic correlation; Mammalian biochronology; Miocene; Oligocene; Stratigraphy

    Stratigraphic studies in the Aktau Mountains bordering the Dzhungarian Alatau Range in southeastern Kazakhstan have included mapping of Tertiary lithostratigraphic units, documentation of fossiliferous deposits, correlation of sections, etc. These investigations have led in turn to revised interpretation of the Tertiary geology of the area. The Tertiary sequence in the Aktau Mountains is represented by three lithostratigraphic units (in ascending order): (1) the middle Eocene Akbulak Formation; (2) the Oligocene Aktau Formation with a lower member including white quartz sands that contain fossil mammals, and an upper member including red-colored clays and sandstones, brick red clays, an anhydrite and gypsum clayey horizon, and bright brown-red clays; and (3) the upper Oligocene-Miocene Chul'adyr Formation with a lower member of greenish and yellowish conglomerates and gritstones, a middle member including grayish and yellowish sands and gritstones, and an upper member including brown and red clays and carbonate- and anhydrite-rich clays. The Aktau and Chul”adyr Formations represent separate cycles of sedimentation. Mammalian biostratigraphy and biochronology of the three vertebrate faunas in Aktau Mountains are reviewed. The mammalian fauna from white sands of the lower Aktau Formation is small but includes Ardynia and is thought to be early Oligocene in age. The mammalian fauna from conglomerates and gritstones of the lower member of the Chul”adyr Formation is also small but includes Paraceratherium and is thought to be late Oligocene in age. The mammalian fauna from sands of the middle member of the Chul'adyr Formation is extensive, with micro- and macrofauna attributed to Neogene mammal zones MN4 to MN 6, indicating a latest early Miocene to earliest middle Miocene age (Orleanian-Astaracian). Most genera of middle Chul”adyr mammals are known from the middle Miocene Shanwang faunas of China and from the Castelnau-d”Arbieu faunal assemblage (MN4-MN6) of southwestern France. 

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

Nouvelles espèces de Dendromus (Rongeurs,Muriodea) à Langebaanweg (Pliocène,Afrique du Sud) conséquences stratigraphiques et Paléoecologiques
Christiane Denys
Keywords: Dendromurinae; Paleoecology; Pliocene; Rodents; South Africa; Stratigraphy

    New Dendromus species (Rodentia, Muroídea) from Langebaanweg (Pliocene, South Africa). Stratigraphical and paleoecological consequences.

    Two new species of Dendromus are described from the Langebaanweg site which precises the evolutionary trend among this genus in South Africa and gives further paleoenvironmental indications. Two evolutionary stages are described: D. darti nov. sp. shows low-crowned molars with bunodont cusps and its more closest relative would be D. melanozis from the Cape region. On the contrary, D. averyi nov. sp. is more lophodont and is better related with the modem D. melanotis. Both species are at a less evolved stage than the Dendromus sp. from Laetolil Beds at Laetoli. The Langebaanweg deposits cannot still be dated by biostratigraphy but they clearly cannot be older than the basis of Pliocene times. The association of Dendromus and Mystromys in the same levels indicates a grassland environment with woodland patches as well as probable swamps. 

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Published in Vol. 23, Fasc. 1-4 (1994)

Artiodactyla aus den Eozänen Braunkohlen des Geiseltales bei Halle (DDR)
Jorg Erfurt and Hartmut Haubold
Keywords: Artiodactyles; Eocene; Europe; Paleoecology; Stratigraphy; taxonomy

    The present study of Artiodactyla from the Middle Eocene of the Geiseltal lignite beds concems systematics, biostratigraphy, and palaeoecology on the basis of 174 specimens: isolated remains to more complete skeletons. Instead of the formerly known five species of two families are now recognized 14 species of the Diacodexeidae, Dichobunidae, Cebochoeridae, and Haplobunodontidae. New species are Aumelasia maniai, Anthracobunodon neumarkensis, Masillabune franzeni. Four species of the Geiseltalfauna are definitely known from elswere, and five species are closely related to those from other European localities. Evidently the faunal situation of artiodactyls during the Middle Eocene of Europe was largely uniform. The distribution of artiodactyls within the sequence of the Geiseltal strata corroborates the biostratigraphical concept of the land mammal age Geiseltalian (Franzen & Haubold l986b) as well as the mammalian reference levels MP 11-13 (Franzen 1987). Reconstructions of the skulls and skeletons allow conclusions on the functional morphology and palaeoecology of the artiodactyls of the European Middle Eocene 

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

Les vertébres dévoniens de la Montagne Noire (Sud de la France) et leur apport à la phylogénie des pachyosteomorphes (Placodermes Arthrodires).
Hervé Lelièvre, Raimund Feist, Daniel Goujet and Alain Blieck
Keywords: Devonian; Montagne Noire; New taxon; PHYLOGENY; Placoderms; Stratigraphy; Vertebrate

    Several different taxa of jawed vertebrates are reported for the first time from the Devonian of south-eastern Montagne Noire, France. Besides some undeterminable fragments of placoderm fishes from the Pragian and Lower Emsian, the material from the Upper Devonian is mainly represented by Melanosteus occitanus gen. and sp. nov. (Frasnian) and Thoralodus cabrieri LEHMAN, 1952 ("Famennian"). The good state of preservation of Melanosteus allows a detailed anatomical study leading to a phylogenetic analysis of the selenosteid pachyosteomorphs. 

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Published in Vol. 17, Fasc. 1 (1987)

Revision der Equoidea aus den Eozänen Braunkohlen des Geiseltales bel Halle (DDR).
Jens L. Franzen and Hartmut Haubold
Keywords: Eocene; Europe; Mammalia; Perissodactyla; Stratigraphy; taxonomy

    The dentitions as well as one complete and several partial skeletons of Equoids from the Eocene lignite beds of the Geiseltal locality are revised. Instead of 13 species distinguished up to now 3 chronoclines with 5 species and 3 separate species are recognized (text. fig. 1). Propalaeotherium hassiacum HAUPT, 1925 is evolving into Propalaeotherium isselanum (CUVIER, 1824) between the levels of the « obere Unterkohle ›› and the « untere Mittelkohle ›› of the Geiseltal section. Propalaeotherium argentonicum GERVAIS, 1849 is shown to be present in the « untere Unterkohle ››, whereas Lophiotherium pygmaeum (DEPERET,1901) occurs in the « obere Mittelkohle ›› and in the « oberes Hauptmittel ››. Plagiolophus cartieri STEHLIN, 1904 appears during the transition from the « Mittelkohle ›› into the « Oberkohle ›› as the earliest true Palaeothere. Therefore the « Oberkohle ›› is already regarded as Upper Eocene. This is corroborated by the occurrence of a phyletic descendant of Propalaeatherium parvulum (Propalaeotherium n.sp.) in the middle and upper "Oberkohle " because this species appears otherwise for the first time at the mammal level of Lissieu. On the other hand Propachynolophus gaudryz (LEMOINE, 1878) described by Matthes (1977) from the « untere Unterkohle ›› turns out te be in fact a Phenacodont. Thus the decisive argument for classifying the « untere Unterkohle ›› as Lower Eocene has to be dropped. Biostratigraphically the « Unterkohle ›› and the «Basishauptrnittel ›› correspond with the lower Middle Eocene (mammal level of Messel), whereas the «unteres Hauptmittel ›› and the « untere Mittelkohle ›› are equivalent to the middle part of the middle Eocene (mammal level of lssel), and the « obere Mittelkohle ›› together with the « oberes Hauptmittel ›› coincide with the upper Middle Eocene (mammal level of Bouxwiller). 

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Published in Vol. 16, Fasc. 1 (1986)

Mammals and stratigraphy of the continental mammal-bearing Quarternary of South America
Larry G. Marshall, Annalisa Berta, Robert Hoffstetter, Rosendo Pascual, Osvaldo A. Reig, Miguel Bombin and Alvaro Mones
Keywords: Geochronology; Mammalia; Quaternary; South America; Stratigraphy

    Previous chronological arrangements of South American Quaternary land mammal faunas are appraised on the basis of current geological and paleontological data. Three South American late Pliocene-Pleistocene land mammal ages are conventionally recognized, from oldest to youngest, the Uquian, Ensenadan, and Lujanian ; all are defined on Argentine faunas.

         The Uquian is based fundamentally and historically on the fauna from the Uquía Formation in Jujuy Province, northwestern Argentina. Important known formations in Argentina yielding Uquian Age faunas include the sub-surface Puelche Formation (or Puelchense) near the city of Buenos Aires, and the Barranca de Los Lobos and Vorohué Formations between Mar del Plata and Miramar, Buenos Aires Province. A tentative subdivision is propos-ed for the Uquian into three subages based on knowledge of the Mar del Plata-Miramar sequence, from oldest to youngest, the Barrancalobian, Vorohuean, and Sanandresian. In Argentina the Uquian is presently marked by the first known record of Scelidodon, Hydrochoeropsis, Ctenomys, Canidae, Ursidae, Gomphotheriidae, Equidae, Tapiridae, Camelidae, Cervidae, and the last known record of Thylatheridium, Thylophorops, Dankomys, Eumysops, Pithanotomys, Eucoelophorus, Hegetotheriidae, Sparassocynidae, and Microtragulidae.

    The Ensenadan Age is based on the fauna from the Ensenada Formation near the city of Ensenada, Buenos Aires Province. In Argentina the Ensenadan is marked by the first known record of Lomaphorus, Neothoracophorus, Plaxhaplous, Cavia, Lyncodon, Lutra, Galera, Smilodon, Dicotyles, Lama, Vicugna, the last known record of Orthomyctera, and the only known record of Brachynasua.

         Typícal beds of late Lujanian Age in Argentina consist of fluvial deposits occupying stream channels, and shallow basins, often incised into beds of early Lujanian (i.e. Bonaerian of early workers) and Ensenadan Age. The Lujanian Age is based on a fauna from beds along the Rio Luján, about 65 km west of the city of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province. The Lujanian in Argentina is marked by the first record of Equus, Chlamyphorus, and Holochilus, and the last record of Megatherioidea, Glyptodontoidea, Arctodus (=Arctotherium), Smilodon, Litopterna, Notoungulata, Proboscidea, Equidae, Morenelaphus, and Palaeolama.

       These land mammal ages are often difficult to recognize in other South American countries. The compositions of South American Pleistocene faunas vary with the environment. Some taxa were widely distributed in fossil deposits throughout the continent, but their occurrences need not reflect synchroneity. This is a result of changing climates and habitats in time. Consequently, proposed intracontinental correlations need confirmation based on magnetostratigraphy and a radioisotope time scale. Paleontologic characterizations of these land mammal ages (i.e. first and last record, and guide fossils) are useful for much of Argentina, but extensions to most of the other parts of South America are at best tenuous.

    The majority of known non-Argentine Pleistocene faunas are believed to be Lujanian in age. Possible non Argentine early Pleistocene (Uquian) faunas include Ayo Ayo and Anzaldo in Bolivia, and Cocha Verde in southern Columbia. A possible middle Pleistocene (Ensenadan or early Lujanian) fauna is the Chichense of Ecuador. Paleomagnetic and radioisotopic date (MacFadden et al., 1983) clearly indicate that the greater part of the Tarija fauna (Bolivia) is Ensenadan in age.

      The end of the Pleistocene and beginning of the Holocene in South America is marked by extinction of nearly all large mammalian herbivores and their specialized large predators. Radiocarbon age determinations suggest that large scale extinctions of megafauna occurred between 15,000 and 8,000 yrs. B.P. (years before present). 

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Published in Vol. 14, Ext (1984)

Mammals and stratigraphy : Geochronology of the continental mammal-bearing Tertiary of south America.
Larry G. Marshall, Robert Hoffstetter and Rosendo Pascual
Keywords: Cenozoic; Geochronology; Mammalia; South America; Stratigraphy; Tertiary

    The principles and practices employed in establishment and recognition of South American land mammal ages are reviewed along with previous and present concepts of distinguishing time, rock, and faunal units. Previous chronological arrangements of South American Tertiary land mammal faunas are appraised on the basis of recent geological and paleontological data. Twelve South American Tertiary land mammal ages are here recognized [from oldest to youngest, Riochican (middle to late Paleocene); Casamayoran (early Eocene); Mustersan (middle Eocene); Divisaderan (late Eocene); Deseadan (early [to middle?] Oligocene); Colhuehuapian (late Oligocene); Santacrucian (early Miocene); Friasan (middle Miocene); Chasicoan (late Miocene); Huayquerian (latest Miocene); Montehermosan (early to middle Pliocene); and Chapadmalalan (late Pliocene)]. As all except the Friasian were originally defined on the basis of Argentine faunas, these are discussed first and at length, and each is reviewed with discussion of type locality, stratigraphy, type fauna, and faunal correlations. Non-Argentine faunas are then discussed country by country in alphabetical order.

         A review is given of radioisotope dates obtained on volcanic rocks (i.e., basalts, tuffs) associated with mammalbearing beds in Argentina. Based on these age determinations and on correlation of the late Tertiary land mammals involved in the interchange between North and South America, a chronology of South American land mammal ages correlated with North American land mammal ages and European marine stages is proposed.

    It is concluded that South America was an island continent through most of the Tertiary Period (ca 65 to about 3 Ma). As a result, the land mammal fauna of South America developed in isolation and was dominated by autochthonous endemic groups. Toward the end of the Tertiary (i.e., middle Miocene) a unique faunal balance had been achieved by the descendants of the ancient inhabitants (notoungulates, litopterns, condylarths, astrapotheres, edentates, marsupials) and of later (late Eocene) waif immigrants (caviomorph rodents, platyrrhine primates). A prominent feature of this mammal fauna was the combination of carnivorous and omnivorous marsupials with native placental herbivorous ungulates, subungulates, and edentates.

    Sometime during the late Miocene, a limited but important interchange of mammalian taxa between North and South America took place. Procyonids (raccoons and their allies), a group of North American origin, first appear in South America in strata of Huayquerian Age, while members of the extinct South American ground sloth families Megalonychidae and Mylodontidae first appear in North America in early Hemphillian time. These groups dispersed along island arcs before the appearance of the Panamanian land bridge in the Pliocene (ca 3.0 Ma). Cricetine rodents, a group of North American origin, are first known in South America in strata of Montehermosan Age. The known taxa are too advanced and diversified to be considered the first of this group to invade South America. lt is believed by some workers that these rodents arrived before the Montehermosan, possibly in the late Miocene or earlier, by waif dispersal from North America.

    The isolation of South America ended with the appearance of the Panamanian land bridge, which provided a direct, dry land connection between the two Americas. Across this portal an extensive interchange of terrestrial faunas occurred, and the fossil record documents an intermingling of these long-separated land mammals faunas.

          The beginning of this interchange by land route in South America is marked by the appearance of mammals which evolved from North American emigrants in the Chapadmalal Formation of Argentina. These include a mustelid (Conepatus), a tayassuid (Argyrohyus), and four genera (Akodon, Dankomys, Graomys, Reithrodon) of cricetine rodents. The appearance of this contingent of northern animals favors the existence of the Panamanian land bridge by this time. Likewise, a large number of terrestrial vertebrates of South American origin appear in North America in beds of late Blancan Age date around 2.7 Ma. Among the mammals are Neochoerus, Erethizon, Glyptotherium, Glossotherium, Kraglievichia, and Dasypus

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Published in Vol. 13, Ext (1983)

Mammals and stratigraphy : the Paleocene of Europe
Donald E. Russell, Jean-Louis Hartenberger, Charles Pomerol, Sevket Sen, Norbert Schmidt-Kittler and Monique Vianey-Liaud
Keywords: Europe; Mammalia; Mammalian biochronology; Paleogene; Stratigraphy

    The mammalian faunas of the Paleogene of Europe and their localities are reviewed with comments on problems of European stratigraphy (epoch, stage and substage limits) and on the possibilities of faunal migrations. Radiometric dating is discussed. A stratigraphic scale for the Paleogene is presented, as well as a refined system of sequential faunal levels. 

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Published in Vol. 12, Ext (1982)