June 1999
Vol. 28, Fasc. 1
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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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Palaeovertebrata Vol. 28, Fasc. 1:June 1999

Table of contents


First evidence of an early Miocene marine teleostean fish fauna (otoliths) from la Paillade.(Montpellier,France)
Bettina Reichenbacher and Henri Cappetta
Keywords: Aquitanian; Biostratigraphy; La Paillade; marine deposits; Miocene; otoliths; Palaeoecology; Palaeogeography; Southern France; Teleostei

    A fossil fish fauna, based on 5533 otoliths, from the La Paillade locality at Montpellier is described and figured. The otolith-bearing marls correlate to mammal zone MN l (Aguilar, 1982), and thus represent the earliest Miocene. The fish fauna consists of 30 taxa belonging to 20 families. Two species are new: Dussumieria sittigi and Liza gaudanti. The predominant faunal element is the Lesueurigobius vicínalis-species complex, composing 73% of all investigated otoliths. The palaeoecological analysis reveals a marine to euryhaline fish fauna living under tropical to subtropical conditions in the transition zone littoral - sublittoral. Water depth probably was more than 10 m. The scarcity of pelagic físhes suggests that the habitat was either a sheltered bay and/or far away from the open sea. Furthermore, some genera represented in the La Paillade fish fauna presently live exclusively in the Indopacific realm. Their presence strongly supports a broad connection between the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the Paratethys Seas during the Early Miocene (Aquitanian). From a palaeobiogeographical point of view, faunal relationships were found between the La Paillade fish fauna and both the Paratethys fish fauna and the fish fauna from the deposits in the Upper Rhinegraben and the Mayence and Hanau Basins (Germany).


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Rana (Amphibia : Ranidae) from the upper eocene (MP17a) Hordle Cliff locality, Hampshire, England.
Alan J. Holman and David L. Harrison
Keywords: Amphibia; England; Rana; Ranidae; Upper Eocene

    An ilium from the Upper Eocene (MP l7a) of Hordle, England, represents the first report of Rana from the Eocene of Britain. The ilium is similar to those of the water frog (Rana [ridibunda]) species group. 

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The evolution of the molar pattern of the Erethizontidae (Rodentia,Hystricognathi) and the validity of Parasteiromys Ameghino, 1904.
Adriana M. Candela
Keywords: Argentina; Erethizontidae; Hystricognathi; Miocene; Molar evolution; Porcupines; Rodentia; Systematics

    The genus Parasteiromys AMEGHINO, 1904 is revalidated, and P. friantae sp. nov. (Hystricognathi, Erethizontidae) from Colhuehuapian (early Miocene) sediments of the southern cliff of Colhue-Huapi Lake (Province of Chubut, Argentina), is described. The molar morphology of these taxa and of living porcupines adds new elements to understand the dental evolution of the Erethizontidae, and to propose the hypothetical ancestral molar pattern for this family. This pattern does not correspond to any of the morphologies traditionally proposed as ancestral for South American hystricognathous rodents. The proposed pattern is characterized by a metaloph disconnected from the posteroloph and oriented towards the hypocone, and the third loph incompletely developed with the lingual portion homologous to the mesolophule of Baluchimyinae (Chapattimyidae) from the Miocene of Pakistan. The inferred steps of the molar evolution of erethizontids towards the pentalophodont condition, considered derived for the family, are illustrated. This study strengthens the hypothesis placing erethizontids in a basal position among rodents of the suborder Hystricognathi.


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Un nouveau genre de ?Palaeotheriidae (Perissodactyla, Mammalia) décelé dans les phosphorites du Quercy (Eocène supérieur ou Oligocène) d'après un arrière crâne sans dents.
Jean-Albert Remy
Keywords: endocranial cast; Epitympanic sinus; Palaeotheriidae; Paleogene; Quercy phosphorites; skull anatomy

    A rear skull from the Quercy Phosphorites is described. It documents a new perissodactyl genus, likely assignable to the family Palaeotheriidae and probably paleogene of age. Owing to the lack of any tooth, this family assignment remains however somewhat hypothetical. The specimen is firstly characterised by the presence of a wide epitympanic sinus swelling and hollowing the squamosal shell and the post-glenoid process. This cavity might make up a peculiar pattern of improvement for the hearing apparatus by carrying out a kind of drum near the middle ear, whereas the bony tympanic remains barely bulged and forms but a few developed auditory bulla. This pattern appears an outcome of a trend observed with many palaeotheriids, such as Plagiolophus. Furthermore, the endocranial cast shows a rather high degree of gyrencephaly for a paleogene mammal. The prominent lambdoidal crest points out a powerful nape musculature and a lowered head bearing. Consequently, it is assumed that such an animal was probably living in somewhat open places, at the expense of rather tough vegetables. It might have been accordingly provided with a semi-hypsodont, cement covered, "plagiolophoid" dentition. 

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