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1 December 2006 MALIAN PAENUNGULATA (MAMMALIA: PLACENTALIA): NEW AFRICAN AFROTHERES FROM THE EARLY EOCENE
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Abstract
Fossils from early Tertiary phosphate deposits of northern Mali include a new diminutive proboscidean taxon intermediate in size between Daouitherium rebouli and Phosphatherium escuilliei. Although a fragmentary specimen, it has two dentary characters previously demonstrated to be diagnostic for basal proboscideans: a labially expanded mandibular corpus in the region of m2 and m3 and a mesiolabially positioned mandibular ramus. The locality that produced the fossils, Tamaguélelt, has historically been hard to date even though it has produced many vertebrates. A section is presented that includes the locality and relates it to surrounding sediments. The locality is Eocene, lies very close to the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, and is most likely early Eocene (Ypresian). The depositional environment suggests substantial reworking of older sediments, and the fossils within them, including the proboscideans, may be even older than early Eocene. The Mali proboscidean is one of the oldest members of Afrotheria that has been found in Africa and this locality is the southernmost African early Eocene locality for mammals.
MAUREEN A. O'LEARY, ERIC M. ROBERTS, MOHAMED BOUARE, FAMORY SISSOKO and LEIF TAPANILA "MALIAN PAENUNGULATA (MAMMALIA: PLACENTALIA): NEW AFRICAN AFROTHERES FROM THE EARLY EOCENE," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(4), (1 December 2006). https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2006)26[981:MPMPNA]2.0.CO;2
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