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1 July 2015 Vulpes mathisoni, sp. nov., a New Fox from the Pliocene Mursi Formation of Southern Ethiopia and Its Contribution to the Origin of African Foxes
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Abstract
We describe here Vulpes mathisoni, sp. nov., a new species of fox from the Mursi Formation of Ethiopia, dated to ca. 4 Ma., based upon a complete cranium with mandible. It is similar in size to V. pallida and resembles this species in several aspects, but the skull is narrower, the muzzle more slender, P4 has a weak protocone, M2 has a large metacone and a distinct, strong metaconule, m1 has a talonid with five distinct cuspids, and m2 has a strong mesial cingulum. Vulpes mathisoni, sp. nov., is probably an early member of a southern Afro-Indian clade that minimally includes V. pallida, V. chama, and V. bengalensis, pushing back its divergence from the Holarctic clade(s) to at least 4 Ma. We observe that, in sharp contrast to the Holarctic realm, the southern Afro-Indian one virtually lacks carnivorous small canids.
© by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Denis Geraads, Michelle S. M. Drapeau, René Bobe and John G. Fleagle "Vulpes mathisoni, sp. nov., a New Fox from the Pliocene Mursi Formation of Southern Ethiopia and Its Contribution to the Origin of African Foxes," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35(4), (1 July 2015). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2014.943765
Received: 15 May 2014; Accepted: 1 June 2014; Published: 1 July 2015
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