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1 September 2017 A Review of the Pliocene Bandicoots of Australia, and Descriptions of New Genus and Species
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Abstract
The Pliocene fossil record of Australia has revealed the oldest known occurrences of modern peramelemorphian (bandicoot and bilbies) genera such as Perameles, cf. Peroryctes, and Chaeropus. Recent phylogenetic analyses based on morphology have questioned the previously accepted understanding about generic relationships of some of these Pliocene taxa. These doubts limit our ability to develop independent divergence models based on molecular data because they depend on fossil records in order to calibrate minimum rates of change. Hence, there is a need to critically review the Pliocene fossil record. To this end, we have examined Pliocene specimens of peramelemorphians in museum collections across Australia and performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis based on dental and cranial morphology to review and accordingly revise subfamilial taxonomy. As part of this revision, we describe here two new species, one from the Chinchilla Local Fauna (LF) in Queensland (Perameles wilkinsonorum, sp. nov.) and one from both the Big Sink LF in the Wellington Caves area and the Bow LF in New South Wales (Silvicultor karae, gen. et sp. nov.). We reassign the two ‘Peroryctes’ species from Hamilton LF, Victoria, to a new genus (Silvicultor). We summarize the distribution of peramelemorphians during the Pliocene and show how climate change appears to have shaped their subsequent Quaternary distribution.
© by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Kenny J. Travouillon, Julien Louys, Gilbert J. Price, Michael Archer, Suzanne J. Hand and Jeanette Muirhead "A Review of the Pliocene Bandicoots of Australia, and Descriptions of New Genus and Species," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 37(5), (1 September 2017). https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2017.1360894
Received: 26 February 2017; Accepted: 1 June 2017; Published: 1 September 2017
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