Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
20 April 2012 An Early Miocene Microtoid Cricetid Rodent from the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang, China
Olivier Maridet, Wenyu Wu, Jie Ye, Jin Meng, Shundong Bi, Xijun Ni
Author Affiliations +

Microtoid cricetids are widely considered to be the ancestral form of arvicoline rodents, a successful rodent group including voles, lemmings and muskrats. The oldest previously known microtoid cricetid is Microtocricetus molassicus from the Late Miocene (MN9, ca. 10–11 Ma) of Europe. Here, we report a new microtoid cricetid, Primoprismus fejfari gen. et sp. nov., from the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang, northwestern China. The rodent assemblage found in association with this specimen indicates a late Early Miocene age, roughly estimated at 18–17 Ma, and thus more than 6 million years older than M. molassicus. While morphological comparisons suggest that the new taxon is most closely related to M. molassicus, it differs from the latter in a striking combination of primitive characters, including a lower crown, smaller size, a differentiated posterolophid and hypolophid, a faint anterolophid, the absence of an ectolophid, and the presence of a stylid on the labial border of the tooth. Arid conditions prevailing across the mid-latitude interior of Eurasia during the Early Miocene, enhanced by the combined effects of the Tibetan uplift and the gradual retreat of the Tethys Ocean, likely played a role in the appearance of grasslands, which in turn triggered the evolution of microtoid cricetids and, ultimately, the origin of arvicoline rodents.


Arvicolines, which include voles, lemmings, and muskrats, represent of one of the most successful groups of rodents, having colonized all continents except Antarctica and Australia (McKenna and Bell 1997; Musser and Carleton 2005; Fejfar 1999; Fejfar et al. 2011). The group is characterized by hypsodont and prismatic check teeth adapted to hard plant foods (Fejfar 1999; Fejfar et al. 2011). The earliest undoubted arvicoline rodents appeared in northern Eurasia during the Early Pliocene, before rapidly dispersing into North America and southern Asia (Chaline et al. 1999; Fejfar et al. 2011; Musser and Carleton 2005). It is widely accepted that arvicoline rodents are derived from cricetid ancestors (Kretzoi 1955; Zheng and Li 1990; Michaux et al. 2001), with some Late Miocene cricetids from Eurasia and North America showing arvicoline-style cheek teeth with various degrees of hypsodonty and prismatic morphology. The latter are also known as microtoid cricetids, and are believed to have preceded the appearance of true arvicoline rodents (Schaub 1934; Fejfar 1999; Fejfar et al. 2011). Here, we describe a new microtoid cricetid from the Early Miocene deposits of the Junggar Basin in Xinjiang, China. This new record is about 6 million years older that the earliest previously-known microtoid cricetid, Microtocricetus molassicus Fahlbusch and Mayr, 1975 from the Late Miocene (MN9) of Europe (Fejfar 1999), thus indicating a much deeper origin of microtoid rodents than previously assumed.

Geological and paleontological investigations in the Junggar Basin have been going on for more than 50 years. Since the 1980s, the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleo-anthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (IVPP) has been excavating and screen-washing samples from this region every year in order to collect mammalian fossils. During the field season of 2006, a new fossiliferous locality (XJ200604) was discovered about 35 km northwest of Burqin Town (47°58.780′N 86°38.266′E; Fig. 1), northwest of other, previously known Early Miocene localities of the Junggar Basin (e.g., Wu 1988; Ye 1989; Ye et al. 1999; Bi 1999, 2000; Meng et al. 1999, 2006; Wu et al. 2000, 2003). The sediments exposed at this locality belong to an unnamed rock unit consisting of grayish- to blackish-yellow fluvial sandstone and sandy mudstone. Mammalian fossils were discovered in a lens of pebbly coarse sandstone in the basal layer of these fluvial sediments, which overlies the brightly-coloured Irtysh River Formation (Ye et al. 2005), and is separated from the latter by a disconformity. Owing to its central position within Asia (Fig. 1A), this locality plays a crucial role in the dispersion and diversification of mammalian faunas.

Fig. 1.

Map showing the location of locality XJ200604 in the northwestern Junggar Basin (modified from Maridet et al. 2011b, c). A. Central position of Junggar Basin in Asia at the continental scale .B. Location of Burqin County within the northwestern Junggar Basin, with the latter shown in light gray. C. Location of XJ 200604 north of the Irtysh River.

The rich and diverse small mammal fauna discovered at this locality includes isolated teeth belonging to Gliridae, Eomyidae, Cricetidae, Aplodontidae, Sciuridae, Mylagaulidae, Erinaecidae and Soricidae, and Lagomorpha. A preliminary study of the small mammals identified two lagomorphs, three glirids (Miodyromys asiamediae Maridet, Wu, Ye, Ni, and Meng, 2011c, Microdyromys aff. orientalis Wu, 1986, and one unidentified species of Eliomys), four eomyids (Asianeomys aff. engesseri Wu, 1986, Asianeomys sp., Keramidomys sp., and an unidentified eomyid), three cricetids (Democricetodon sp., Cricetodon sp., and the new microtoid cricetid reported here), and a new species of Ansomys. Eight of these taxa are also present or are represented by close relatives in the middle Shanwangian (about 17–18 Ma) Sihong, Afschuining'adege, and Suosuoquan S-u faunas (Fig. 2). The association of Democricetodon and Cricetodon is so far only known from the Early Miocene and early Middle Miocene of China (Wu et al. 2009; Qiu 2010; Maridet et al. 2011b), with Cricetodon being replaced by more hypsodont forms such as Gobicricetodon and Plesiodipus from the late Middle Miocene onwards (e.g., Qiu 1996). The discovery of Asianeomys aff. engesseri and Microdyromys aff. orientalis confirms an Early Miocene age for the locality. However, while Asianeomys engesseri is known from the Suosuoquan Formation Zone II, dated to between 21.7 and 21.9 Ma based on paleomagnetostratigraphic data (Meng et al. 2006), Microdyromys orientalis is known from the late Early Miocene Shanwangian locality of Sihong, thus possibly suggesting a younger age for XJ200604. Paleomagnetostratigraphic and isotopic dating suggest that the Shanwang and Sihong localities are about the same age (Deng 2006), with basalts underlying the Shanwang Formation having been dated to 18.05 ± 0.55 Ma (Cheng and Peng 1985). Keramidomys sp. and the new species of Ansomys from XJ200604 also resemble specimens from Sihong (Qiu 1987) and Gashunyin'adege in Inner Mongolia (Qiu Zhuding, personal communication 2011), thus corroborating a middle Shanwangian age for XJ 200604 (Fig. 2).

Systematic paleontology

Order Rodentia Bowdich, 1821
Superfamily Muroidea Illiger, 1811
Family Cricetidae Fischer de Waldheim, 1817
Genus Primoprismus nov.

  • Type species: Primoprismus fejfari sp. nov.; monotypic, see below.

  • Etymology. From the Latin primo, first, and prismus, prism; in reference to the early trend toward a prismatic morphology displayed by the specimen.

  • Diagnosis.—Small-sized cricetid rodent with incomplete lophodonty; low crown with prismatic pattern; metaconid and entoconid located anterior to protoconid and hypoconid, respectively; mesolophid and ectomesolophid developed into cuspids; lingual anterolophid absent, and labial one faintly developed.

    Differs from Microtocricetus Fahlbusch and Mayr, 1975 in its smaller size, lower crown, smaller posterolophid differentiated from the hypoconid, the presence of a cingulum on the labial border, and a weakly developed labial anterolophid. Differs from Rotundomys Mein, 1966 in having a well-developed mesolophid and ectomesolophid. Differs from Microtoscoptes Schaub, 1934, Goniodontomys Wilson, 1937, Paramicrotoscoptes Martin, 1975, and Pannonicola Kretzoi, 1965 in its much lower crown and less advanced prismatic morphology. Differs from Celadensia Mein, Moissenet, and Adrover, 1983, Anatolomys Schaub, 1934, Trilophomys Deperet, 1892, Bjornkurtenia Kowalski, 1992, and Baranomys Kormos, 1933 in the absence of a mesodont tooth morphology. Differs from all other cricetids in its anteriorly shifted lingual cuspids and sub-lophodont morphology, and in having the mesolophid and ectomesolophid developed into cuspids. Differs from undoubted arvicolines in having roots, the absence of cementum in the re-entrants, and the lack of a true association of prismatic and hyposodont morphology.

  • Fig. 2.

    Comparison of the small mammals from locality XJ200604 with their occurrences (or those of their close relatives) in other mammalian faunas from China. Chinese Early—Middle Miocene mammalian faunal succession with dating and correlation is based on Deng (2006), Meng et al. (2006), Qiu et al. (2006), and Sun et al. (2010). The dashed lines show the suggested correlation of XJ200604 and other middle Shanwangian faunas. Faunas in bold are from the Junggar Basin.

    Primoprismus fejfari sp. nov.

  • Fig. 3A–C.

  • Etymology: Named after Oldrich Fejfar, in honor of his work on “microtoid cricetids”.

  • Holotype: IVPP V18128, one left lower m2, L = 1.25 mm, W = 0.92 mm.

  • Type locality. Locality XJ 200604, northwestern Junggar Basin, Xinjiang, China.

  • Type horizon: Early Miocene, about 17–18 Ma.

  • Diagnosis.—As for the genus.

  • Description.—The only available tooth has just two roots. The tooth crown is mesiodistally elongated and has a roughly rectangular outline in occlusal view, with the mesial and distal sides of the tooth bearing flat contact facets. Together, these features suggest the tooth to be an m2. The crown is low and marked by a flat occlusal surface. The cuspids are elongated and form an incomplete lophodont pattern. The prismatic morphology, though evident, is not fully developed. The metaconid and entoconid are located anterior to the protoconid and hypoconid, respectively. The lingual anterolophid is absent, while the labial anterolophid is short and weakly developed. The mesolophid and ectomesolophid are developed into elongated cuspids, with the mesolophid forming a transverse crest together with the protoconid, while the ectomesolophid forms an oblique crest with the entoconid. There ectolophid is absent. A stylid is present on the labial border at the extremity of the ectomesolophid, along with a faint cingulum closing the two labial posterior sinusids. Although both the hypolophid and the posterolophid are elongate and form a nearly transverse posterior crest, they remain clearly differentiated.

  • Remarks.—No other muroid rodent resembling Primoprismus fejfari has ever been reported from the Late Oligocene-Middle Miocene of Central Asia. Previously reported Early Miocene cricetids from the Junggar Basin, such as Cricetodon Lartet, 1851, Eumyarion Thaler, 1966, Democricetodon Fahlbusch, 1964 and Megacricetodon Fahlbusch, 1964 (Maridet et al. 2011a, b), all lack the combination of anteriorly shifted lingual cuspids and a semi-lophodont morphology. The monotypic genus Microtocricetus Fahlbusch and Mayr, 1975, including only M. molassicus Fahlbusch and Mayr, 1975, is known from the early Late Miocene of Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, and Poland (Falhbusch and Mayr 1975; Bachmayer and Wilson 1984, Kowalski 1993; Welcomme et al. 1991; Hír and Kókay 2010), as well as possibly the latest Middle Miocene of Germany (see discussion about the biostratigraphy of Hammerschmiede in Prieto et al. 2011). In addition, some unpublished material from the middle Late Miocene locality of Sala in Inner Mongolia likely also belongs to this taxon (Qiu and Li 2003). Microtocricetus and P. fejfari may be closely related, and share a flat occlusal surface, the development of the ectomesolophid and mesolophid into elongated cuspids, an incomplete prismatic morphology, and the presence of transverse crests formed by the protoconid-mesolophid and entoconid-ectomesolophid (“external transversal ridge” or “äußerer Quersporn” sensu Fejfar 1999), respectively.

    Other Late Miocene microtoid cricetids, such as Rotundomys Mein, 1966, Celadensia Mein, Moissenet, and Adrover, 1983, and Blancomys van de Weerd, Adrover, Mein and Soria, 1977 lack the ectomesolophid. Finally, microtoscoptine cricetids, such as Microtoscoptes Schaub, 1934, Goniodontomys Wilson, 1937, Paramicrotoscoptes Martin, 1975, and Pannonicola Kretzoi, 1965, display much more advanced hyposodont and prismatic morphologies.

  • Fig. 3.

    Left lower m2 of cricetid rodent Primoprismus fejfari gen. et sp. nov. from Junggar Basin, China. IVPP V18128 in occlusal (A), ventral (B), and labial (C) views.


    Previous authors proposed some general morphological trends for microtoid cricetids and true arvicoline rodents (Fejfar 1999; Fejfar et al. 2011; Chaline et al. 1999). For Late Miocene “microtoid cricetids”, these include an increase in the degree of hypsodonty; reinforcement of the lophodont and prismatic morphologies; the disappearance of cingula and the opening of sinuses/sinusids; and the transformation of anterolophs/anterolophids and posterolophs/posterolophids into transverse crests (Fejfar 1999). By contrast, later arvicoline evolution is characterized by the convergent development of cement in the re-entrant angles of the molars, the gradual disappearance of roots, and the appearance of an enamel tract (Chaline et al. 1999). With regard to these trends, our specimen displays a striking combination of primitive characters compared with Late Miocene microtoid cricetids, include its small size, the retention of roots, a low crown, a differentiated posterolophid and hypolophid, a faint labial anterolophid not developed into a crest, the absence of an ectolophid, and the presence of a stylid on the labial border, with a faint cingulum closing the two labial posterior sinusids. These primitive features suggest that P. fejfari is much more archaic than all previously described microtoid cricetids, including Microtocricetus molassicus.

    Fejfar et al. (2011) concluded that the morphological peculiarities of Microtocricetus exclude any affinities with other microtoid cricetids, and suggested that Microtocricetus could be an isolated lineage which went extinct before the end of the Miocene. However, the resemblance of Microtocricetus and Primoprismus suggests that these two taxa may be related, with Primoprismus probably representing a relatively early stage. It should be noted that the labial synclines of Primoprismus are not exactly opposite to its lingual anticlines, a feature present in some Microtoscoptinae (such as Microtoscoptes, Paramicrotoscoptes and Goniodontomys), but absent in Microtocricetus. However, given its age and retention of many generalized features, it is possible that Primoprismus fejfari falls very close to the common ancestor of all Northern Hemisphere Late Miocene microtoid cricetids, including Microtocricetus and Microtoscoptes from Europe, and Paramicrotoscoptes and Goniodontomys from North America.

    Several authors have suggested that the progressive development of hypsodonty and a prismatic tooth morphology among microtoid cricetids from the Late Miocene onwards gave rise to true arvicoline rodents, which ultimately replaced their ancestors (Gromov and Polyakov 1977; Kretzoi 1955; Fejfar 1999; Michaux et al. 2001; Fejfar et al. 2011). Recent molecular phylogenetic studies indicate that arvicolines, cricetines and sigmodontines form a monophyletic group (e.g., Dubois et al. 1999; Michaux and Catzeflis 2000; Michaux et al. 2001; Jansa and Weksler 2004), with the time of divergence of arvicolines and cricetines estimated to be either 15.5 ± 0.6 Ma or 18.8 ± 1.0 Ma, depending on the calibration point (Michaux et al. 2001). The present results may help to resolve this question, with the discovery of P. fejfari in the Early Miocene of China not only providing fossil evidence supporting the earlier estimate of Michaux et al. (2012), but also a new, solid calibration point for further molecular clock analyses.

    Based on their occurrence in paludal or fluvial deposits, Fejfar et al. (2011) proposed that microtoid cricetids, such as Microtocricetus, Microtoscoptes, and Goniodontomys, inhabited a moist environment. However, the gradual development of the hypsodont and prismatic tooth morphology in microtoid cricetids and arvicolines is usually interpreted as an adaptation to graminivorous feeding (Chaline et al. 1999). In the Asian interior, arid to semi-arid regions probably existed by the latest Oligocene, with deposition of eolian sediments in the Junggar Basin first occurring around 24 Ma (Sun et al. 2010). During the Early Miocene, the combined effects of the Tibetan uplift and the gradual retreat of the Tethys Ocean enhanced the aridity across the mid-latitude interior of Eurasia (Guo et al. 2002, 2008; Sun et al. 2010). Changes in mammalian faunas indicate a progressive reduction of forest environments and the spreading of open landscapes in Central Asia during the Early Miocene (Maridet et al. 2011c). The evolution of high-crowned molars among perissodactyls and artiodactyls has been suggested as an adaptation to abrasive diets associated with the spreading of grasslands, particularly the expansion of C3 grasslands during the Early Miocene (MacFadden 2000; Janis 2008; Eronen et al. 2010; Mihlbachler et al. 2011). The origin and gradual enhancement of a hypsodont and prismatic tooth morphology in microtoid rodents and their arvicoline descendants could thus be interpreted as a convergent response to the same environmental changes.


    We are grateful to Wen-Ding Zhang (IVPP) for taking the SEM photos, and the reviewers, Oldrich Fejfar (Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Charles University, Czech Republic ) and Lutz Christian Maul (Senckenberg Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology Weimar am Jakobskirchhof, Senckenberg Research Institute, Germany), for their instructive comments and suggestions. This project was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS, XDB03020501), the National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB821904), the CAS 100-talent Program, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 40672009, 40872032). OM's research is supported by NSFC (41050110135) and a Research Fellowship for International Young Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. 2009Y2BZ3). Additional support was provided by the National Science Foundation (grant EF-0629811 to JM).



    F. Bachmayer and R.W. Wilson 1984. Die Kleinsäugerfauna von Götzendorf, Niederösterreich. Sitzungsberichte der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Mathematisch-Naturwissenschftliche Klass, Abteilung 1 193 (10): 303–319. Google Scholar


    S.-D. Bi 1999. Metexallerix from the Early Miocene of North Junggar basin, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region, China [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 37: 140–155. Google Scholar


    S.-D. Bi 2000. Erinaceidae from the Early Miocene of north Junggar basin, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, China[in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 38: 43–51. Google Scholar


    T.E. Bowdich 1821. An Analysis of the Natural Classification of Mammalia. 115 pp. J. Smith, Paris. Google Scholar


    J. Chaline , P. Brunet-Lecomte , S. Montuire , L. Viriot , and F. Courant 1999. Anatomy of the arvicoline radiation (Rodentia): palaeogeographical, palaeoecological history and evolutionary data. Annales zoologici Fennici 36: 239–267. Google Scholar


    D.-G. Cheng and Z.-C. Peng 1985. K-Ar ages and Pb, Sr isotopic characteristics of Cenozoic volcanic rocks in Shangdong, China. Geochimica 4: 293–303. Google Scholar


    T. Deng 2006. Chinese neogene mammal biochronology. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 44: 143–163. Google Scholar


    C. Depéret 1892. Note sur la classification et le parallélisme du système miocène. Bulletin de la Societé Géologique de France 3: 145–154. Google Scholar


    J.-Y. Dubois , F.M. Catzeflis , and J.J. Beintema 1999. The phylogenetic position of Acomyinae (Rodentia, Mammalia) as sister group of a Murinae+Gerbillinae clade: evidence from the nuclear ribonuclease gene. Molecular Phyloenetics and Evolution 13: 181–192. Google Scholar


    J.T. Eronen , K. Puolamäki , L.-P. Liu , K. Lintulaakso , J. Damuth , C.M Janis ., and M. Fortelius 2010. Precipitation and large herbivorous mammals II: application to fossil data. Evolutionary Ecology Research 12: 235–248. Google Scholar


    V. Fahlbusch 1964. Die Cricetiden (Mamm.) der Oberen Süßwasser-Molasse Bayerns. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse (N. F.) 118: 1–136. Google Scholar


    V. Fahlbusch and H. Mayr 1975. Microtoide Cricetiden (Mammalia, Rodentia) aus der Oberen Süßwasser-Molasse Bayerns. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 49: 78–93. Google Scholar


    O. Fejfar 1999. Microtoid Cricetids. In : G.E. Rössner and K. Heissig (eds.), The Miocene Land Mammals of Europe , 356–371. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München. Google Scholar


    O. Fejfar , W.-D. Heinrich , L. Kordos , and L.C. Maul 2011. Microtoid cricetids and the early history of arvicolids (Mammalia, Rodentia). Palaeontologia Electronica 14 (3): 27A. Google Scholar


    G. Fischer de Waldheim 1817. Adversaria zoologica. Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou 5: 357!472. Google Scholar


    V.J. Gromov and I.Ya. Polyakov [ I.Â. Polâkov ] 1977. Fauna SSSR. Mlekopitaûsŝie. T. 3. Vyp. 8. Polevki (Microtinae). 504 pp. Nauka, Leningrad. Google Scholar


    Z.-T. Guo , W.F. Ruddiman , Q.-Z. Hao , H.-B. Wu , Y.-S. Qiao , R.-X. Zhu , S.-Z. Peng , J.-J. Wei , B.-Y. Yuan , and T.-S. Liu 2002. Onset of Asian desertification by 22Myr ago infered from loess deposits in China. Nature 416: 159–163. Google Scholar


    Z.-T. Guo , B. Sun , Z.-S. Zhang , S.-Z. Peng , G.-Q. Xiao , J.-Y. Ge , Q.-Z. Hao , Y.-S. Qiao , M.-Y. Liang , J.-F. Liu , Q.-Z. Yin , and J.-J. Wei 2008. A major reorganization of Asian climate by the early Miocene. Climate of the Past 4: 153–174. Google Scholar


    J. Hír and J. Kókay 2010. A systematic study of the middle—late Miocene rodents and lagomorphs (Mammalia) of Felsőtárkány 3/8 and 3/10 (Northern Hungary) with stratigraphical relations. Geodiversitas 32: 307–329. Google Scholar


    C. Illiger ( 1811). Prodromus systematis mammalium et avium additis terminis zoographicis utriusque classis. 301 pp. C. Salfeld, Berlin. Google Scholar


    C.M. Janis 2008. An evolutionary history of browsing and grazing ungulates. In : I.J. Gordon and H.H.T. Prins (eds.), The Ecology of Browsers and Grazers , 21–45. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Google Scholar


    S.A. Jansa and M. Weksler 2004. Phylogeny of muroid rodents: relationships within and among major lineages as determined by IRBP gene sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31: 256–276. Google Scholar


    T. Kormos 1933. Baranomys lóczyi n. g. n. sp., új rágcsáló a magyarországi felsö pliocénböl (Baranomys lóczyi n. g. n. sp. ein neues Nagetier aus dem Oberpliocän Ungarns). Állattani Közlemények 30: 45–54. Google Scholar


    K. Kowalski 1992. Bjornkurtenia, a new genus of primitive voles of Europe (Rodentia, Mammalia). Annales zoologici Fennici 28: 321–327. Google Scholar


    K. Kowalski 1993. Microtocricetus molassicus Fahlbusch and Mayr, 1975 (Rodentia, Mammalia) from the Miocene of Bełchatów (Poland). Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia 36: 251–258. Google Scholar


    M. Kretzoi 1955. Promimomys cor n.g. n.sp. ein altertümlicher Arvicolide aus dem ungarischen Unterpliozän. Acta Geologica Hungarica 3: 89–94. Google Scholar


    M. Kretzoi 1965. Pannonicola brevidens n.g n.sp., ein echter Arvicolide aus dem ungarischen Unterpliozän. Vertebrate Hungarica Musei historiconaturalis Hungarici 7: 131–139. Google Scholar


    E. Lartet ( 1851). Notice sur la colline de Sansan. 47 pp. J.A. Portes, Annales du Département du Gers, Auch. Google Scholar


    B.J. MacFadden 2000. Origin and evolution of the grazing guild in Cenozoic New World terrestrial mammals. In : H.-D. Sues (ed.), Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates , 223–244. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Google Scholar


    O. Maridet , W.-Y. Wu , J. Ye , S.-D. Bi , X. Ni , and J. Meng 2011a. Earliest occurence of Democricetodon in China, in the Early Miocene of the Junggar Basin (Xinjiang) and comparison with the genus Spanocricetodon. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 49: 393–405. Google Scholar


    O. Maridet , W.-Y. Wu , J. Ye , S.-D. Bi , X. Ni , and J. Meng 2011b. Early Miocene cricetids from the Junggar basin (Xinjiang, China) and their biochronological implications. Geobios 44: 445–459. Google Scholar


    O. Maridet , W.-Y. Wu , J. Ye , X. Ni , and J. Meng 2011c. New discoveries of glirids and eomyids (Mammalia, Rodentia) in the Early Miocene of the Junggar basin (Northern Xinjiang province, China). Swiss Journal of Palaeontology 130: 315–323. Google Scholar


    L.D. Martin 1975. Microtine Rodents of the Ogallala Pliocene of Nebraska and the early Evolution of the Microtinae in North America. In : G.R. Smith and N.E. Friedland (eds.), Studies on Cenozoic Paleontology and Stratigraphy—Claude W. Hibbard Memorial Volume 3. University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology 12: 101–110. Google Scholar


    M.C. McKenna and S.K. Bell 1997. Classification of Mammals, Above the Species Level. 631 pp. Columbia University Press, New York. Google Scholar


    P. Mein 1966. Rotundomys, nouveau genre de Cricetidae (Mammalia, Rodentia) de la faune Neogène de Montredon. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Série 7 8: 421–425. Google Scholar


    P. Mein , E. Moissenet , and R. Adrover 1983. L'extension et l'âge des formations continentales pliocènes du fosse de Teruel (Espagne). Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences Paris, série II 296: 1603–1610. Google Scholar


    J. Meng , J. Ye , W.-Y. Wu , and S.-D. Bi 1999. The petrosal morphology of a late Oligocene erinaceid from north Junggar Basin. Vertebrata Pal-Asiatica 37:300–308. Google Scholar


    J. Meng , J. Ye , W.-Y. Wu , L. Yue , and X. Ni 2006. A recommanded boundary stratotype section for Xiejian stage from Northern Junggar basin: implications to related bio-chronostratigraphy and environmental changes. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 44: 205–236. Google Scholar


    M.C. Mihlbachler , F. Rivals , N. Solounias , and G.M. Semprebon 2011. Dietary change and evolution of horses in North America. Science 331 : 1178–1181. Google Scholar


    J. Michaux and F. Catzeflis 2000. The bushlike radiation of muroid rodents is exemplified by the molecular phylogeny of the LCAT nuclear gene. Molecular Phylogenetics Evolution 17: 280–293. Google Scholar


    J. Michaux , A. Reyes , and F. Catzeflis 2001. Evolutionary history of the most speciose mammals: molecular phylogeny of muroid rodents. Molecular Phylogenetics Evolution 18: 2017–2031. Google Scholar


    G.G. Musser and M.D. Carleton 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In : D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds.), Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition. Volume 2, 894–1531. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Google Scholar


    J. Prieto , L.W. van den Hoek Ostende , and M. Böhme 2011. Reappearance of Galerix (Erinaceomorpha, Mammalia) at the Middle to Late Miocene transition in South Germany: biostratigraphic and palaeoecologic implications. Contributions to Zoology 80: 179–189. Google Scholar


    Z.-D. Qiu 1987. The Aragonian vertebrate fauna of Xiacaowan, Jiangsu; 7, Aplodontidae (Rodentia, Mammalia) [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 25: 283–296. Google Scholar


    Z.-D. Qiu 1996. Middle Miocene Micromammalian Fauna from Tunggur, Nei Mongol [in Chinese with English summary]. 216 pp. Beijing Science Press, Beijing. Google Scholar


    Z.-D. Qiu 2010. Cricetid rodents from the early Miocene Xiacaowan Formation, Sihong, Jiangsu. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 48: 21–41. Google Scholar


    Z.-D. Qiu and C.-K. Li 2003. Rodents from the Chinese Neogene: Biogeographic Relationships with Europe and North America. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 279: 586–602. Google Scholar


    Z.-D. Qiu , X.-M. Wang , and Q. Li 2006. Faunal succession and biochronology of the Miocene through Pliocene in Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia). Vertebrata PalAsiatica 44: 164–181. Google Scholar


    S. Schaub 1934. Über einige Simplicidentaten aus China und Mongolei. Abhandlungen der Schweizerischen Paläontologischen Gesellschaft 54: 1–40. Google Scholar


    J. Sun , J. Ye , W.-Y. Wu , X. Ni , S.-D. Bi , Z. Zhang , W. Liu , and J. Meng 2010. Late Oligocene-Miocene mid-latitude aridification and wind patterns in the Asian interior. Geology 38: 515–518. Google Scholar


    L. Thaler 1966. Les rongeurs fossiles du Bas-Languedoc. Rapport avec l'histoire des faunes et la stratigraphie du Tertiaire d'Europe. Mémoires du Muséum National d'Histoire naturelle série C (n. s.) 17: 1–295. Google Scholar


    A. van de Weerd , R. Adrover , P. Mein , and D. Soria 1977. A new genus and species of the Cricetidae (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the Pliocene of South-Western Europe. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam, Serie B 80: 429–439. Google Scholar


    J.L. Welcomme , J.P. Aguilar , and L. Ginsburg 1991. Découverte d'un nouveau Pliopitheque (Primates, Mammalia) associé à des rongeurs dans les sables du Miocène supérieur de Priay (Ain, France) et rémarques sur la paléogeographie de la Bresse au Vallesian. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences série II 313: 723–729. Google Scholar


    R.W. Wilson 1937. New Middle Pliocene rodent and lagomorph faunas from Oregon and California. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 487: 1–19. Google Scholar


    W.-Y. Wu 1988. The first discovery of Middle Miocene rodents from the northern Junggar basin [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 26: 250–264. Google Scholar


    W.-Y. Wu 1986. The aragonian vertebrate fauna of Xiaocaowan, Jiangsu — 4. Gliridae (Rodentia, Mammalia) [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 24: 32–43. Google Scholar


    W.-Y. Wu , J. Meng , and J. Ye 2003. The discovery of Pliopithecus from northern Junggar basin, Xinjiang [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 41: 76–86. Google Scholar


    W.-Y. Wu , J. Meng , J. Ye , X.-J. Ni , S.-D. Bi , and Y.-P. Wei 2009. The Miocene mammals from Dingshanyanchi Formation of North Junggar basin [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 41: 208–233. Google Scholar


    W.-Y. Wu , J. Ye , S.-D. Bi , and J. Meng 2000. The discovery of late Oligocene Dormice from China [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 38: 36–42. Google Scholar


    J. Ye 1989. Middle Miocene Artiodactyla from the Northern Junggar Basin [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 21: 37–52. Google Scholar


    J. Ye , J. Meng , W.-Y. Wu , and X. Ni 2005. Late Eocene-Early Oligocene lithological and biological stratigraphy in the Burqin region of Xinjiang [in Chinese with English summary]. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 43: 49–60. Google Scholar


    J. Ye , W.-Y. Wu , S.-D. Bi , Y. Zhang , and J. Meng 1999. A new species of Turcocerus from the middle Miocene of the northern Junggar Basin. In : Y.Q. Wang and T. Deng (eds.), Proceeding of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society of Vertebrate Paleontology , 149–156. Ocean Press, Beijing. Google Scholar


    S. Zheng and C. Li 1990. Comments on fossil arvicolids of China. In : O. Fejfar and W.D. Heinrich (eds.), International Symposium: Evolution, Phylogeny and Biostratigraphy of Arvicolids (Rodentia, Mammalia) , 431–442. Geological Survey, Prague. Google Scholar
    © 2014 O. Maridet et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    Olivier Maridet, Wenyu Wu, Jie Ye, Jin Meng, Shundong Bi, and Xijun Ni "An Early Miocene Microtoid Cricetid Rodent from the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang, China," Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 59(1), 1-7, (20 April 2012).
    Received: 18 January 2012; Accepted: 4 April 2012; Published: 20 April 2012
    Central Asia
    Back to Top