We report the discovery of the earliest European carnivoraforms, based on two new taxa from the latest Paleocene of France and Romania. A new species of Vassacyon, V. prieuri, from the locality of Rivecourt (MP6b; Oise, France) (MP = Mammalian Paleogene reference levels) is described based on a dentary fragment and isolated teeth. This species displays several primitive features compared with species of Vassacyon known from the early Eocene of North America and Europe. A second Paleocene carnivoraform, cf. Gracilocyon sp., is described based on fragmentary specimens from the locality of Jibou (MP6b; Transylvania, Romania). Carnivoraformes were previously unknown in Europe before the Eocene, and Vassacyon prieuri and cf. Gracilocyon sp. are their oldest records in Europe. These discoveries favor the hypothesis of a dispersal of these two genera from Europe to North America during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Vassacyon prieuri and cf. Gracilocyon sp. strengthen support for the level MP6b and its correlation with the Clarkforkian. The geographic origin of the Carnivoraformes remains unknown. However, based on the observed biochronological and geographic distributions of the carnivoraforms, we infer a possible Asian origin for this group. In this scenario, Gracilocyon and Vassacyon dispersed to Europe during the Clarkforkian MP6b time, probably together with rodent taxa, whereas Uintacyon dispersed from Asia to North America shortly after rodents and tillodonts.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.