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Thomson (1968, Postilla 124:1–13) described and diagnosed the tristichopterid Hyneria lindae from parts of a disarticulated skull and isolated scales recovered from the Upper Devonian (Famennian) Catskill Formation of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Since the publication of that description, knowledge of the tristichopterid clade has grown significantly, with numerous new descriptions of Famennian taxa from around the world. Additionally, a concerted effort to collect vertebrates from the Catskill Formation in Pennsylvania has produced significant new material of Hyneria lindae from the type locality at Red Hill, Clinton County, Pennsylvania. The new material serves as the basis for a rediagnosis and redescription of Hyneria lindae. The species is uniquely diagnosed by features including scales with a fringed free margin, a wide and blunt snout, and short intertemporals. The redescription of H. lindae gives occasion to review all of the Catskill Formation tristichopterid material that requires further diagnosis. This includes a near-complete cranial specimen collected near Red Hill that was originally diagnosed as Eusthenodon wängsjöi by Thomson (1976; Journal of Paleontology 50:1203–1208) and is here revised as Hyneria cf. lindae and figured for the first time. The emerging sample of tristichopterids from the Catskill Formation informs the diversity and paleobiogeography of these large predators in the fluvial ecosystems of the Red Hill site and within the Catskill Delta complex.
The clade Andinichthyidae includes three poorly known genera of extinct catfishes from Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene beds of Bolivia. These taxa are of uncertain phylogenetic position, and their anatomy is far from being well known. The aim of the present contribution is to describe a new genus and species of andinichthyid catfish. The new taxon is represented by several cranial and postcranial bones collected in Eocene beds from northwestern Argentina. The new taxon constitutes the first nominate andinichthyid outside Bolivia, as well as the youngest record for the family. On the basis of the new specimens, the phylogenetic position and paleobiogeography of andinictyids is briefly discussed.
Rare finds of ‘pholidophoriform’ fishes from the early Toarcian (Early Jurassic) of Grimmen (Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania, Germany) are described. The specimens include two isolated dentaries, an isolated braincase, several isolated scales, and an articulated, but incomplete specimen. The isolated bones are described in open nomenclature, whereas the articulated specimen is assigned to a new genus and species. The new taxon, Grimmenichthys ansorgei, gen. et sp. nov., shows an autapomorphy (notch in anteroventral margin of preopercle present) and some synapomorphies (e.g., five or six infraorbital bones; lepisosteoid-type scales, deeper than long in predorsal region, present) of Pholidophoridae s.s. The abdominal vertebrae of Grimmenichthys ansorgei, gen. et sp. nov., are diplospondylous which is also the case in the pholidophorids Pholidoctenus serianus and Malingichthys nimaiguensis, but the pattern of mineralization of the hemichordacentra is different from the condition in both of these pholidophorid species.
A survey of the postcranial anatomy of a specimen of Diademodon tetragonus recovered from the Upper Omingonde Formation in Namibia resulted in the recognition of diagnostic characters in the axis, scapula, interclavicle, manubrium, sternebrae, humerus, ilium, ischium, and femur. Our comparative analysis shows that these and other postcranial features distinguish Diademodon tetragonus from other cynognathians. The presence of ossified sternal elements (manubrium and sternebrae) in Diademodon tetragonus stands out because they are otherwise only present in tritylodontids among nonmammaliaform cynodonts. It is suggested that this feature is not linked to body size but could be phylogenetically informative. A review of the postcranial anatomy of specimens previously identified as Diademodon and ?Cynognathus/ ?Diademodon shows that only a few of them can be assigned to Diademodon tetragonus.
Plesiadapidae are among the most successful mammal families of the Paleocene, but in North America they disappear abruptly around the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. In contrast, in Europe, they survive a few million years into the Eocene, although only as the genus Platychoerops. The latest Paleocene deposits of Petit-Pâtis (Paris Basin, France) have produced three new plesiadapid species, one of each genus known in Europe: Plesiadapis ploegi, sp. nov., Platychoerops boyeri, sp. nov., and Chiromyoides mauberti, sp. nov. Each of these new species is represented by the very characteristic upper incisor, thus ascertaining their concomitant presence and in particular the spatial and temporal coexistence of Plesiadapis and Platychoerops. Plesiadapis ploegi, sp. nov., is morphologically intermediate between Plesiadapis tricuspidens and Platychoerops russelli, with a tricuspid I1 typical of Plesiadapis and a semimolariform p4 closer to Platychoerops. Its relatively high morphological variability is illustrated. Platychoerops boyeri, sp. nov., has the simple derived I1 of all Platychoerops and a p4 slightly more molariform than that of Ples. ploegi. Chiromyoides mauberti, sp. nov., is closest to Chiromyoides campanicus, but it is smaller and has a particular I1 with multiple posterocones. The systematic position of ‘Platychoerops’ georgei is discussed; this taxon is considered a chimera, and its type I1 belongs to either Chiromyoides or Plesiadapis. Cladistic analysis highlights the paraphyly or polyphyly of all genera of Plesiadapidae. Finally, there is some indication of morphological convergences between European and North American plesiadapids, which may be the result of similar environmental changes on both continents just before the Paleocene-Eocene boundary.
We describe two new macraucheniid litopterns from the late middle Miocene (ca. 13 Ma) Quebrada Honda Fauna of southern Bolivia. The holotype of ‘Theosodon’ arozquetai, sp. nov., is a partial cranium preserving RI2-M3 and LP1-M3, elements of the hind limb, and two metapodials. An upper cheek tooth series is also referred to this species. The holotype of Llullataruca shockeyi, gen. et sp. nov., is a mandible preserving nearly the entire lower dentition. A dentary, several upper teeth, and a variety of postcranial elements are also referred to this species. Two specimens from the slightly older locality of Cerdas, Bolivia, are assigned to L. cf. shockeyi. A phylogenetic analysis recovers ‘T.’ arozquetai as sister to Theosodon spp., and we provisionally refer it to that genus pending its revision. Llullataruca shockeyi forms a polytomy with three late Oligocene-early Miocene ‘cramaucheniines’ and the later-diverging macraucheniids. The body mass of ‘T.’ arozquetai is estimated at 80.8-116.2 kg, slightly smaller than early Miocene T. garretorum. Llullataruca shockeyi is among the smallest known macraucheniids based on dental dimensions and is estimated at 35.3-54.6 kg. Theosodon’ arozquetai and L. shockeyi are the first well-characterized macraucheniids from the middle Miocene, and the latter species demonstrates that relatively early-diverging lineages persisted at least 7 million years longer in tropical latitudes than they did in Patagonia.
Several studies have reported the occurrence of fossil remains of a now extinct Boa snake from the upper Pleistocene of Marie-Galante Island, French West Indies. However, these remains have never been fully investigated and no complete description of this possible new species has been published. In this paper, we try to bridge this gap by providing a detailed morphological study of the Boa remains discovered in the three major fossil deposits of Marie-Galante Island. Our study reveals the specific morphological aspects of this fossil snake and allows us to identify it as a new species, Boa blanchardensis. We also reconstructed its body size, carried out a paleohistological investigation, and suggest that this snake may have been a dwarf species. We then discuss the possible explanation for the extinction of this snake on Marie-Galante Island and possibly also on other Guadeloupe islands.
A minimum of four adult cave lions (Panthera spelaea) from the late Pleistocene (MIS 3) are reported from Medvedia Cave in the Západné Tatry Mountains, the mountainous region of northern Slovakia in central Europe. A well-preserved fully adult male skeleton is the altitudinally highest recorded skeleton of this species and belongs to one of the largest reported cave lions. This specimen and a previous reported cave lion female from the same site exemplify the evident sexual dimorphism in this species. The fossils document a cave lion range extension into mountain areas during the Last Glacial, most likely in search of hibernating cave bear prey. Although it is generally assumed that the social behavior pattern of cave lions was similar to that of extant lions, we hypothesize that, at least in mountain environments, a solitary or paired existence was more likely for these large extinct felids.
We present new remains of Pachyrukhinae (Hegetotheriidae) from the Huayquerías del Este (Mendoza, Argentina). We identify Tremacyllus impressus, proposing T. subdiminutus as a synonym and providing new data on postcranial bones for this taxon. Tremacyllus specimens from Mendoza reveal a wide and continuous morphological variation that encompasses the morphological differences of species previously considered valid, emphasizing the need for a systematic study focused on all representatives of the genus. We also recognize Paedotherium typicum, which shows a combination of features differing from other species of the genus. The large sample allows us to improve the diagnosis for both the genus Tremacyllus and the species T. impressus and P. typicum. Both species coexist in the Huayquerías Formation; T. impressus is also present in the Tunuyán Formation, whereas the specimens recognized as Paedotherium in this unit were not identifiable at species level. Applying geometric morphometric methods on the dentition, we partially support the taxonomic decisions. We present the first phylogenetic analysis including all the species of Tremacyllus and Paedotherium, using morphological characters of skull and postcranium. According to our results, Tremacyllus is a monophyletic group supported by two synapomorphies, whereas Paedotherium is paraphyletic, in agreement with the prior hypothesis. The record of Paedotherium typicum presented here extends the biochron of this taxon into the late Miocene, which is relevant for establishing biostratigraphic and paleobiogeographic affinities with other Miocene localities.
The internal carotid system has played an important role in the systematics of fossil turtles, including baenids. A new, almost perfectly preserved specimen of Eubaena cephalica provides an opportunity to explore for the first time the cranial circulation and innervation of this taxon using CT (computed tomography) scans. We here document that the skull possesses a well-developed, branching canalis nervus vidianus but lacks a canalis caroticus palatinum, which contradicts the previously reported circulation and innervation pattern for E. cephalica specifically and that of paracryptodires in general. Future investigation using CT scanning technology will be able to clarify if the pattern reported herein is unique to E. cephalica or is representative of paracryptodires in general. The latter conclusion will likely have considerable implications for the systematics of fossil turtles.