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Evolutionary history of hoofed mammals during the Oligocene–Miocene transition in Western Europe

  • Scherler, Laureline Section d’archéologie et paléontologie, République et Canton du Jura, Porrentruy, Switzerland
  • Mennecart, Bastien Département des Géosciences, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Hiard, Florent Département des Géosciences, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Becker, Damien Musée jurassien des sciences naturelles, Porrentruy, Switzerland
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  • Swiss Journal of Geosciences. - 2013, vol. 106, no. 2, p. 349–369
English The biostratigraphy and diversity patterns of terrestrial, hoofed mammals help to understand the transition between the Palaeogene and the Neogene in Western Europe. Three phases are highlighted: (1) the beginning of the Arvernian (Late Oligocene, MP25-27) was characterised by a “stable” faunal composition including the last occurrences of taxa inherited from the Grande Coupure and of newly emerged ones; (2) the latest Arvernian (Late Oligocene, MP28-30) and the Agenian (Early Miocene, MN1-2) saw gradual immigrations leading to progressive replacement of the Arvernian, hoofed mammals towards the establishment of the “classical” Agenian fauna; (3) the beginning of the Orleanian (Early Miocene, MN3-4) coincided with the African-Eurasian faunal interchanges of the Proboscidean Datum Events and led to complete renewal of the Agenian taxa and total disappearance of the last Oligocene survivors. Faunal balances, poly-cohorts and particularly cluster analyses emphasise these three periods and define a temporally well-framed Oligocene–Miocene transition between MP28 and MN2. This transition started in MP28 with a major immigration event, linked to the arrival in Europe of new ungulate taxa, notably a stem group of “Eupecora” and the small anthracothere Microbunodon. Due to its high significance in the reorganisation of European, hoofed-mammal communities, we propose to name it the Microbunodon Event. This first step was followed by a phase of extinctions (MP29-30) and later by a phase of regional speciation and diversification (MN1-2). The Oligocene–Miocene faunal transition ended right before the two-phased turnover linked to the Proboscidean Datum Events (MN3-4). Locomotion types of rhinocerotids and ruminants provide new data on the evolution of environments during the Oligocene–Miocene transition and help understand the factors controlling these different phases. Indeed, it appears that the faunal turnovers were primarily directed by migrations, whereas the Agenian transitional phase mainly witnessed speciations.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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