Journal article

New paroxyclaenid mammals from the early Eocene of the Paris Basin (France) shed light on the origin and evolution of these endemic European cimolestans

  • Solé, Floréal Directorate Earth and History of Life, Palaeobiosphere Evolution Research Unit, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, B–1000 Brussels, Belgium
  • Plateau, Olivia Université de Fribourg, Faculté des sciences, Département de géosciences, Chemin du musée 6, Fribourg 1700, Switzerland
  • Le Verger, Kévin CR2P–MNHN, UPMC-Paris 6 (Sorbonne Universités)–Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, CP 38, 8 rue Buffon, 75005, Paris, France
  • Phélizon, Alain Société d’Etude des Sciences Naturelles de Reims, 122 bis, rue du Barbâtre, 51100 Reims, France
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  • Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. - 2019, vol. 17, no. 20, p. 1711–1743
English We present new species of an enigmatic family of mammals, which is endemic to Europe, the Paroxyclaenidae: Merialus bruneti sp. nov., Fratrodon tresvauxi gen. et sp. nov., Paraspaniella gunnelli gen. et sp. nov., and Sororodon tresvauxae gen. et sp. nov. The fossils described come from six localities of the Ypresian of the Paris Basin (France): Pourcy (MP7), Mutigny, Avenay, Condé-en-Brie (MP8 + 9), Grauves and Prémontré (MP10). They allow the description of three new genera and four new species belonging to the subfamilies Merialinae and Paroxyclaeninae. Two of these new species represent the earliest occurrence of each subfamily. Fossils from Mutigny, Avenay and Condé-en-Brie indicate that merialines were more abundant than paroxyclaenines during the Ypresian. Surprisingly, merialines disappeared from the fossil record at the end of the Ypresian – the youngest records are close to MP10 – while the paroxyclaenines were present in Europe until the end of the middle Eocene. Based on comparison with the data presently available for European mammals during the Ypresian, we suggest the existence of two periods of faunal turnover that must be more extensively studied in the future in order to be fully characterized: the ‘Intra-Ypresian Mammal Turnover’ and the ‘Ypresian–Lutetian Mammal Turnover’. Finally, because the oldest paroxyclaenids appear morphologically closer to cimolestids such as Procerberus than to pantolestans, it is suggested that similarities between paroxyclaenids and pantolestans could be due to convergence.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
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