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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020 / Chapter 12 - New Specimens of Frugivastodon (Mammalia: Apatotheria) from the Early Eocene of India Confirm Its Apatemyid Status and Elucidate Dispersal of Apatemyidae

Floréal Solé, Eric De Bast, Hélène Legendre, Rajendra S. Rana, Kishor Kumar, Kenneth D. Rose and Thierry Smith (2020)

Chapter 12 - New Specimens of Frugivastodon (Mammalia: Apatotheria) from the Early Eocene of India Confirm Its Apatemyid Status and Elucidate Dispersal of Apatemyidae

G. V. R. Prasad and R. Patnaik (eds.), vol. Biological Consequences of Plate Tectonics: New Perspectives on Post-Gondwana Break-up—A Tribute to Ashok Sahni(279-304). Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series.

We here describe 18 new specimens of the sole apatemyid mammal known outside North America and Europe: Frugivastodon cristatus from the early Eocene Cambay Shale Formation of Vastan Lignite Mine, Gujarat, India. This mammal was previously represented by a single isolated lower molar, which hindered the establishment of its relationships among Apatemyidae. The new fossils show that the Indian apatemyid is unique and represents a new morphotype among this family. It is notably characterized by mesiodistally elongated lower molars with a reduced m3, a small hypocone on the upper molars, and a transversely wider M1 than in other apatemyids. The new data supports the inclusion of the enigmatic Uintan Aethomylos within Apatemyidae. The Indian Frugivastodon and the North American Aethomylos might represent a distinct clade of Apatemyidae that originated around the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. A paleobiogeographic analysis suggests that Frugivastodon dispersed from Europe into India during the early Ypresian. We also review the dispersal events that characterized the history of Apatemyidae.
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Paleontology