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Article Reference A new basal neoceratopsian dinosaur from the ‘middle’ Cretaceous of Jilin Province, China
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Inproceedings Reference A new basal raoellid artiodactyl (Mammalia) from the middle Eocene Subathu Group of Rajouri District, Jammu and Kashmir, northwest Himalaya, India
A new artiodactyl of moderate size is described on the basis of several dentaries and maxillae from the middle Eocene Subathu Group of the Kalakot area, Rajouri District, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Despite its general resemblance with the family Dichobunidae this taxon shares with Raoellidae two unambiguous characters: the presence of a hypoconulid on p4, and an asymmetrical P4. The position of the new taxon within the Cetacea / Raoellidae clade is strongly supported by eight non ambiguous synapomorphies, among which a cristid obliqua on lower molars anteriorly pointing towards the postectoprotocristid, and a P3 with only two roots. The new taxon is characterised by the following characters: a long symphysis; p3 and p4 with small parastylid and metastylid but no metaconid; lower molars with metaconid as the highest cusp, voluminous hypoconid, and absence of ‘hypolophid’; m1 and m2 with small paraconid, basally fused with metaconid, and small bifid tubercle-like hypoconulid; m3 with a crestiform paraconid; P3 and P4 with small protocone and shelf-like cingulae; upper molars with small paraconule and large metaconule (pseudohypocone); M1 and M2 with conical brachydont cusps; M3 with bunodont bulbous cusps; cristae and cingulae distinct and thick, presence of an ectoloph. The presence of a new primitive raoellid in the middle Eocene Subathu Group sheds new light on the phylogeny and paleobiogeography of basal raoellid artiodactyls. This work is partly funded by project BR/121/A3/PALEURAFRICA from the Belgian Science Policy Office.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Inproceedings Reference A new Chinese partial skeleton revives questions about the multituberculate mammal Kryptobaatar
Multituberculates are an extinct rodent-like order that lived between Late Jurassic and late Eocene, on almost every continent. Due to their extraordinary longevity, their evolutive history is important to understand. One of the most numerous and best-preserved groups is the superfamily Djadochtatherioidea from the Late Cretaceous of the Gobi Desert. All djadochtatherioid genera are monospecific, except Kryptobaatar. The large number of K. dashzevegi fossils come from Outer Mongolia, while the only two specimens found in Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia, China belong to K. mandahuensis. However, a new particularly well-preserved specimen (IMM 99BM-IV/5) found in Bayan Mandahu during the 1990s Sino-Belgian expeditions seems at first sight very close to K. dashzevegi. IMM 99BM-IV/5 consists of a skull associated with cervical and thoracic vertebrae, ribs, shoulder girdle, broken right humerus and an almost complete left forelimb. It is the first specimen for which the hand is described in detail. Based on micro-CT scan and comparison, it appears that IMM 99BM-IV/5 presents morphological characters of both species of Kryptobaatar, as well as new characters of its own. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that IMM 99BM-IV/5 has an intermediate position between K. dashzevegi and K. mandahuensis and could therefore belong to a new species. However, Kryptobaatar is paraphyletic in the resulting tree, which raises again questions about intraspecific variability in multituberculates. Since only 13 specimens of Kryptobaatar out of the hundreds found have been studied, it is impossible to reliably know if IMM 99BM-IV/5 is included in the variability of K. dashzevegi or not. However, it is crucial to know this variability to define whether the genus is monospecific or not. By comparing K. mandahuensis with published specimens, we concluded that it is a valid species. This work also highlighted the lack of knowledge of the variability of the type species K. dashzevegi, without which it is impossible to clearly assign IMM 99BM-IV/5. Finally, endemism alone is not the cause of this variability, but the role of paleoenvironment or age is currently unknown.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Inproceedings Reference A new curation facilility for Antarctic meteorites at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A new elasmosaurid plesiosaur from the Lower Jurassic of Occitania
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016
Article Reference A new Famennian (Upper Devonian) locality at Becco: geological and paleontological insights
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference A new genus and species of Pliocene dolphin (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Inioidea) from North Carolina, U.S.A.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Inproceedings Reference A new giant Lipkius-like shrimp from the Crozet Islands (Crustacea, Decapoda, Caridea)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Inproceedings Reference A new hapalodectid (Mesonychia, Mammalia) from the Late Paleocene of the Qianshan Basin (Anhui Province, China): new data on the radiation of the hapalodectids
Mesonychians are an extinct group of primitive hoofed mammals. They have been found all over Laurasia and were well diversified: more than 20 genera are presently recorded. Mesonychia are divided into two families: Hapalodectidae and Mesonychidae. Hapalodectidae are recorded from the late Paleocene to the middle Eocene in Asia (Gashatan to Irdinmanhan), and in the early Eocene in North America (from Wasatchian to early Bridgerian). Hapalodectids remained small: the species of Hapalodectes, the type genus of the family, weighed between 500 g and 1 kg. Because the hapalodectids are relatively rare mammals, the discovery of new specimens, especially in the Paleocene, is crucial for understanding the evolution of these peculiar mammals. Field work in Qianshan Basin (Anhui Province, China) led to the discovery of a new lower jaw of the mesonychian Hapalodectes in Gashatan (late Paleocene) sediments. It is worth noting that the fragmentary mandible is only the third specimen of Hapalodectidae discovered in the Paleocene, and the first in southeast China. The premolars and molars of the new fossil are morphologically similar to Hapalodectes dux, the most primitive hapalodectid, but their relative proportions recall H. paleocenus and the Eocene Hapalodectes species. As a result, the fossil described herein appears to be different from the other previously described species of Hapalodectes in being morphologically intermediate between H. dux and the other Hapalodectes species; it is thus identified as a new species. Its discovery is important because it sheds light on the initial radiation of the hapalodectids. The presence of the most primitive hapalodectids in Mongolia (e.g., H. dux) suggests that the Mongolian area is the center of origination of this carnivorous family. The differences between the new species and the Eocene hapalodectids from China, H. huanghaiensis and H. hetangensis, imply that these species do not derive from the newly described species. Therefore, the new Chinese hapalodectid allows reconstructing the existence of two dispersals from the Mongolian area to the southeast of China, before and shortly after the Paleocene–Eocene boundary. At that latter time, Hapalodectes also dispersed from Asia to North America; this event was part of the 'East of Eden' dispersals. The Paleocene/Eocene transition thus appears as a crucial event for the distribution and radiation of the hapalodectids with the establishment of two distinct groups, respectively in North America and in the southeast of China. Grant Information This abstract is a contribution to the Belgian Bilateral Cooperation Project Belspo BL/36/C54 and China International S&T Cooperation Project MOST 2009DFA32210.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016
Inproceedings Reference A new large species of the snake Palaeophis from the Lutetian marine margin of the Congo Basin, Cabinda, Angola
Numerous fossil localities were investigated in western central Africa during the Belgian expeditions that started in the 19th century. At least 47 localities were excavated or analyzed in the framework of Edmond Dartevelle’s paleontological expeditions of 1933 and 1937-1938, producing a large and unique collection of Mesozoic-Cenozoic vetebrates from the margin of the Congo Basin along the coastal area of Angola to Gabon. Among them, snake vertebrae from the marine Paleocene-Eocene Landana section, Cabinda enclave, Angola have been referred to the aquatic snake Palaeophis aff. typhaeus. New investigation of the old Dartevelle’s collections has led to relocation of a few undescribed snake vertebrae from Landana and the nearby locality of Sassa Zao, permitting a revision of Palaeophis aff. typhaeus. The results of this work indicate that all specimens from Landana originate from the same stratigraphic level (layers 31-32) and are of Lutetian age based on the rich associated elasmobranch fauna. The locality of Sassa Zao is also Lutetian based on elasmobranchs that are similar to those of layer 32 of Landana. All of the vertebrae, ten in total, can be attributed to a single large species of Palaeophis. The maximum width across the prezygapophyses is 35 mm and the maximum length of the centrum is 27 mm. The weak lateral compression of trunk vertebrae, low development of the pterapophyses, diapophyses not very low, and the marked lateral projection of the zygapophyses indicate that this species belongs to the ‘primitive’ grade of Palaeophis and thus differs from species of the ‘advanced’ group such as P. casei, P. ferganicus, P. littoralis, P. toliapicus, P. typhaeus, P. grandis, P. tamdy, P. nessovi, and P. udovichenkoi. Among ‘primitive’ grade species, it differs from the giant P. colossaeus by smaller size, proportionally longer vertebrae, the cotyle and condyle more oval in shape, and the zygosphene not larger than the cotyle; from P. africanus by the neural spine that does not approach the zygosphene and shorter hypapophyses that are not prolonged by a ventral carina; from P. vastaniensis, P. virginianus, and P. zhylan by less depressed vertebrae. In size and morphology it most closely resembles P. maghrebianus but differs by more developed hypapophyses and paradiapophyses that do not extend over the cotyle posteriorly. This new species was apparently poorly adapted to aquatic life and was more closely related to the North African Ypresian P. maghrebianus than to West African Lutetian species. Grant Information This abstract is a contribution to the project BR/121/A3/PalEurAfrica funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016