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Article Reference A large new collection of Palaeostylops from the Paleocene of the Flaming Cliffs area (Ulan-Nur Basin, Gobi Desert, Mongolia), and an evaluation of the phylogenetic affinities of Arctostylopidae (Mammalia, Gliriformes)
Arctostylopids are enigmatic mammals known from the Paleocene and early Eocene of Asia and North America. Based on molar similarities, they have most often been grouped with the extinct Notoungulata from South and Central America, but tarsal evidence links them to Asian basal gliriforms. Although Palaeostylops is the best known arctostylopid genus, some points of its content and species level taxonomy are uncertain. Here we report 255 upper and lower jaw fragments of Palaeostylops, five calcanea, three astragali, as well as the first known arctostylopid distal tibia. This new material was collected from the late Paleocene of the Flaming Cliffs area in Mongolia, in a single lens almost exclusively containing arctostylopid remains. Our study of the morphology and size of the new Palaeostylops dental material confirms the validity of two species, P. iturus and P. macrodon, and illustrates their morphological and biometrical variability and diagnostic differences. The distal tibia of Palaeostylops is relatively unspecialised and resembles the Asian gliriforms Pseudictops and Rhombomylus. We also review the relevance of the historically important genus Palaeostylops in view of other, more recently described but less abundant arctostylopid genera. Palaeostylops remains the reference taxon for the arctostylopid anterior dentition and postcranial morphology. For both anatomical regions, arctostylopids differ significantly from notoungulates, and present a mosaic of characters also seen in basal gliriforms. The notoungulate-like molars of Palaeostylops are highly specialized for arctostylopids and the arctostylopid molar morphotype is therefore better illustrated by the early middle Paleocene Asiostylops. This morphotype does not present any similarities to notoungulates, but shares a number of derived characters with basal gliriforms. Among gliriforms, the primitive arctostylopid morphotype is most similar to Astigale from the early Paleocene of South China, and we suggest that Arctostylopidae may therefore be more closely related to Astigalidae than to any other group.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A Late Devonian refugium for Colpodexylon (Lycopsida) at high latitude
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference A late early to early middle Eocene mammal assemblage from Bayan Ulan (Inner Mongolia, China): Implication for the reassessment of the Arshantan Asian Land Mammal Age
Paleogene mammal localities of North China are particularly well represented in the Erlian Basin, Inner Mongolia. Among them, the locality of Bayan Ulan is most famous for its late Paleocene Gashatan fauna. However, the younger Arshantan fauna of the same site is not well known, since no extensive study has been done so far. Here, we present a small mammal assemblage based on dental and tarsal material from a new Arshantan collection retrieved from the red beds of the late early to early middle Eocene Arshanto Formation at Bayan Ulan. It consists of at least six different taxa: the basal lagomorph Dawsonolagus antiquus, the large pantodont Pantolambdodon sp., the tapiroid Schlosseria magister, and the rhinocerotoids Hyrachyus crista and Rhodopagus guoi nov. sp. The assemblage is dominated by perissodactyls, especially Lophialetidae and Hyracodontidae. For the first time, p4-m1 of Dawsonolagus antiquus, tarsal material from Pantolambdodon sp., and lower dentition and tarsals of Hyrachyus crista are described and illustrated. Unlike other described Arshantan faunas, the Bayan Ulan Arshantan mammal assemblage has been collected exclusively from a single locality, which contributes to the reassessment of the misunderstood Arshantan Asian Land Mammal Age.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Article Reference A late surviving Pliocene seal from high latitudes of the North Atlantic realm: the latest monachine seal on the southern margin of the North Sea
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018
Article Reference A link between host dispersal and parasite diversity in two sympatric cichlids of Lake Tanganyika
1. A major goal in ecology is to unravel how species assemblages emerge and how they are structured across the landscape. Host–parasite systems are particularly interesting in this context, as limited host dispersal may promote the differentiation of parasite communities. 2. We examined whether the patterns of species diversity in Cichlidogyrus, a genus of monogenean parasitic flatworms with a direct life cycle, are consistent with the hypothesis that parasite diversity is driven by host dispersal. This was carried out by comparing two sympatric cichlid hosts (Tropheus moorii and Simochromis diagramma) with contrasting dispersal abilities. Genetic connectivity among host populations along the Zambian shoreline of Lake Tanganyika was estimated using microsatellite genotyping. Cichlidogyrus parasites were isolated and identified morphologically to the species level. 3.Simochromis diagramma, a host with a high dispersal capacity, was infected by a low number of Cichlidogyrus species, and the parasite assemblages were similar among host populations. In contrast, T. moorii, a host with a low dispersal capacity, was infected by a large number of Cichlidogyrus species, and the parasite assemblages differed strongly among host populations. These outcomes were thus as expected from the hypothesis. 4. Because of the strong host specificity of these Cichlidogyrus species, a lack of connectivity among host populations might facilitate allopatric speciation of the parasite.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A little-known German naturalist: Konrad Miller (1844-1933) and his malacological contributions
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference A mammal survey of the Serra Jeci Mountain Range, Mozambique, with a review of records from northern Mozambique’s inselbergs
The mountains of northern Mozambique have remained poorly studied biologically until recent years with surveys covering a variety of taxonomic groups highlighting their biological and conservation value. Even so, the medium and large mammal fauna remains poorly known and to date no systematic mammal surveys have been published from any of Mozambique’s mountains. We present results of a medium and large mammal survey of Serra Jeci’s Mt Chitagal, Mt Sanga and the Njesi Plateau in Niassa, northern Mozambique; the first mammal diversity data collected from these isolated mountains. We recorded 27 mammal species, of which six represent range expansions; Sykes’s monkey (Cercophitecus mitis), Mozambique dwarf galago (Paragalago granti), Smith’s red rock hare (Pronolagus rupestris), lesser cane rat (Thryonomys gregorianus), rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer). We also reviewed and collated records of medium and large mammals from previously published fieldwork on northern Mozambique’s mountains, amounting to a total of 34 large mammal species from seven montane areas, highlighting the lack of mammalian knowledge in Mozambique’s Afromontane habitats.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference A marine vertebrate fauna from the Toarcian-Aalenian succession of southern Beaujolais, Rhône, France.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference A masculinizing supergene underlies an exaggerated male reproductive morph in a spider
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference A Middle Devonian Callixylon (Archaeopteridales) from Ronquières, Belgium
A permineralized Callixylon trunk is reported from Ronquières, a mid to late Givetian (Middle Devonian) locality from Belgium. The specimen consists of an 80 cm long trunk adpression whose central area is preserved as a pyrite permineralization. The pyritized area is composed of a eustele surrounded by secondary xylem. Tracheids show radially aligned groups of pits separated by unpitted regions on the radial walls of tracheids. The specimen belongs to a group of species characterized by a predominance of uniseriate rays and the lack of ray tracheids. This Callixylon specimen is one of the earliest representatives of the genus. It coexists at the locality with large cladoxylopsids and provides direct evidence that the tree habit had evolved in the archaeopteridalean progymnosperms by the Givetian.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications