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Article Reference Diversity of the adapisoriculid mammals from the early Palaeocene of Hainin, Belgium
Adapisoriculidae are an enigmatic group of small mammals known from the late Cretaceous of India, and from the early Palaeocene to early Eocene of Europe and Africa. Based on their primitive dental morphology, they have been classified as didelphids, nyctitheriids, leptictids, mixodectids, tupaiids, and palaeoryctids. While the latest hypothesis based on dental morphology suggests an affinity with Lipotyphla, postcranial remains indicate a close relationship with Euarchonta. Here, we present new adapisoriculid dental remains from the early Palaeocene locality of Hainin (Belgium). Adapisoriculidae are particularly abundant in Hainin, where they represent about one third of the mammalian fauna, offering new insights into both their specific and generic phylogenetic interrelationships. We describe three new species (Afrodon gheerbranti sp. nov., Bustylus folieae sp. nov. and Proremiculus lagnauxi gen. et sp. nov.) and document the previously unknown lower dentition of Bustylus marandati. The diversity of dental morphologies observed in the Hainin fauna suggests different interrelationships than previously suggested. In particular, the genus Proremiculus is considered morphologically intermediate between Afrodon and Remiculus, and the latter is no longer recognised as the sister group of Adapisoriculus. Although the highest diversity of adapisoriculids occurs in Europe, the oldest and most primitive members of the family were found in India and Africa, respectively. The geographic origin of the family could thus be located in any of these three continents, depending on the importance attributed to each of these factors. The coexistence of primitive and derived adapisoriculids at Hainin might indicate a very quick diversification in Europe, probably starting around the K−T boundary.
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Article Reference The creodonts (mammalia, Ferae) from the Paleocene-Eocene transition in Belgium (Tienen Formation, MP7)
Study of the dental remains of creodont mammals from the Paleocene-Eocene transition in Belgium (Tienen Formation, reference-level MP7) allows seven species to be recognized, four of which belong to the family Hyaenodontidae and three to the Oxyaenidae. The four hyaenodontid species, which are new to science, present numerous symplesiomorphic characteristics. They represent the oldest hyaenodontids of northern Europe and are shown to be the most primitive representatives of the sub-family Hyaenodontinae known so far. They are closely related to the oldest North American species but the morphological differences between them demonstrate that they are not vicariant species. Thus, the Belgian species could be at the origin of the American hyaenodontid lineages or belong to lineages already distinct but recently differentiated from common ancestors slightly older than both of these species groups. As for oxyaenids, their dental morphology shows that they could originate from the North American Paleocene lineages, although their small size does not support this hypothesis. The smallest Belgian creodont, Prototomus minimus n. sp. is remarkable in that it may present sexual dimorphism in mandibular morphology.
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Article Reference Les élasmobranches de la transition Paléocène-Eocène de Dormaal (Belgique): implications biostratigraphiques et paléobiogéographiques
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Article Reference The Dormaal Sands and the Palaeocene/Eocene boundary in Belgium
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Article Reference Le genre Dormaalius Quinet, 1964, de l'Eocène inférieur de Belgique, synonyme du genre Macrocranion Weitzel, 1949 (Mammalia, Lipotyphla)
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Article Reference Biologically-controlled mineralization in the hypercalcified sponge Petrobiona massiliana (Calcarea, Calcaronea)
Hypercalcified sponges, endowed with a calcium carbonate basal skeleton in addition to their spicules, form one of the most basal metazoan group engaged in extensive biomineralization. The Mediterranean species Petrobiona massiliana was used to investigate biological controls exerted on the biomineralization of its basal skeleton. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) confirmed that basopinacocytes form a discontinuous layer of flattened cells covering the skeleton and display ultrastructural features attesting intense secretory activity. The production of a highly structured fibrillar organic matrix framework by basopinacocytes toward the growing skeleton was highlighted both by potassium pyroantimonate and ruthenium red protocols, the latter further suggesting the presence of sulfated glycosaminoglycans in the matrix. Furthermore organic material incorporated into the basal skeleton was shown by SEM and TEM at different structural levels while its response to alcian blue and acridine orange staining might suggest a similar acidic and sulfated chemical composition in light microscopy. Potassium pyroantimonate revealed in TEM and energy electron loss spectroscopy (EELS) analysis, heavy linear precipitates 100–300 nm wide containing Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions, either along the basal cell membrane of basopinacocytes located toward the decalcified basal skeleton or around decalcified spicules in the mesohyl. Based on the results of the previous mineralogical characterization and the present work, an hypothetical model of biomineralization is proposed for P. massiliana: basopinacocytes would produce an extracellular organic framework that might guide the assemblage of submicronic amorphous Ca- and Mg-bearing grains into higher structural units.
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Article Reference On the use of endosteal layers and medullary bone from domestic fowl in archaeozoological studies
The very high incidence of medullary bone in two archaeozoological assemblages of the Roman period was believed to reflect systematic slaughtering of older hens at the end of the egg laying season. In an attempt to test this hypothesis, histological analyses were carried out. Histological data in the literature on ageing of modern fowl and on the development of medullary bone in hens are insufficient for application to archaeozoological material. Bones of modern fowl of known age were analysed with the aim of validating the use of endosteal layers for ageing. In addition, hens with known egg laying stage were studied in order to try and document differences in medullary bone development that could be related to the time of slaughtering (just before, during, or just after the egg laying season).
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Article Reference The status of the northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean small mussel drills of the Ocinebrina aciculata complex (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Muricidae) with the description of a new species
The northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean small mussel drills of the Ocinebrina aciculata complex are here revised and consist of at least 3 species. The type species, Ocinebrina aciculata (Lamarck, 1822), characterized by a slender shell with rounded whorls and primary and secondary spiral cords of approximately similar size, lives throughout the northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea at depths usually ranging between 0 and 105 m. Its synonymy is here stabilized by a neotype selection for Murex corallinus Scacchi, 1836. Ocinebrina corallinoides Pallary, 1912 (=Ocinebrina buzzurroi Cecalupo and Mariani, 2008, new synonymy), characterized by a strongly elongate and weakly convex shell and primary and secondary spiral cords of approximately similar size, is endemic to the Gulf of Gabès and is here considered a distinct species, pending genetic studies. Ocinebrina reinai n. sp. is here described from the central Mediterranean Sea (where it is sympatric with O. aciculata) on the basis of morphological diagnostic features of shell (rarest presence of labral tooth, commoner presence of infrasutural apertural denticle, dark spots on the ribs and spiral sculpture with differently sized primary and secondary cords and smaller threads) and radula, confirmed by genetic data. Divergence in COI sequences with sympatric samples of O. aciculata (>7%), confirm their status as a distinct species. A comparative table reporting diagnostic features of the congeneric species of the complex and those with which the new species was previously misidentified is offered.
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Article Reference A molecular phylogenetic framework for the Ergalataxinae (Neogastropoda: Muricidae)
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Article Reference Cenozoic evolution of Muricidae (Mollusca, Neogastropoda) in the Southern Ocean, with the description of a new subfamily
Gastropods are among the most studied group in Antarctica, and taxa with an advanced status of systematic knowledge can be used as a model to study how oceanographic and climatic patterns shaped Recent faunal assemblages. Within the ongoing study of the muricid phylogeny, we have analysed molecular and morphological data from species traditionally ascribed to the muricid subfamily Trophoninae. Particularly, the availability of specimens collected in the Southern Ocean and surrounding basins allowed to demonstrate as the genera Pagodula, Xymenopsis, Xymene and Trophonella, which are traditionally classified in the Trophoninae, actually belong to a distinct lineage, for which the new subfamily Pagodulinae is herein introduced. We propose and discuss a possible framework for the origin and radiation of Antarctic muricids.
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