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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016 / New fossils of Hyaenodonta (Mammalia) from the Eocene localities of Chambi (Tunisia) and Bir el Ater (Algeria), and the evolution of the earliest African hyaenodonts

Floréal Solé, El M. Essid, Wissem Marzougi, Rim Temani, Hayet Khayati Ammar, Mhammed Mahboubi, Laurent Marivaux, Monique Vianney-Liaud and Rodolphe Tabuce (2016)

New fossils of Hyaenodonta (Mammalia) from the Eocene localities of Chambi (Tunisia) and Bir el Ater (Algeria), and the evolution of the earliest African hyaenodonts

Palaeontologia Electronica, 19.2.38A:1-23.

We present and describe new fossils from the Eocene North African localities of Chambi (Tunisia; late Ypresian or early Lutetian) and Bir el Ater (Algeria; latest Bartonian or earliest Priabonian). The specimens from Chambi allow recognizing two recently described hyainailourines: Furodon crocheti and Parvavorodon gheerbranti; these taxa were previously known from the Gour Lazib area (Algeria; late Ypresian or early Lutetian). The new material from Tunisia includes a fragmentary dentary of Parvavorodon that substantially supports the hyainailourine status of this genus and represents the oldest dentary fragment presently known for a juvenile of Hyaenodonta in Africa. The presence of Furodon and Parvavorodon in Chambi strengthens support for the hypothesis of contemporaneity of the Eocene Gour Lazib and Chambi mammalbearing localities. In addition, the find of a typical teratodontine fourth premolar in Chambi testifies to the presence of a small representative of this group. The fossil record in Bir el Ater is scarcer than in Chambi. However, we recognize specimens attributable to a hyainailourine and a teratodontine. The latter is referred as Masrasector cf. ligabuei, and is the oldest record for this genus. We tentatively identify a modification of the hyaenodont fauna in the Maghreb after the “Early Eocene Climatic Optimum” (EECO). This faunal change might be related to the decrease of the global temperature after the EECO event. It appears contemporaneous of a drastic replacement in the composition of the mammal faunas in Africa. Finally, the end of the Eocene (Priabonian) shows an increase in the subfamilial richness amongst hyaenodonts.
Peer Review, Open Access, Impact Factor
Mammalia, Paleontology

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