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Thierry Smith and Vlad Codrea (2003)

New multituberculate mammals from the Late Cretaceous of Transylvania (Romania)

In: Fourth Romanian Symposium on Palaeontology - September 5-7, 2003; Cluj-Napoca, Romania, vol. 2nd circular, pp. ?, University Babeş-Bolyai Cluj-Napoca & Romanian Society of Palaeontology.

In the scope of the Belgo-Romanian excavation campaigns in Transylvania, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the University Babeş-Bolyai excavated three Late Cretaceous vertebrate localities in the Haţeg Basin. Compared to other European localities, the studied sites show rich mammal remains, which are dominated by multituberculates. At three localities, more than five tons of fossiliferous sediments were screen washed (mesh width 0.5 mm) and yielded forty-three dental specimens. This material essentially provides new information on the enigmatic European family Kogaionidae. A new small species of the genus Kogaionon is recognized on the basis of four dental positions from the fluviatil deposits of Pui (excavation 2000). In the floodplain deposits of the new site Toteşti-baraj (excavation 2001) sixteen teeth representing seven different dental positions of two kogaionid genera were found (Codrea et al., 2002). One lower first molar is similar to that of Barbatodon transylvanicus Rădulescu & Samson, 1986. A nearly complete upper dental series of a new species of Kogaionon is particularly well preserved. In the floodplain deposits of the new site Nălaţ-Vad (excavation 2002), one of the exceptional fossiliferous marl pockets yielded twelve teeth and three dentary fragments of the genera Kogaionon and Barbatodon (Smith et al., 2002). A new small species of Barbatodon is represented by a dentary with a very long rounded fourth premolar, a small first molar, but with the third premolar absent. On the other hand, Kogaionon presents a lower fourth premolar with a typical triangle shape differing clearly from Barbatodon. The results reveal for the first time the morphology of all the upper and lower dental positions characteristic of the family Kogaionidae, which allows more precise discussion of the phylogenetic position of this family among the multituberculates. Comparisons with other kogaionid multituberculates from the Paleocene of Spain, Belgium, Romania and France permit analysis of the possible migration ways following the paleogeography of Europe during the end of the Cretaceous.
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