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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019 / An early Eocene mammal assemblage from Bayan Ulan (Inner Mongolia, China) and reassessment of the Arshantan Land Mammal Age

Marieke Paepen, Li Hong, Yan Sun, and Thierry Smith (2019)

An early Eocene mammal assemblage from Bayan Ulan (Inner Mongolia, China) and reassessment of the Arshantan Land Mammal Age

In: International Symposium PalEurAfrica Evolution and Paleoenvironment of Early Modern Vertebrates during the Paleogene - September 10-13, 2019, vol. Program and abstracts, pp. 33, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium.

Paleogene mammal localities are particularly well represented in the area of Erlianhot, Inner Mongolia. Among them, the locality of Bayan Ulan is most famous for its late Paleocene Gashatan fauna. The Arshantan fauna of the site is not well known, since no extensive study has been done so far. Here we present a mammal assemblage based on dental and tarsal material from a new Arshantan collection resulting from excavations done by a Belgian-Chinese expedition in Inner Mongolia in 1995 – 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 primitive lagomorph Dawsonolagus antiquus, the large pantodont Pantolambdodon sp., the lophialetid tapiroid Schlosseria magister, the rhinocerotoid Hyrachyus crista, and a new smaller rhinocerotoid. The latter is closely related to the genera Yimengia and Rhodopagus. The species exhibits transverse Hunter-Schreger bands, no reduction of the lower premolars, m3 has no hypoconulid, and P4 bears a continuous “V”-shaped protolophmetaloph loop. The Arshantan assemblage at Bayan Ulan is dominated by small perissodactyls, represented by extensive lower and upper dentition as well as foot bones. Also, for the first time, p4-m1 of Dawsonolagus antiquus, tarsal material from Pantolambdodon, and lower dentition of Hyrachyus crista are illustrated. Unlike other described Arshantan faunas, the Bayan Ulan Arshantan mammal assemblage has been collected exclusively from a single locality, which allows it to be used in the reassessment of the Arshantan Land Mammal Age. This research has been funded by project MO/36/011 and bilateral cooperation project BL/36/C12 of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office.
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