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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021 / The upper Eocene-Oligocene carnivorous mammals from the Quercy Phosphorites (France) housed in Belgian collections

Floréal Solé, Valentin Fischer, Julien Denayer, Robert Speijer, Morgane Fournier, Kévin Le Verger, Sandrine Ladevèze, Annelise Folie and Thierry Smith (2021)

The upper Eocene-Oligocene carnivorous mammals from the Quercy Phosphorites (France) housed in Belgian collections

Geologica Belgica, 24(1-2):1-16 (16 pages).

The Quercy Phosphorites Formation in France is world famous for its Eocene to Miocene faunas, especially those from the upper Eocene to lower Oligocene, the richest of all. The latter particularly helped to understand the ‘Grande Coupure’, a dramatic faunal turnover event that occurred in Europe during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Fossils from the Quercy Phosphorites were excavated from the middle 19th century until the early 20th century in a series of sites and became subsequently dispersed over several research institutions, while often losing the temporal and geographical information in the process. In this contribution, we provide an overview and reassess the taxonomy of these barely known collections housed in three Belgian institutions: the Université de Liège, KU Leuven, and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. We focus our efforts on the carnivorous mammals (Hyaenodonta and Carnivoramorpha) and assess the stratigraphic intervals covered by each collection. These fossils are derived from upper Eocene (Priabonian), lower Oligocene (Rupelian), and upper Oligocene (Chattian) deposits in the Quercy area. The richness of the three collections (e.g., the presence of numerous postcranial elements in the Liège collection), the presence of types and figured specimens in the Leuven collection, and some identified localities in the RBINS collection make these collections of great interest for further studies on systematics and the evolution of mammals around the ‘Grande Coupure’.
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Paleontology