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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / New proviverrines (Hyaenodontida) from the early Eocene of Europe; phylogeny and ecological evolution of the Proviverrinae

Floréal Solé, Jocelyn Falconnet, and Yves Laurent (2014)

New proviverrines (Hyaenodontida) from the early Eocene of Europe; phylogeny and ecological evolution of the Proviverrinae

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 171:878-917.

We describe six proviverrine species from the Early Eocene of France. Three species are new: Minimovellentodon russelli sp. nov. from Mutigny [mammal palaeogene (MP)8 + 9], Boritia duffaudi sp. nov. from La Borie (MP8 + 9), and Leonhardtina godinoti sp. nov. from Grauves (MP10). We describe new specimens and propose new generic combinations for three species from MP10: Protoproviverra palaeonictides, Matthodon menui, and Oxyaenoides lindgreni. We also propose a new generic combination for the primitive Eoproviverra eisenmanni (MP7). Matthodon menui was previously considered as a possible oxyaenodontan, but the new fossils clearly support its reference to Hyaenodontida. Leonhardtina godinoti and Ma. menui are the oldest occurrences for these genera, which were previously unknown before the Middle Eocene. Moreover, the discovery of the proviverrine Mi. russelli in Mutigny implies that the Proviverrinae dispersed in Northern Europe between biozone Palaeocene-Eocene (PE) III (Abbey Wood) and biozone PE IV (Mutigny). This also supports a homogenization of the European faunas during the Early Eocene. The dispersal is concomitant with the disappearance of the oxyaenodontans, arfiines, and sinopines (Hyaenodontida) from Europe. The proviverrines may have filled the ecological niches left vacant by the disappearance of the other carnivorous mammals. With 20 genera and over 30 species, proviverrines were successful in Europe. We performed the first phylogenetic analysis comprising almost all the Proviverrinae. Our analyses indicate that the Proviverrinae diversified greatly during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum and show a general trend towards specialization throughout the Eocene.
Peer Review, Impact Factor
Europe, Fossils, Paleontology, Mammalian, evolutionary radiation
  • DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12155

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