The principal biological distinction between Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic is the abundance and diversity of eukaryotic fossils in the Neoproterozoic rocks, but the two eras also differ in the composition of preserved cyanobacterial assemblages. Evolving eukaryotes provide a partial explanation for observed differences in prokaryotic fossils, but the taphonomic and environmental influences of shifting carbonate depositional pattern are also important.
The type specimen of the allegedly Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Chthamalus darwini Bosquet, 1857 from the Schneeberg, northwest of Aachen (Germany), is reevaluated and redescribed. Opinions expressed by previous authors, including Bosquet himself (between 1860 and 1863), that this did not actually represent a latest Cretaceous fossil taxon, but an extant species which must have found its way to the Schneeberg as kitchen waste, are corroborated. In fact, we hold it to be conspecific with C. stellatus (Poli, 1791), a widely distributed species on the coasts of the Atlantic and in the English Channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Thus, the genus Chthamalus, and the species C. darwini, can be struck definitively from the list of Late Cretaceous cirripede taxa occurring in the Aachen area. The only sessile cirripedes found here in situ in Upper Cretaceous strata are verrucomorphans (verrucids, proverrucids) and brachylepadomorphs (brachylepadids).
Two forms of cave lion Panthera spelaea Goldfuss, 1810: Middle Pleistocene Panthera spelaea fossilis Reichenau, 1906 and Upper Pleistocene Panthera spelaea spelaea Goldfuss, 1810 are reported from the Bísnik Cave (Częstochowa Upland, Southern Poland). A detailed examination of tooth (particularly carnassials) and mandible morphology provides a basis to discuss the inferred size trend from the earlier, bigger P. s. fossilis to the smaller and more recent chronosubspecies P. s. spelaea. The original acquisition labels and detailed stratigraphy make it possible to place these finds within an updated stratigraphic and biochronological framework. The cave lion remains from the Bísnik Cave show that the large, primitive form fossilis was replaced by the more specialized form spelaea.
From the beginning of the first scientific explorations of caves, the Zoolithenhöhle in Franconia, Germany, was famous for its rich fossil content. In addition to the numerous remains of cave bears and other animals, a skull of a clearly distinct kind of bear was found, originally called Ursus priscus GOLDFUSS, 1818. Three years later, the term Ursus fossilis was introduced along with a published description of the skull, which led to confusion about the adequate designation of the new species. U. priscus was regarded as a contemporary of the cave bear, i.e. Late Pleistocene in age, but the geological age of the find is still unclear even today, and from the overall state of preservation it could be even of Holocene age. Unfortunately, it was not possible to get the permission for dating the skull directly. In this paper a revised study of the skull demonstrates that it is identical to modern U. arctos. The specimen probably represents a female individual. On the basis of this evidence, U. priscus, U. fossilis and its synonyms are invalid terms. The nature of Late Pleistocene brown bears is still not well known.
The present paper describes a large Late Jurassic millericrinid, Millericrinus milleri, from the Upper Kimmeridgian Nusplingen Lithographic Limestone (Beckeri Zone, Ulmense Subzone) of south-western Germany. Based on this material which includes a complete calyx, a definitive generic assignation was possible. For comparison purposes, the cup of this crinoid from Oxfordian deposits of southern Poland was studied. The crinoid is characterised by a large, distinctly pentagonal, very low and wide cup. In comparison to a closely related Jurassic species, Millericrinus charpyi, the present find comes from younger strata. Moreover, M. milleri differs from M. charpyi by possessing a smooth lateral surface of calyx. In case of M. charpyi, it is covered with ten oval bosses. The crinoid was co-occurring with some special echinoids and bivalves and other typical indicators of coralliferous shallow water deposits that suggests the neighbourhood of firmgrounds or hardgrounds in a shallow water environment, which is completely eroded today.
Two well-preserved skulls of the stem-group psittaciform bird Pseudasturides macrocephalus (MAYR, 1998) are described from the Middle Eocene of Messel (Germany). Further reported is a three-dimensionally preserved partial skeleton of a Pseudasturides-like bird from the Isle of Sheppey (England). The new Messel specimens show that, in contrast to previous descriptions, the skull of P. macrocephalus exhibits well-developed fossae temporales. With regard to this and other features, e.g., the narrow interorbital bridge of the os frontale, the cranium of P. macrocephalus closely resembles that of Halcyornis toliapicus KOENIG, 1825, whose affinities have been uncertain so far. Pseudasturides-like birds are the most abundant small birds in the London Clay of the Isle of Sheppey, the type locality of H. toliapicus, indicating that Pseudasturidae MAYR, 1998 may be a junior synonym of Halcyornithidae HARRISON & WALKER, 1972.
A newly found adult specimen of the aptychophoran ammonite microconch Ebrayiceras from the Lower Bathonian of Sengenthal, Oberpfalz (Germany, Bavaria) exhibits completely preserved prominent peristomal apophyses. The specimen is described and figured in some detail in order to demonstrate the extreme constriction of the aperture by the apophyses. These peristomal lappets are interpreted to represent a kind of protection shield, particularly against intersexual cannibalism during mating when the ammonite had to expose soft parts. It can be assumed that the adult Ebrayiceras was able to protrude only small brachia and hyponome through the minute apertural openings which raises the question how the animal could gather sufficient food. We suggest the possibility of mucous web feeding in Ebrayiceras as is e.g. the case in modern holoplanktic and planktotrophic thecosome gastropods. Such a feeding strategy would allow the ammonite to capture fair amounts of small planktic prey using relatively short brachia and without the necessity of protruding its head. It must be concluded that only because of such or a similar feeding strategy the extreme peristomal constriction of Ebrayiceras was possible. It is speculated that other aptychophoran ammonites also used a mucous web to capture planktic prey.
A re-examination of the original type series of Prangner (1845) and Hofmann (1887a) of the primitive alligatoroids from the middle Miocene of Styria, led to a reappraisal of the taxonomy of the following species of Diplocynodon: D. steineri and D. styriacus. Of unsettled affinities, Enneodon ungeri was also re-examined. It is here demonstrated that it belongs to the same taxon of the specimens described by Hofmann (1887a). These taxa are in fact junior synonyms of the previously erected Enneodon ungeri. Moreover, comparison with other European alligatoroids reveals that the Austrian specimens described by Prangner (1845) and Hofmann (1887a) belong to the same genus: Diplocynodon Pomel, 1847. According to the rules of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), Diplocynodon has priority over Enneodon. Under the principle of priority, it is therefore proposed to rename all the Miocene remains of alligatoroids from Styria as Diplocynodon ungeri Prangner, 1845. Comparison of almost complete skulls from various Miocene contemporaneous localities reveals that there is no reason to erect another taxon for the French specimens of D. "styriacus" described in Ginsburg & Bulot (1997). However, these specimens need to be redefined as D. ungeri as well. D. ungeri was coded and included in a character matrix to cladistically test its affinities with other alligatoroids. A total of six species of Diplocynodon were analysed including: D. ratelii, D. hantoniensis, D. tormis, D. muelleri, D. darwini and D. ungeri. The results are consistent with previous studies and favour a monophyletic diplocynodontid clade. D. ungeri is the first species of the genus to be recognized from distant coeval European deposits, namely the Paris and the Pannonian Basins.
The present contribution reevaluates the fossil record of the genus Jaxea (Decapoda: Gebiidea: Laomediidae) and gives an emended diagnosis and an updated description of Jaxea kuemeli based on well preserved material from the lower and middle Miocene strata of Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. The species is distinguished from the extant J. nocturna on the basis of the tooth formula of the chelipeds. The geographic distribution and the palaeobiogeography of the genus is discussed and migration from the Tethys eastward towards the present-day Indo-Pacific Ocean during the Miocene time is proposed. The fossil record of the family Laomediidae is shortly reviewed. The monotypical genus Reschia from the Tithonian of southern Germany once tentatively assigned to Laomediidae is excluded from the family.
More than 150 years ago Unger and Ettingshausen described fossil leaves from the classical localities of Sotzka (Socka, Slovenia) and Häring (Austria). Several new species and genera were established that were subsequently widely used. However, the type material has never been reviewed. Investigations in the Austrian Geological Survey ("Geologische Bundesanstalt") in Vienna suggested new systematic position of some species. The types of Artocarpidium olmediaefolium Unger and Quercus goepperti Ettingshausen, which are treated and illustrated here, for the first time by photograph, must be regarded as taxonomic synonyms of loanea elliptica (Andreánszky) Kvaček & Hably. According to the priority principle the correct name of this species is Sloanea olmediaefolia (Unger) Kvaček et Hably comb. n.
Cyclostomaria Szabó, 1980 was based on some specimens from the Bakony Mts (Hungary), misidentified on literature data as Pleurotomaria suessii Hörnes, 1853. Subsequent revision of the inferable syntypes of Pleurotomaria suessii Hörnes, 1853 from the Lower Jurassic Hierlatz Limestone which had been redescribed and for the first time figured by Stoliczka (1861), clarified that they actually belong to four species. None of these species corresponds to the concept of Cyclostomaria. Therefore, based on the misidentified and some newly collected specimens, Cyclostomaria monarii n. sp. is established herein to fix the type species for the genus in accordance with Article 70.3. of the ICZN (1999). Amongst the five possible syntypes of "Pleurotomaria suessii" from the collection of specimens, applied to prepare Stoliczka's (1861) figures, two ones are identified as Pleurotomaria debuchii J.A. Eudes-Deslongchamps, 1849, whereas two shells belong to different genera and represent two new species: Anodomaria stojaspali n. sp. and Trochotomaria lobitzeri n. sp. The last specimen is selected herein as the lectotype for Pleurotomaria suessii Hörnes, 1853.
A well preserved skull of the Miocene ailurid Simocyon primigenius (Roth & Wagner, 1854) from the fossil locality of Karaslari, Veles region (Republic of Macedonia), briefly described by Garevski (1974), is re-examined. It reveals the skull morphology of the species and contributes to the understanding of the evolution of the genus. The skull of the middle Turolian Simocyon primigenius from South-Eastern Europe has unique and derived characteristics, related to a high morpho-functional specialisation: strongly domed and enlarged frontal region that would be correlated with large frontal sinuses. It is concluded that the Chinese material of Simocyon from Baode (Zdansky 1924), previously included in the same species, should instead be called S. zdanskyi Kretzoi in Kadić & Kretzoi 1927, of which the Fugu skull (Wang 1997) is probably an early representative (chronostage). The peculiar skull morphology of Simocyon primigenius could be related either to the development of the olfactory sense, or to skull reorganization linked with an emphasis of bite power on the carnassials and molars.
The first decapod crustacean remains from Late Jurassic limestones of the Pieniny Klippen Belt (Western Carpathians, Slovakia) are recorded. The material originates from a Middle Oxfordian ammonite shell bed and comprises a single dorsal carapace of the homolodromioid crab, Tanidromites insignis, as well as several fragments of chelipeds of unknown affinity which, however, might belong to primitive brachyurans. Although they usually are considered to be bound to reefal structures, all material studied herein is non-related to biohermal facies and, as such, does not represent a typical occurrence.
Coelopus Étallon, 1861, as herein defined contains six species including Coelopus repandus n. sp. and Coelopus convexus n. sp. Coelopus pustulosus (von Meyer, 1860), which was used to illustrate the genus in the Treatise volume on Decapoda, is herein removed to Tanidromites, and a lectotype is designated. Coelopus is known from Bathonian to Tithonian rocks of Europe, making it one of the earliest brachyuran occurrences known.
New records of a fossil conifer from the Upper Permian (Weissliegend Sandstone) of Thuringia are described. The conifers are determined as Voltzia hexagona (Bischoff) Geinitz 1862. Hitherto the only larger occurrence of this taxon was recorded from Altenmittlau (Hesse). A wider geographic distribution of V. hexagona in the Upper Permian of Germany is assumed, and the relationships of this particular taxon to other Permian conifers are discussed.
Ein gehäuftes Vorkommen von Koniferen aus dem Thüringischen Oberperm (Weißliegend) wird beschrieben und als Voltzia hexagona (Bischoff) Geinitz 1862 bestimmt. Die Form trat bisher gehäuft nur in Altenmittlau (Hessen) auf. Eine weite Verbreitung dieser Konifere im Oberen Perm von Deutschland wird angenommen, und die verwandtschaftlichen Verhältnisse zu anderen permischen Koniferen werden diskutiert.
In this paper we report on a specimen of Pachyrhizodus caninus Cope, 1872 (Teleostei, Crossognathiformes) from the early Turonian of Vallecillo (North-eastern Mexico). P. caninus is considered to be a typical faunal element of the Western Interior Seaway, however, its occurrence in Vallecillo shows that this species was not restricted to the Seaway realm. The described specimen is the stratigraphically oldest record of this species. Comparisons with the European type species Pachyrhizodus basalis (Dixon, 1850) show that both P. caninus and P. basalis are valid species. The occurrence of a Western Interior faunal element in the assemblage of Vallecillo underlines the importance of this locality in understanding the palaeobiogeographical relations of the Western Tethys and adjacent realms in the late Cretaceous.
Three genera of Tayassuidae are recognized in South America: Platygonus Le Conte, 1848, Catagonus Ameghino, 1904 and Tayassu Fischer, 1814. A material previously referred to the “Group Catagonus” and recently to Tayassu sp., was examined; in the light of the systematic scheme available today, it is identified as Catagonus stenocephalus (Lund in Reinhardt, 1880). The partial skull studied here is the first record of this species in the Touro Passo Stream, in outcrops of the Touro Passo Formation (Late Pleistocene), Uruguaiana, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Therefore, it is extended its geographic distribution in South America, which was previously restricted to central-eastern Argentina, Lagoa Santa (Brazil) and Bolivia. From a palaeoenvironmental point of view, the presence of this species (presumably adapted to arid or semi-arid environments) in Touro Passo Formation, together with other faunistic remains (e.g., Holmesina paulacoutoi, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Tapirus terrestris) adapted to warm-temperature and humid climatic conditions, and many other indicators of open to semi-open and perhaps arid or semi-arid environments (e.g., Glyptodon clavipes, Equus neogeus, Lama sp., Hemiauchenia paradoxa, Stegomastodon platensis) show a particular fauna. This fauna supports the palaeoenvironmental conditions that extended during Lujanian times throughout the Argentinian Mesopotamia, western Uruguay and southern Brazil. In these areas, the fauna was developed under more humid conditions that those recorded for the same age in the Pampean area, being the latter mostly cold and dry, and extending throughout north-central Argentina, Paraguay and part of Bolivia.
The benthic foraminifer "Nummoloculina" regularis Philippson, 1887 was described from lagoonal marls of the Lower Gosau Subgroup in the Lake Wolfgang area of the Austrian Salzkammergut. The taxon has frequently been reported from many Cenomanian strata in the peri-Mediterranean realm and is commonly used as a biostratigraphic marker species. However, the species described by Philippson does not belong to the genus Nummoloculina Steinmann, 1881, and Cenomanian shallow water limestones with nummoloculinids do not exist in the Northern Calcareous Alps. Instead, the specimens illustrated and described by Phillippson exhibit features that place it in a possible relationship to Vidalina hispanica Schlumberger, 1899, a common benthic foraminifer in the Lower Gosau Subgroup.
The fossil arachnid genus Eurymartus MATTHEW, 1895 with its two species - E. latus MATTHEW, 1895 and ?E. spinulosus MATTHEW, 1895 - has been widely overlooked in the literature, along with the order Eurymarti MATTHEW, 1895 to which they were assigned. The material on which these names were based comes from the Late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian: Langsettian) "Fern Ledges" of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada and is held in the New Brunswick Museum. E. latus is reinterpreted as a rather poorly preserved example of the trigonotarbid arachnid family Anthracomartidae, while ?E. spinulosus may also be a trigonotarbid, but is barely identifiable. Both names are treated here as nomina dubia and Eurymarti is here formally synonymised with the younger, but more widely known, ordinal name Trigonotarbida PETRUNKEVITCH, 1949. A further problematic "Fern Ledges" arthropod, Eurypterella ornata MATTHEW, 1889, was described as a eurypterid, but is again barely identifiable and is treated here as a nomen dubium.
The genus Cyclothyreus Remeš, 1895, is comprised of nine species, four of which are new: Cyclothyreus cardiacus, C. divaricatus, C. quadrophthalmus, and C. strangus. Cyclothyreus is for now placed within the Dynomenidae sensu lato, recognizing that it cannot be accommodated within any of the existing subfamilies, or for that matter, within any existing family within the Dromioidea. All known species of Cyclothyreus are Tithonian in age and are known from localities in central and eastern Europe.
The pectinoidean genera Delectopecten Stewart, 1930 (Family Pectinidae) and Parvamussium Sacco, 1897 (Family Propeamussiidae) are poorly known from Paleocene rocks. The present study provides the first fossil record of Delectopecten in Argentina, with the description of two new species, Delectopecten neuquenensis n. sp. and Parvamussium bayosense n. sp., from the Danian Jagüel and Roca formations of the Neuquen Basin (Río Negro and La Pampa provinces). Parvamussium and Delectopecten have a cosmopolitan distribution at present, mostly inhabiting abyssal and bathyal depths, with the highest species diversity in the tropical Indo-West Pacific Ocean. As with other benthic invertebrate groups restricted to deep water at present, both genera inhabited shallow environments during the early Cenozoic, and it is no surprise that they occur in Paleocene carbonates in the eastern sector of the Neuquen Basin. According to the known record, the earliest occurrence of Delectopecten is in Paleocene rocks of Australia and Patagonia, but this largely reflects the great scarcity of early Cenozoic fossil localities in the Indo-Pacific region.
A proximal end of a humerus collected by C. Ameghino was designated as the holotype of Apterodytes ictus Ameghino, 1901 in the monotypic genus Apterodytes Ameghino, 1901. Later, Ameghino (1905) transferred this species to the new genus Palaeoapterodytes Ameghino, 1905. The validity and affinity of this species has been discussed controversial, not only on account of the poor preservation of the material, but also because of the characters used in its diagnosis and description. A systematic revision of Aptenodytes ictus (Ameghino, 1901) is presented. This is a proximal end of a right humerus strongly weathered that was interpreted as a complete humerus with an unique morphology. The characters included in the original diagnosis and the description are inadequate to compare with those of other species as they are based mainly on the assumption of the atrophy of a humerus that is in fact fractured and incomplete. Its morphology allows its confidant assignment to the family Spheniscidae, although it is not well enough preserved to assign it to any known genus. Therefore, this fossil is not appropriate to found a species on and Palaeoapterodytes ictus (Ameghino, 1901) must be considered as a nomen dubium.
Acanthoceras gevreyi Jacob, 1907 originates from a condensed Albian horizon at La Perte du Rhône, Bellegarde (Ain, France). This species is still very poorly known and its taxonomic interpretation in the literature is most often erroneous. New and abundant material from SE France, North Africa and South America allows the revision of this taxon and shows that Lyelliceras flandrini Dubourdieu, 1953, is one of its minor subjective synonyms. As a consequence the systematic position, stratigraphic range and palaeobiogeographic distribution of Acanthoceras gevreyi Jacob are discussed. Prolyelliceratidae fam. nov. is proposed.
A detailed study of the relevant literature reveals that contra recent use the lectotype of the stegosaur Kentrosaurus aethiopicus Hennig, 1915 is a partial individual from excavation 'St' at Kindope, Tendaguru, Tanzania in the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
(MB. R.4800.1-37). This significantly influences the diagnosis of the taxon, defining several characters based on the lectotype instead of referred specimens, notably the sub-vertical neural spines of the medial third of the tail, and the hook-shaped, anteriorly inclined neural spines in the