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.
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.
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.
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
Species and genera of the Ataphrus-group are common and widely distributed in the Jurassic. The morphology of the aperture and the peristome represents the most diagnostic shell character: The aperture is round, circular and has a crescent-shaped columellar lip, mostly with a furrow. Additional peristome characters may be present. Frequently a callus is also developed. Some species lack this kind of aperture/peristome in mature adults. However, in such species, it is present in earlier ontogenetic stages. 29 genera and subgenera are discussed regarding these apertural/peristome characters. A new classification of the family Ataphridae is suggested. New taxa are the tribe Costataphrini and the subfamily Lewisiellinae. Previous classifications (Knight et al. 1960; Hickman & McLean 1990; Monari et al. 1996; Bouchet & Rocroi 2005) are discussed to facilitate a comparison with the classification presented herein. The columellar lip of the Proconulidae (sensu Gründel 2000) is very similar to that of the Ataphridae and thus, both families are probably closely related to each other. The Ataphridae originate probably in the Triassic with two or three evolutionary lines. A rapid radiation occurred in the Early Jurassic which became manifest in a great number of character combinations reflecting the presence of various evolutionary lines. Most of these lines became extinct in the Jurassic or in the Cretaceous. The most successful, diversified Jurassic group is represented by the Ataphrini. The Colloniini are most diversified in post-Jurassic times.
Examination of several Jurassic species of brachyurans from Tithonian localities in eastern and central Europe has resulted in one new family, Konidromitidae, two new species, Distefania calva and D. dacia, and numerous new combinations. Palaeodromites A. Milne-Edwards, 1865, is a distinct, monotypic genus within the Goniodromitidae Beurlen, 1932, known from Lower Cretaceous rocks. Distefania Checchia-Rispoli, 1917 (= Cyphonotus Bell, 1863) is recognized as the available name for numerous species, resulting in nine new combinations. Distefania, placed herein within the Goniodromitidae, ranged from the Tithonian to Cenomanian. Many extinct genera previously assigned to Dynomenidae Ortmann, 1892, may not belong to that family.
We describe the giant lytoceratid taxon Lobolytoceras costellatum (P AVIA , 2002) n. comb. from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian, “Rauracien”) of SW-Madagascar and discuss the possible relation to the Toarcian (Early Jurassic) species “Lytoceras” siemensi D ENCKMANN , 1887 as well as the systematic consequences. The stratigraphic range of the genus Lobolytoceras B UCKMAN , 1923, hitherto only known from the Lower Toarcian will be extended to the Oxfordian-Tithonian (Upper Jurassic).
Forty-three ammonites from the Kachchh Basin in western India have been assigned to seven taxa belonging to the genus Peltoceratoides Spath, 1924. The two most abundant morphospecies Peltoceratoides (Peltoceratoides) constantii and Peltoceratoides (Parawedekindia) arduennensis are commonly considered as the macro- and microconch, respectively of a single biospecies. The taxa are important for intrabasinal as well as intercontinental correlation due to their wide geographic range during the Early Oxfordian. The specimens occur in beds, which had been assigned to the Cordatum Zone, but also reworked in the so-called Dhosa Conglomerate Bed, which contains an array of ammonites from different ammonite zones.
For the first time since its original description, the late Eocene anseriform bird Romainvillia stehlini Lebedinsky, 1927 is restudied and comparisons with other Paleogene Anseriformes are made. A lectotype is designated and the previously unknown humerus described. In contrast to recent hypotheses that R. stehlini is a member of Anseranatidae (magpie geese), the species can be unambiguously identified as a stem group representative of the Anatidae (swans, geese, and ducks). R. stehlini is clearly distinguished from the early Eocene anseranatid Anatalavis oxfordi Olson, 1999 in all known skeletal elements, and a phylogenetic analysis supports a clade (Presbyornithidae + (Romainvillia + Anatidae)). In combining Presbyornis-like wing bones with a duck-like coracoid and tarsometatarsus, R. stehlini represents a morphological link between the highly aberrant long-legged Presbyornithidae and crown group Anatidae.
Examination of Jurassic decapod crustaceans associated with microbialite-siliceous sponge biostromes in Gura Dobrogei, eastern Romania, has yielded a unique association of these organisms. Goniodromites aliquantulus new species appears to have inhabited layered sponge biostrome settings only, whereas Cycloprosopon dobrogea and Goniodromites spp. appear to have inhabited a variety of microbialite-siliceous sponge environments. The genus Nodoprosopon is severely restricted to contain only two species, and Planoprosopon new genus is erected to embrace Planoprosopon heydeni new combination. The latter species is known from Romania only in microbialite-siliceous sponge biostrome habitats. The Goniodromitinae, previously considered as a subfamily of the Prosopidae, is here raised to family status. Revision of the Prosopidae sensu lato is ongoing.
Classic descriptions and a previous reconstruction of the Middle Triassic ray-finned fish Birgeria stensioei Aldinger, 1931 from the Besano Formation (= Grenzbitumenzone) of Monte San Giorgio (Canton Ticino, Switzerland) and Besano (Lombardy, Italy) relied either on poor material or on a single specimen only. This study of B. stensioei is based on 67 specimens from that region in the Southern Alps including the lectotype of B. stensioei. The reappraisal of B. stensioei indicates that this species differs from the other known species of the genus Birgeria in several respects, most notably in the arrangement of the pterygiophores of the dorsal fin. B. stensioei is also distinct to certain other species of Birgeria in having a largely unossified brain case. Furthermore, the palatoquadrate of B. stensioei is ossified as the autopalatine, the metapterygoid and the quadrate, which are always found separate. An ossified autopalatine and metapterygoid was not described in Birgeria so far. A dermohyal is developed in B. stensioei and this bone is probably also present in the other species of the genus Birgeria.
The Early to early Late Cretaceous coral genus Tiarasmilia Wells, 1932 is revised on the basis of the type species. The solitary coral is characterised by regular septal symmetry and the abundant apophysal septa that ornament the septa pairwise. The genus is re-assigned to the family Heterocoeniidae. The genus Budaia Wells, 1933 is considered to be a junior synonym of Tiarasmilia. Four Tiarasmilia species are recognised, the respective type species of Tiarsmilia and Budaia, and two as yet unnamed species for which not enough specimens were available to erect new taxa.
Laeviprosopon Glaessner, 1933, is a member of the Prosopidae von Meyer, 1860 within the Homolodromioidae. Members of the genus lack lineae homolicae, typical of the Homoloidea. Herein we expand the range of the genus to the Tithonian Ernstbrunn Limestone, from which it was previously unknown, and recognize two new species from that unit, Laeviprosopon grandicentrum and L. laculatum. Laeviprosopon thus far is known only from the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous of Europe, based upon seven species. Referral of Laeviprosopon to the Prosopidae does not expand the range of the family nor does it substantially change the diagnosis for it.
Habroichthys broughi n. sp. is described on the basis of eleven well-preserved specimens from the Luoping Biota, a newly discovered marine vertebrate fauna of the Pelsonian (Middle Anisian, Middle Triassic) in the Upper Member of the Guanling Formation of Luoping County, Yunnan Province, South China. The new taxon provides new insights to the anatomy of Habroichthys Brough, 1939: maxilla shorter than mandible and free from the pear-like preopercle; clavicle present; tail slightly asymmetrical, with a very small body lobe supporting few epaxial rays. Additionally, some Ladinian material of Habroichthys from the Zhuganpo Member of the 'Falang Formation' is investigated. In consequence, Habroichthys of the Triassic of the Eastern Tehtys (South China) greatly extends the temporal and spatial range of this small, enigmatic subholostean fishes.
Boomgaardia v. Huene, 1948, was originally described to be an urodelan amphibian. Subsequently this interpretation was strongly questioned and the specimens from the Aalenian of Swabia were reinterpreted as arthropods but without a closer determination. Now, we identify the material of this taxon as a tanaidacean crustacean and selected a lectotype. Boomgaardia salamandriformis v. Huene, 1948 represents a junior synonym of Opsipedon gracilis Heer, 1865.
In Europe, finds of cheetahs (genus ) that postdate the Early Pleistocene have so far remained limited to some specimens from the early Middle Pleistocene fauna of Hundsheim (Austria), described as Thenius, 1954, and to a humerus fragment from the likewise early Middle Pleistocene Mosbach Sands (Germany), which was attributed to (Croizet et Jobert, 1828). Two additional finds from Mosbach are presented here. The few comparisons possible suggest that the cheetah remains from both localities should together be assigned to a separate taxon. For Plio-Pleistocene cheetahs, a macrospecies concept is supported by the recently extended knowledge on Early Pleistocene European cheetahs as well as on newly described taxa from North Africa and northern China. Accordingly, the cheetahs which appear in Central Europe during an obviously short period of the early Middle Pleistocene are here named (sensu lato) . This taxon may originate in the primarily East Asian Early Pleistocene form (s. l.) (Zdansky, 1925), which in turn is derivable from the northern Chinese Late Pliocene form (s. l.) (Qiu et al., 2004).
Jüngere als frühpleistozäne Funde von Geparden (Genus Acinonyx) beschränken sich in Europa bislang auf einige als A. intermedius Thenius, 1954, beschriebene Stücke aus der frühmittelpleistozänen Fauna von Hundsheim (Österreich) und auf ein zu A. pardinensis (Croizet et Jobert, 1828) gestelltes Humerusfragment aus den entsprechend zu datierenden Mosbach-Sanden (Deutschland). Zwei weitere Funde aus letztgenannter Lokalität werden vorgestellt. Trotz begrenzter Vergleichsmöglichkeiten lassen sich die Gepardreste beider Fundorte einem gemeinsamen, durchaus eigenständigen Taxon zuzuordnen. Basierend auf jüngst erweiterter Kenntnis frühpleistozäner europäischer Geparde sowie neu beschriebener Taxa aus dem oberen Pliozän Nordafrikas und Nordchinas lässt sich für plio-pleistozäne Geparde ein Makrospezies-Konzept vertreten. Danach werden die während einer offenbar kurzen Periode des frühen Mittelpleistozäns in Europa auftretenden Geparde als A. pardinensis (sensu lato) intermedius geführt. Dieses Taxon scheint auf die primär ostasiatische, frühpleistozäne Form A. pardinensis (s. l.) pleistocaenicus (Zdansky, 1925) zurückzugehen, die ihrerseits wiederum von der spätpliozänen, nordchinesischen Form A. pardinensis (s. l.) linxiaensis (Qiu et al., 2004) abgeleitet werden kann.
The systematic position of Myotis podlesicensis Kowalski, 1956 from the Early Pliocene locality Podlesice (MN 13/14; Upland Poland) is discussed. The comparison of M. podlesicensis with the available fossil and recent Myotis species reveals that M. podlesicensis is morphologically distinctive and deserving of an independent taxonomical status. Undoubtedly, M. podlesicensis cannot be regarded as the synonym of M. aemulus Heller, 1936. Fossil faunas of Podlesice (Poland) and Gundersheim 1+2 (Germany) both include M. gundersheimensis.
The crab genus Hasaracancer Jux, 1971 is rehabilitated, and a new species is described from the Upper Campanian Calcaires à slumps de Taghit Formation of Morocco. The raninoid crab Hasaracancer merijaensis n. sp. represents the second species for the genus; the type species H. cristatus Jux, 1971 was reported from the Campanian of Afghanistan. Systematic affinities with the Cenomanocarcinidae are here discussed and confirmed.
We herein present Collimys populations from German localities and introduce one new species: C. hiri sp. nov. The important biostratigraphic value of this genus is demonstrated based on at least two evolutionary lineages characterized by an increase in molar size. The first lineage (hiri/dobosi lineage) is presented in this paper and is found around the Middle/Late Miocene boundary. It is documented in Germany by two evolutionary stages: C. hiri and C. dobosi. C. longidens from Nebelbergweg (Switzerland) and C. dobosi from Felsőtárkány (Hungary) are referred to this lineage. The hiri/dobosi lineage represents the first biostratigraphically useful mammalian evolutionary sequence for the time period around the Middle to Late Miocene transition in Central Europe.
Mississippian strata of the Amazonas Basin, northern Brazil, contain abundant and diverse assemblages of miospores, many of considerable stratigraphic importance. These include an acavate trilete species - Waltzispora lanzonii - which is the subject of the present account. Based on numerous specimens from the Tournaisian (Lower Mississippian) Oriximiná Formation, the morphology of the more typical and also the relatively rare, aberrant representatives of W. lanzonii is illustrated and described in detail. Current and previously published data indicate that the species is restricted palaeogeographically to north-northwest Gondwana; i.e., incorporating parts of present-day northern Brazil, Peru, and the Sahara region of Algeria and Libya. Chronostratigraphically, W. lanzonii is characteristic of and perhaps entirely confined to Tournaisian strata, although the possibility exists that it may extend slightly higher, into the Visean. However, rare occurrences of the species in upper Visean strata are considered to be a probable consequence of reworking.
A complete endocast of Giganotosaurus carolinii Coria & Salgado, 1995 was made in latex after removing mechanically the sediment filling of the cerebral cavity of the braincase, thereby allowing the description of the endocranial anatomy of the specimen. The endocast was compared with the other few known natural or artificial theropod endocasts, including the two species of the African allosauroid species Carcharodontosaurus saharicus and C. idiguensis. As in Carcharodontosaurus, the olfactory bulbs in Giganotosaurus are aligned with the forebrain, the midbrain is posteroventrally inclined and the hindbrain is parallel but ventral to the forebrain, showing similarly angled cephalic and pontine flexures. The cranial nerves and blood vessels have a similar disposition as in Carcharodontosaurus saharicus. However, in Giganotosaurus there is only one branch for cranial nerve XII, and cranial nerve XI has a separate internal opening from the vagus foramen (metotic foramen). In C. saharicus, there is a separate opening as well, but it is anterior in position and was probably utilized by cranial nerve IX. The length of the endocast of Giganotosaurus, including the olfactory bulbs, is approximately 19 % longer than the endocast in Carcharodontosaurus saharicus.
The molars of Seorsumuscardinus alpinus de Bruijn, 1998 and Heissigia bolligeri Prieto & Böhme, 2007 are compared. Heissigia is a junior synonym of Seorsumuscardinus. The species S. bolligeri (Prieto & Böhme, 2007) is confirmed and proves the utility of the genus in Early Miocene biostratigraphy.
A well-preserved skull and mandible of the toretocnemid ichthyosaur Qianichthyosaurus zhoui LI, 1999 is described from the Upper Triassic Wayao Member of the Falang Formation (Carnian) of Guanling County, Guizhou Province, southwestern China. It allows substantial additions to the knowledge of the cranial osteology of this taxon and the rectification of previous misinterpretations, particularly of the temporal region. Qianichthyosaurus shows numerous similarities to the mixosaurids in its cranial skeleton, particularly with regard to the temporal region, skull proportions and dentition, although it lacks some key features of the family, such as continuous supranarial and supraorbital crests or a high saggital crest on nasal, frontal and parietal. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that the jaw muscles were arranged similarly to the mixosaurids. The similarities in cranial osteology, together with some remarkably plesiomorphic features of the postcranial skeleton, suggest, that the Toretocnemide may not be the sister-group of the Longipinnati, as previously proposed, but may be closely related to the Mixosauridae instead, developing the basically tridactylous fin pattern independently of other longipinnate ichthyosaurs.
Numerous isolated bones from a Rhaetian (Upper Triassic) fissure fill in Clifton, Bristol, England have been referred to the basal sauropodomorph Thecodontosaurus Riley & Stutchbury, 1836 (type genus of T. antiquus Riley & Stutchbury vide Owen, 1842). T. caducus Yates, 2003 (Rhaetian or Lower Jurassic fissure fill, South Wales) is based on several articulated partial skeletons of juvenile individuals. T. antiquus is based on the isolated neotype dentary that does not possess an autapomorphy or a unique combination of characters. This dentary is unusually short and deep but this character is also present in T. caducus and Saturnalia tupiniquim (Upper Triassic, Brazil). However, the characters of referred Clifton postcrania cannot be used to diagnose Thecodontosaurus because there are three humeral morphs from Clifton. No other bones from Clifton have characters diagnostic for T. caducus and the ages of the two fissure fills may be different. The gracile morph, long referred to T. antiquus, is present in the monospecific assemblage of 1000's of isolated sauropomorph bones from the Rhaetian fissure fill at Tytherington Quarry near Bristol. A comprehensive cladistic analysis of basal sauropodomorphs, in which T. antiquus (characters mostly based on Tytherington bones) and T. caducus were included as separate terminal taxa, failed to recover a monophyletic Thecodontosaurus in all of the most parsimonious trees. T. caducus Yates, 2003 is made the type species of Pantydraco n. gen., which can be diagnosed by the autapomorphic presence of pneumatic openings on cervical vertebrae 6-8. The prominent apex of the anteroposteriorly low asymmetrical deltopectoral crest is at 40% of humeral length (versus low at 25 %, and high at 40 % and at + 50 % in Clifton humeri) and the tubercle medial to the head is small (large in Clifton humeri).
Gabriella Collins et al., 2006, is herein restricted to five species, including two that are new, Gabriella anfracta and G. patula. The genus is referred to the Tanidromitidae Schweitzer & Feldmann, 2008 [imprint 2007] of Homolodromioidea. Other species previously referred to Gabriella are placed within Planoprosopon of the Longodromitidae Schweitzer & Feldmann, in press, in the Glaessneropsoidea Patrulius, 1959. One new species, Planoprosopon schweigerti, is named from the Late Jurassic (Tithonian) Ernstbrunn Limestone of Austria.
The North Alpine Foreland Basin is a classic area for integrative sedimentological and palaeontological studies of a dynamic Cenozoic basinal setting characterized by rapidly changing marine and terrestrial conditions. This special publication includes ten contributions presented at the 2008 Molasse Group meeting at the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany. The contributions include various aspects of sedimentology, vertebrate and invertebrate palaeontology, micropalaeontology, stratigraphy, biogeography and palaeoclimatology of the Lower Freshwater Molasse (USM), Upper Marine Molasse (OMM) and Upper Freshwater Molasse (OSM). In this introduction: 1) a short resume of the activities of the Molasse Group is followed by 2) an introduction to the scientific contributions, and by 3) an outlook for future scientific research.
A new specimen of Elanodactylus prolatus Andres & Ji, 2008 is described from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Chaoyang, western Liaoning, China. The new specimen confirms the validity of E. prolatus and its unexpected feature, unique among pterodactyloids, the first wing phalanx of E. prolatus being shorter than the second and third wing phalanges. Additionally, the specimen provides new information about the pelvic girdle and hind limb: puboischiadic plate with a prominent, tongue-like ventral process; a semicircular prepubis; long and slender metatarsal III; and strongly reduced pedal digit V. Moreover, the elongate second and third wing phalanges possibly represent an independently evolved feature, which convergent on that seen in primitive members of the rhamphorhynchoids. Especially, when combined with recent discoveries of the Anurognathidae, this feature of Elanodactylus further increases the complexity of the pattern of wing phalanx proportions among Pterosauria.
Recent discoveries of non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs in the Late Jurassic lacustrine deposits of Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Liaoning, northeastern China, represent a new assemblage in the Jurassic terrestrial ecosystem. Here, a new pterosaur skeleton is described from the Late Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation of Jianchang, western Liaoning, China, as Changchengopterus pani Lü, 2009 by the elongated cervical vertebrae, similar proportions of the wing fingers, metacarpals I-III disparate in length, and extremely-elongated zygapophyses. This discovery provides new information of the postcranial skeleton in the understanding of bony anatomy of Changchengopterus, and also further highlights its similarity with the recently-erected Darwinopterus and Wukongopterus. The three co-existing taxa are distinguished here by shape differences in the pedal digit V-2, but final confirmation requires discovery of more complete material. The new find expands the geographic range of Changchengopterus in neighbouring areas of Hebei and Liaoning.
Darwin discovered that, in the light of the theory of descent with modification, the interrelationships of the taxonomic groups in the Natural System become understandable as real, phylogenetic relationships (PhR), and that all taxonomic groups and the hierarchical structure of the organic diversity are real, rather than arbitrary. To make the notion of PhR understandable, he postulated a very close relationship between PhR and blood relationship among persons. As he failed to discriminate sharply between general PhR, relative PhR and absolute PhR he did not realize that systematics works only with relative PhR and that his postulate that "classifications will eventually become genealogies" could, at least in the literal sense, never come true.