Damien Becker

Damien Becker
JURASSIC Museum · Direction and Auxiliary scientific service in geosciences (SSAG)

PD Dr

About

107
Publications
23,304
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1,031
Citations
Citations since 2016
33 Research Items
539 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
JURASSIC Museum
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (107)
Article
The biostratigraphy and diversity patterns of terrestrial, hoofed mammals help to understand the transition between the Palaeogene and the Neogene in Western Europe. Three phases are highlighted: (1) the beginning of the Arvernian (Late Oligocene, MP25-27) was characterised by a “stable” faunal composition including the last occurrences of taxa inh...
Article
The recent palaeontological investigations along the future motorway A16 (Transjurane) in the vicinity of the historical site of La Verrerie de Roches (Jura, NW Switzerland) led to the discovery, in 2006, of a new Eocene fauna of small mammals trapped in siderolithic deposits of a fissure filling. Its study permits the description and the identific...
Article
A newly discovered, well-preserved skull and associated fragment of a juvenile mandible from the Early Oligocene locality of Poillat (Canton Jura, NW Switzerland), bearing close affinities with the rhinocerotid Protaceratherium albigense (Roman, 1912), are attributed to a new small-sized representative of early diverging Rhinocerotinae, Molassither...
Article
Full-text available
Ronzotherium is one of the earliest Rhinocerotidae in Europe, which first appeared just after the Eocene/Oligocene transition (Grande Coupure), and became extinct at the end of the Oligocene. It is a large-sized rhinocerotid, with a special position in the phylogeny of this group, as being one of the earliest-branching true Rhinocerotidae. However,...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Miocene sands of the Swiss Jura Mountains, long exploited in quarries for the construction industry, have yielded abundant fossil remains of large mammals. Among Deinotheriidae (Proboscidea), two species, Prodeinotherium bavaricum and Deinotherium giganteum, had previously been identified in the Delémont valley, but never described. A third spe...
Article
The fossiliferous locality of Rickenbach (SO) is particularly well known as the reference locality of the mammal level MP29 (Late Oligocene, ca. 23.5 million years) of the European mammalian biochronology. The revision of the specimens of Rhinocerotidae housed in the Olten natural history Museum has permitted to describe for the first time the asso...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Amynodontidae are an extinct family of Rhinocerotoidea known from the Middle Eocene to the latest Oligocene. Amynodontidae had an important diversification during the Middle and Late Eocene in North America, in Asia and in Eastern Europe. Their presence in Western Europe is dated from the Oligocene and is related to the the “Grande Coupure” event....
Article
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Reduction of the anterior dentition (i.e. incisors and canines) is a major adaptative trait of the Rhinocerotidae among Perissodactyla. However, the corresponding evolutionary sequence was lacking a robust phylogenetic frame to support it thus far. Here, we describe a new Oligocene species of Rhinocerotinae, Mesaceratherium sp. nov. from the Swiss...
Article
The early middle Miocene (European Land Mammal Zone MN5-earliest MN6) locality Gračanica (Bugojno Basin, Bosnia-Herzegovina) has yielded numerous well-preserved dental remains of two Anchitheriinae species: Anchitherium hippoides and Anchitherium ezquerrae. This anchithere assemblage is typical of the Orleanian European Land Mammal Age and is recor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
About a century ago, in 1909, the paleontologist Hans Georg Stehlin described, based on the European mammalian fossil record, “the greatest and most sudden change known so far during the tertiary times”. He underlined the correlation of this terrestrial event to the Eocene/Oligocene boundary and named it “Grande Coupure”. Recently, a biostratigraph...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Wischberg is a Swiss locality in Bern Canton which has yielded numerous vertebrates remains from the earliest Miocene (= MN1). It has a very rich faunal diversity, one of the richest in Switzerland for this age. Among all the mammals reported in the original faunal list 70 years ago, three rhinocerotid species were identified. The mater...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Wischberg is a Swiss locality in Bern Canton which has yielded numerous vertebrates remains from the earliest Miocene (= MN1). It has a very rich faunal diversity, one of the richest in Switzerland for this age. Among all the mammals reported in the original faunal list 70 years ago, three rhinocerotid species were identified. The mater...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Wischberg is a Swiss locality in Bern Canton which has yielded numerous vertebrates remains from the earliest Miocene (= MN1). It has a very rich faunal diversity, one of the richest in Switzerland for this age. Among all the mammals reported in the original faunal list 70 years ago, three rhinocerotid species were identified. The mater...
Article
Full-text available
The early middle Miocene (European Land Mammal Zone MN5) locality Gračanica (Bugojno Basin, Bosnia-Herzegovina) has yielded numerous well-preserved dental remains of four Rhinocerotidae species: Brachypotherium brachypus, Lartetotherium sansaniense, Plesiaceratherium balkanicum sp. nov. and Hispanotherium cf. matritense. This rhinocerotid assemblag...
Article
Full-text available
New specimens of rhinocerotids including a complete skull of Diaceratherium asphaltense and a series of associated dental and postcranial elements of D. aginense and Pleuroceros pleuroceros have been discovered in two localities of the Swiss Molasse Basin: Bühler (?latest Oligocene-earliest Miocene, Canton Appenzell-Ausserhoden) and Sous le Mont (E...
Article
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Béon 2 locality, near Montréal-du-Gers in the Garonne Basin, SW France, yields a middle Orleanian mammalian assemblage coeval to that of Artenay in the Loire Basin (early MN4). Two rhinocerotid species were previously mentioned at Béon 2: the small and slender rhinocerotine Protaceratherium minutum (Cuvier, 1822) and a large-sized and short-limbed...
Article
Simplomys, a dormouse with a simple dental morphology compared to other glirids, shows a continuous evolution in Spain during the end of the Ramblian and up to the middle Aragonian, the stratigraphic frame considered in this work. In contrast, the record of the genus in Central Europe is reduced to a few localities spanning from the early to the mi...
Article
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[English] The preparation of a Rhinocerotid mandible from the Late Oligocene molassic deposits of Éclépens region (canton of Vaud, Switzerland) allowed an attribution of the specimen to Mesaceratherium cf. gaimersheimense. This occurence, which is only the second one in Switzerland, perfectly fits the Late Oligocene European Rhinocerotid assemblage...
Article
Full-text available
Amynodontidae is a family of Rhinocerotoidea (Mammalia, Perissodactyla) known from the late Early Eocene to the latest Oligocene, in North America and Eurasia. European Amyno-dontidae are very rare, and all remains belong almost exclusively to a single post-Grande Coupure genus from the Oligocene, Cadurcotherium. The "Grande Coupure" defines an ext...
Data
Morphological data matrix used for the phylogenetic analysis in NEXUS format and TNT format. (ZIP)
Data
List of synapomorphies retrieved during the phylogenetic analysis with PAUP, in Excel format. Changes in blue with double-arrows are unambiguous. Number of steps and CI of characters are also included. Numbers on the tree are node numbers. Refer to the included tree for node numbers and to the morphological data matrix for characters description (S...
Article
In the northern Swiss Plateau and Jura Mountains, non marine Paleogene and Neogene deposits of the Swiss Molasse Basin or linked to the Upper Rhine Graben are examined in detail. The Late Eocene (Middle–Late Priabonian) is characterized by charophytes of the Vasiformis–Tuberculata Zone (Diegten Süsswasserkalk) and Vectensis Zone (lower Tuberculata...
Article
Full-text available
This contribution contains the 3D model(s) described and figured in the following publication: Tissier et al. 2018, Plos One, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193774.
Article
Geological surveys were carried out in the Miocene deposits at the place known as “En Solé” east of the village Courrendlin (Delémont Basin, Canton of Jura, Switzerland). This resulted in the discovery of new Miocene small mammal assemblages. The association of the rodents Megacricetodon aff. collongensis and Melissiodon sp. allows to biochronostra...
Article
Primates reached a great abundance and diversity during the Eocene, favored by warm temperatures and by the development of dense forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Here we describe new primate material from La Verrerie de Roches, a Middle Eocene karstic infill situated in the Jura Region (Switzerland), consisting of more than 80 dental rem...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Perissodactyls are one of the major groups affected by the Grande Coupure event (Eocene-Oligocene transition) in Europe. Palaeotheriidae went almost extinct during this crisis, whereas Rhinocerotidae appeared for the first time in Europe after this biogeographical event. Knowledge on fossiliferous Eastern-European localities around this period is c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The evolution of diets and environmental conditions in terrestrial reamls can be estimated from the study of tooth morphology. Mesowear analysis records the cusps sharpness on the occlusal surface of the teeth, or “occlusal relief” (Fortelius & Solounias, 2000). Pointed and sharp cusps indicate animals with browsing diets, mostly composed of leaves...
Article
Fossils of megaherbivores from eight late Pleistocene 14 C-and OSL-dated doline infillings of Ajoie (NW Switzerland) were discovered along the Transjurane highway in the Swiss Jura. Carbon and oxygen analyses of enamel were performed on forty-six teeth of large mammals (Equus germanicus, Mammuthus primigenius, Coelodonta antiquitatis, and Bison pri...
Article
This article presents a detailed palaeontological and biostratigraphical study of the lower freshwater Molasse (USM), Oligocene-earliest Miocene, located in Western Switzerland between the "Plateau vaudois" and the first anticline of the Jura Mountains. Recent data on mammals (based mainly on isolated teeth) and charophytes allow determining the ag...
Conference Paper
This article includes a detailed palaeontological and ecomorphological study of remains of woolly rhinoceros from the Late Pleistocene, discovered in Ajoie (Jura Canton, Switzerland). Based on comparative anatomy among late Quaternary Rhinocerotidae of Europe, the referred remains are attributed to the classical woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiqui...
Article
Palaeontology and biostratigraphy of the Molasse of the Oligocene and the earliest Miocene in the Talent and other localities of the “Plateau vaudois” (Switzerland). - This article presents a detailed palaeontological and biostratigraphical study of the lower freshwater Molasse (USM), Oligocene–earliest Miocene, located in Western Switzerland betwe...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial climatic data reflect variable and often conflicting responses to the global cooling event at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (ca. 34 Ma). Stable isotopic compositions of the tooth enamel of large, water-dependent, herbivorous terrestrial mammals are investigated here to better understand the European continental climate during the late...
Article
The Agenian is the earliest Neogene European Land Mammal Age. It encompasses the mammalian zones MN1 (23.03–22.7 Ma) and MN2 (22.7–20.0 Ma) and roughly coincides with the Aquitanian standard age. Age-nian mammalian assemblages from Western Europe encompass a mixture of rhinocerotid taxa of Oligocene affinities and of Miocene newcomers, mostly recor...
Article
The Agenian is the earliest Neogene European Land Mammal Age. It encompasses the mammalian zones MN1 (23.03–22.7 Ma) and MN2 (22.7–20.0 Ma) and roughly coincides with the Aquitanian standard age. Agenian mammalian assemblages from Western Europe encompass a mixture of rhinocerotid taxa of Oligocene affinities and of Miocene newcomers, mostly record...
Article
Full-text available
Professor Jean-Pierre Berger joined the Fribourg University (Switzerland) in 1989 as a lecturer (chargé de cours), quickly rising to the rank of head assistant with a postdoctoral lecture qualification in 1992, and becoming Associate Professor for palaeontology in 1997. Fribourg, Lausanne, Tübingen and Munich were important places in his profession...
Article
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La combe de Vâ Tche Tchâ sur le territoire de la commune de Courtedoux (Ajoie, N-O Suisse) est parsemée de nombreuses dolines, dont les remplissages quaternaires ont livré régulièrement des restes de mammifères et des mollusques datés de l’intervalle 44 à 32 ka cal BP. Le biotope préféren- tiel de l’assemblage faunique est inféré à partir d’une ana...
Article
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Previous authors have demonstrated that the mandible morphology of ruminants is strongly related to phylogeny and diet. We performed a geometric morphometric analysis defined by the landmark configurations of ruminant mandible specimens, using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the variability in shape. The analysis is based on 21 fossils and...
Article
Since the first exploitation of the Huppersandstones quarry of Rickenbach (Canton Solothurn, Switzerland) in 1898, many fossils of plants, molluscs, and vertebrates have been discovered. The study of the small mammals brought this locality to international recognition as the type locality for the European mammalian reference level MP29 (latest Olig...
Article
Une soixantaine de restes dentaires d'équidés datant du pléistocène supérieur ont été retrouvés dans les remplissages de dolines du plateau ajoulot, dans le Jura suisse. Il s'agit principalement de jugales supé-rieures et inférieures, accompagnées de quelques incisives. Malgré la diversité morphologique de certains caractères ainsi qu'une variabili...
Article
Full-text available
The primitive ruminant genus Iberomeryx is poorly documented, as it is essentially only known from rare occurrences of dental remains. Therefore, the phylogeny and palaeobiology of Iberomeryx remain rather enigmatic. Only two species have been described: the type species I. parvus from the Benara locality in Georgia, and the Western European specie...
Article
The Tapiridae of the Swiss Molasse Basin from the late Oligocene to the early Miocene are reviewed. Fossil remains that have not previously been described are identified, old descriptions and identifications from previous works are reassessed, and specimens from Switzerland and France are compared, specifically Protapirus bavaricus from Ebnat-Kappe...
Article
In the framework of the construction of the A16 motorway (Transjurane), numerous outcrops from the Upper Jurassic were available in the Ajoie region (Canton Jura, northwestern Swizerland). Palaeontological excavations (by the Palaeontology A16), highway construction, opening of new quarries and realization of core drillings led to an important geol...
Conference Paper
ch. du Musée 6, CH-1700 Fribourg (laureline.scherler@unifr.ch) **Section d'archéologie et paléontologie, Hôtel des Halles, CP64, CH-2900 Porrentruy The genus Anthracotherium (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) originated in Asia in the middle Eocene and migrated to Europe in the Early Oligocene. Its worldwide extinction is reported to the end of the Oligocene...
Article
The construction of the Neufeld tunnel in Bern city (2006–2008) led to the discovery of fossil mammals in the vicinity of the historical site of Engehalde. The study of the whole available sample led to the distinction of two mammal assemblages: (1) the historical level with the rhinocerotids Diaceratherium lemanense and D. aginense, and the rumina...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of 100 isolated teeth of Sicista betulina Pallas, 1779 in a doline filling of northwestern Switzerland (Vâ Tche Tchâ locality, Courtedoux, Ajoie) represents, in terms of richness, an exceptional occurrence for the Late Pleistocene of western Europe. This reference collection provides additional data for the identification of S. betuli...
Article
Full-text available
Earliest rhinocerotoids from Switzerland are reviewed on the basis of dental remains from the earliest Oligocene north-central Jura Molasse localities of Bressaucourt (MP21/22) and Kleinblauen (top MP22). The record in Bressaucourt is restricted to Ronzotherium and Cadurcotherium, representing Switzerland’s oldest, well-dated post-“Grande Coupure”...
Article
This paper describes a juvenile rhinocerotid skull from Eschenbach (eastern Switzerland). Computed tomography revealed the presence of the unerupted adult teeth P4 and M3 and enabled their three dimensional virtual reconstruction. The morphological features of this skull (postglenoid and posttympanic apophyses in contact, deep nasal notch, very sli...
Article
Full-text available
The karstic relief of the Ajoie plateau and particulary of the “Vâ Tche Tchâ” valley is formed by many dolines. Some of these latter functioned as natural traps for skeletal remains of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and other large terrestrial mammals during the last glaciation. Often the dolines yield a fossil assemblage of the latest middle Pleniglac...
Article
Full-text available
THE LATE PLEISTOCENE DOLINES FROM THE "VA TCHE TCHA" VALLEY (AJOIE, SWITZERLAND): A TRAP FOR MAMMAL REMAINS AND LITHIC ARTEFACTS The karstic relief of the Ajoie plateau and particulary of the "Va Tcha Tcha" valley is formed by many dolines. Some of these latter functioned as natural traps for skeletal remains of mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and other...
Article
Aim. To analyse the marine influences of the Rhenish sea in the distal part of the Swiss Molasse Basin (Jura Molasse) during the Early Oligocene, in order to reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental and the palaeogeographical evolution. Location and geological setting. In the Jura Molasse, the Rhenish sea deposits are mainly preserved in three sedimenta...
Article
Full-text available
Stichworte: Untere Süsswassermolasse USM), spätes Aquitanien, MN2, Paläoökologie Zusammenfassung Durch den Bau des Neufeldtunnels 2006-2008) wurde die historische Fossilfundstelle Engehalde zeitlich befristet wieder zugänglich. Anhand derneu gefundenen Fossilien kann die Fundstelle nun mit spätem Aquitanien, der Säugetierzone MN2, datiert werden....
Article
Due to the construction of the Neufeld tunnel (2006- 2008) the ancient fossil locality Engehalde was accessible for restricted time. New findings of fossils allow for dating this locality with late Aquitanian (mammal zone MN2). The sediments of the Lower freshwater Molasse at Engehalde are interpreted as deposits of an alluvial plain.
Article
Full-text available
Since 2002 six dinosaur tracksites have been discovered by the «Palaeontology A16» on the future course of the Transjurane highway in the Ajoie district of the Canton Jura. These tracksites are systematically excavated prior to the construction of the highway. So far, over 4'000 dinosaur footprints including 280 trackways have been excavated and do...
Article
During the construction of the A16motorway, four cavities were discovered in the Early Oligocene carbonate conglomerates of the Jura mountains, northwest Switzerland. One cavity was particularly interesting because of its size and gas emanations. Previous geological works carried out in this key area are summarized, notably the effects of tectonic...