Thomas Mörs

Thomas Mörs
Swedish Museum of Natural History · Department of Palaeobiology

Associate Professor

About

200
Publications
42,358
Reads
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1,535
Citations
Citations since 2017
90 Research Items
806 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Introduction
I am interested in the evolution, biodiversity, paleoecology and paleobiogeography of Neogene Northern Hemisphere small mammals, with focus on the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (MCO). Another research interest is the evolution, biodiversity, paleoecology and paleobiogeography of Eocene Antarctic terrestrial and marine vertebrates.
Additional affiliations
June 2002 - present
Uppsala University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2001 - May 2012
Swedisch Museum of Natural History
Position
  • Curator / Researcher
July 1996 - December 2000
University of Bonn
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (200)
Article
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About 50% of all animal species are considered parasites. The linkage of species diversity to a parasitic lifestyle is especially evident in the insect order Hymenoptera. However, fossil evidence for host–parasitoid interactions is extremely rare, rendering hypotheses on the evolution of parasitism assumptive. Here, using high-throughput synchrotro...
Article
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We present a systematic study of late Paleocene macrofauna from methane seep carbonates and associated driftwood in the shallow marine Basilika Formation, Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The fauna is composed of 22 taxa, comprising one brachiopod, 14 bivalves, three gastropods, three crustaceans, and one bony fish. The reported fish remains are among the fi...
Article
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Cenozoic ectothermic continental tetrapods (amphibians and reptiles) have not been documented previously from Antarctica, in contrast to all other continents. Here we report a fossil ilium and an ornamented skull bone that can be attributed to the Recent, South American, anuran family Calyptocephalellidae or helmeted frogs, representing the first m...
Article
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The Miocene epoch (23.03–5.33 Ma) was a time interval of global warmth, relative to today. Continental configurations and mountain topography transitioned toward modern conditions, and many flora and fauna evolved into the same taxa that exist today. Miocene climate was dynamic: long periods of early and late glaciation bracketed a ∼2 Myr greenhous...
Article
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Excavations along the Tagay-1 section shed light into the composition of small mammal assemblages of the Tagay site. The present paper focuses on the geology and geomorphology of Olkhon Island, the lithology and fossil evidence along the Tagay-1 section and descriptions of the aplodontid, mylagaulid and sciurid rodents. The described fossils are is...
Article
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We report about the Early Miocene Tagay fauna of Olkhon Island, the largest island of the Baikal Lake. The Tagay fauna is of high scientific importance because of the diversity of fishes, amphibians, lizards, snakes, turtles, manifold birds and mammals. The lithology, geochemistry and the fossil record along the Tagay-1 section allow reconstruction...
Article
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One of the most important fossil fauna localities in the Baikal region is the Tagay section. It is located on the shore of Tagay bay at the northwestern coast of Olkhon Island in the Baikal Lake and consists of two different exposures, Tagay-1 and Tagay-2. The Tagay-1 section exposes predominantly lake sediments of Miocene age and contains a faunal...
Article
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The current paper is a preliminary attempt to describe the eulipotyphlan fauna from the Early/Middle Miocene (MN5) Tagay-1 locality. Our results reveal one hedgehog species, Parvericius cf. P. buk (Erinaceinae), one desman species, Desmaninae gen. et sp. indet. (Desmaninae), three mole species, Quyania sp., Urotrichini gen. et sp. indet. and Yanshu...
Article
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The collection of fossil Rodentia from the Miocene Tagay fauna comprises Aplodontidae, Mylagaulidae, Sciuridae, Gliridae, Castoridae, Eomyidae and Cricetodontinae. Represented by three taxa the Cricetodontinae dominate the rodent assemblage of the Tagay fauna. The fossils were collected by wet-screening of test samples along the section Tagay-1 at...
Article
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Unlabelled: New excavations in the Tagay locality have revealed the presence of Amphilagus plicadentis Erbajeva, 2013, which belongs to the palaeolagine Lagomorpha rather than leporids, previously referred to Procaprolagus sp. (Logachev et al., 1964). Herein, we report a comprehensive morphological description of this species and compare it with t...
Article
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The castorid dental material described in this paper derives from Miocene, fossiliferous deposits of the Baikal rift valley, exposed at Tagay Bay on Olkhon Island in the Lake Baikal, in eastern Siberia. It consists of maxillary fragments and isolated upper and lower teeth of the small trogontheriine beaver Euroxenomys minutus (von Meyer, 1838). It...
Article
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The small mammals Myomiminae indet. (Gliridae), Leptodontomys cf. gansus Zheng and Li, 1982 (Eomyidae) and the new species Keramidomys sibiricus nov. spec. (Eomyidae) are described. They were collected from six layers of the middle to upper part of the Tagay-1 section on Olkhon Island. The glirid Myomiminae indet. is represented by only a few isola...
Article
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The lumbosacral-canal system in birds most likely operates as a sense organ involved in the control of balanced walking and perching, but our knowledge of it is superficial. Penguins constitute interesting objects for the study of this system due to their upright walking, but only the Humboldt penguin, Spheniscus humboldti Meyen, 1834, and some inc...
Article
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A new schizotheriine mandible from the early Miocene Xianshuihe Formation in Lanzhou Basin, Northwest China is described here. Compared with other contemporaneous taxa, the lower jaw is most similar to Borissiakia betpakdalensis from Kazakhstan based on mandibular morphology and dental features, except for a much smaller body size which is hardly e...
Article
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The lower incisor enamel microstructure of the fossil rodent family Eomyidae was believed to be three‐layered and highly derived but rather uniform throughout the clade. Here, we describe a new four‐layered schmelzmuster in Eomyidae consisting of a three‐fold portio interna with longitudinal oriented, uniserial Hunter‐Schreger bands and a one‐fold...
Article
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The present study describes a rich amphibian and reptilian assemblage from the early Miocene locality Echzell, Germany. It consists of one allocaudate, five salamander, five frog, one gecko, chamaeleonids, anguine lizards, one lacertid, one skink and five snake taxa. The entire herpetofauna of Echzell is represented by genera and/or families very b...
Article
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Melissiodon is a rare cricetid with a long stratigraphic range, present from the Oligocene until the Miocene, only found in western and central Europe except some specimens recovered in Anatolia. What makes Melissiodon special is its unique dental and mandible morphology that has led to many questions regarding its relationship to other cricetid ge...
Article
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Members of the urodele family Proteidae currently account for eight extant species within two genera and at least four extinct species within three genera. The clade has a clear disjunct geographical range, with the extinct Paranecturus and the extant Necturus in North America and the extinct Mioproteus and the extant Proteus in Europe and Asia. A...
Article
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The first fossil otolith association from the middle Paleocene (Selandian) of Scania, southern Sweden is described. Forty-seven otoliths were retrieved from shallow wells representing 14 teleost taxa. Many specimens are small and/or eroded and, therefore, not identifiable to species level. Nevertheless, our findings indicate the potential for furth...
Article
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Here, we report on two tarsometatarsi assignable to relatively small-sized Eocene Antarctic penguins, housed in the palaeozoological collections of Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Stockholm. The Priabonian fossils were collected by museum staff during two joined Argentinean and Swedish expeditions from the Submeseta Formation on Seymour Island, Antarct...
Article
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Ludfordian strata exposed in the Burgen outlier in eastern Gotland, Sweden record a time of initial faunal recovery after a global environmental perturbation manifested in the Ludfordian Carbon Isotope Excursion (LCIE). Vertebrate microfossils in the collection of the late Lennart Jeppsson, hosted at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, hold the...
Article
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The enamel microstructure of fossil and extant Geomyoidea (Geomyidae, Heteromyidae) lower incisors incorporates three‐ or two‐layered schmelzmusters with uniserial, transverse Hunter‐Schreger bands having parallel and perpendicular or exclusively perpendicular oriented interprismatic matrix. Phylogenetically, these schmelzmusters are regarded as mo...
Article
Trematosaurids were globally distributed Early Triassic temnospondyl amphibians characterized by elongate ‘crocodile-like’ skulls. Some of the most famous trematosaurid fossils were discovered on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. Among these, the short-snouted trematosaurine, Tertrema acuta, is one of the few taxa repres...
Article
Full-text available
The Miocene epoch (23.03-5.33 Ma) was a time interval of global warmth, relative to today. Continental configurations and mountain topography transitioned toward modern conditions, and many flora and fauna evolved into the same taxa that exist today. Miocene climate was dynamic: long periods of early and late glaciation bracketed a ∼2 Myr greenhous...
Preprint
Ludfordian strata exposed in the Burgen outlier in eastern Gotland record a time of initial faunal recovery after a global environmental perturbation manifested in the Ludfordian Carbon Isotope Excursion (LCIE). Vertebrate microfossils in the collection of the late Lennart Jeppsson, hosted at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, hold the key to r...
Article
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Cetacean fossils have been recorded from middle and late Eocene deposits on Seymour Island since the beginning of the twentieth century and include fully aquatic Basilosauridae and stem Neoceti. Here, we report a small cetacean vertebra tentatively referred to as Neoceti from the late Eocene of Seymour Island. It shows a mosaic of traits, some of w...
Article
The remote lower reaches of the Rennick Glacier in the far north of Victoria Land hold some of the least-explored outcrop areas of the Transantarctic basin system. Following recent international field-work efforts in the Helliwell Hills, we here provide a comprehensive emendation to the regional stratigraphy. Results of geological and palaeontologi...
Article
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Many explanations for Eocene climate change focus on the Southern Ocean – where tectonics influenced oceanic gateways, ocean circulation reduced heat transport, and greenhouse gas declines prompted glaciation. To date, few studies focus on marine vertebrates at high latitudes to discern paleoecological and paleoenvironmental impacts of this climate...
Article
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In Asia, the first find of an eomyid rodent was reported almost one century after the first studies of the family Eomyidae in North America and Europe. Since then, eomyid rodents have been increasingly found in Asia particularly over the past two decades. Here, we review the Asian record of this family at the genus level. Currently, 22 species with...
Article
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Throughout the Transantarctic Mountains, Early Jurassic silicic magmatism preceding the emplacement of the Ferrar flood-basalt province (Heimann et al. 1994) is documented by the increasing input of silicic ash into otherwise epiclastic, fluviolacustrine deposits of the Beacon Supergroup (see Elliot et al. 2017). Vertebrate biostratigraphy and radi...
Article
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Modern baleen whales have no adult teeth, whereas dolphins and porpoises have a homodont and polydont dentition, with simplified enamel microstructure. However, archaic cetaceans (archaeocetes and early mysticetes and odontocetes) had a complex and ornamented dentition, with complex enamel microstructure as in terrestrial mammals. This study descri...
Article
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This is a short report about the first Cenozoic shark fossil from Svalbard. The specimen derives from the late Paleocene greenish sandstone of the Grumantbyen Formation, which is exposed in Fossildalen on the western side of Colesbukta on Spitsbergen. The single tooth is assigned to the Paleogene sand tiger shark genus Striatolamia that also is kno...
Article
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The oldest fossil record of Antarctic penguins comes from Seymour Island (Antarctic Peninsula) and dates to the Paleocene and Eocene. The Paleocene bones are extremely rare, whereas specimens from the latter epoch are numerous. Despite the recent discoveries of incomplete skeletons assignable to the giant penguins from the Eocene of Antarctic Penin...
Article
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Fossil rodents are generally scarce in the Miocene of Japan. However, as much as three taxa of eomyid rodents had been reported from the early Miocene Nakamura Formation (ca. 18.5 Ma) in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan. In this study, we revisit one of them-the small-sized taxon-and assign this material to a new genus, Japaneomys, which is so far kn...
Article
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Here, we report on a tetrapod footprint from the Transantarctic Basin in the far north of Victoria Land, which marks the first record of terrestrial vertebrates for this region. The single specimen derives from a previously unknown lithological unit of Middle or Late Triassic age of the Beacon Supergroup in the Helliwell Hills in the central Rennic...
Article
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An isolated suid molar from Falkenberg in Halland, Sweden, is attributed to the extinct Miocene subfamily Tetraconodontinae based on general tooth morphology. The m3 is high-crowned and possesses a shorter talonid than other European tetraconodontines, judging from those species where the m3 is known. The most unusual feature is the highly lifted h...
Article
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Eocene deposits of the famous La Meseta Formation of Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, yielded the most diverse Paleogene fossil elasmobranch association of the Southern Hemisphere. In this assemblage, sharks clearly dominate the fauna, whereas batoids are very rare components. Herein, we describe two new taxa of cold water tolerant skates, Mara...
Article
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Early to Late Eocene bryozoans from the La Meseta Formation of Seymour Island were collected at two localities within the Cucullaea I Allomember (Telm4 and Telm5) on the northwestern side of the island and in two localities within the Submeseta Allomember (Telm6 and Telm7) on the northeastern side. This fauna is represented by cyclostomes of the su...
Article
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The dental material described in this paper was collected from fossiliferous ash layers of the Vogelsberg volcanic complex at Echzell, Germany. It consists of 32 teeth of a new large Apeomys species, Apeomys oldrichi n. sp., and 19 teeth of Megapeomys lindsayi Fejfar, Rummel and Tomida. Both species are extremely rare faunal elements in the early M...
Article
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The first record of one of the most common and widespread Paleogene selachians, the sand tiger shark Brachycarcharias, in the Ypresian strata of the La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctica, is provided herein. Selachians from the early Eocene horizons of this deposit represent the southernmost Paleogene occurrences in the fossil record, and...
Article
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A recently discovered, incomplete dentary with preserved incisor, premolar and first molar of a minute castorid from the Dota locality, Kani Basin, early Miocene (ca. 18.5 Ma) Nakamura Formation of the Mizunami Group in central Japan, is described as a new species of the trogontheriine beaver Euroxenomys. It represents the first record of Euroxenom...
Article
Elasmosaurids are a monophyletic group of cosmopolitan plesiosaurs with extremely long necks. Although abundant elasmosaurid material has been collected from the Upper Cretaceous of Antarctica, skull material is extremely rare. Here, new elasmosaurid cranial material from the lower Maastrichtian levels of the Cape Lamb Member (Snow Hill Island Form...
Article
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Excavations carried out between 2001 and 2006 in the Early Pleistocene locality Senèze (Haute-Loire, France) yielded the fragment of a large upper incisor with anteriorly grooved enamel band, documenting a large-bodied rodent in Senèze for the first time. A thorough study of this incisor and particularly of its enamel microstructure led to its assi...
Article
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Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, is known for its wealth of fossil remains. This island provides one of the richest fossiliferous Paleogene sequences in the world. Chondrichthyans seemingly dominate this Eocene marine fauna and offer a rare insight into high-latitude faunas during the Palaeogene. So far, only a few isolated teeth of carcharhini...
Conference Paper
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Elasmosaurid plesiosaurs remains are frequently collected across the Marambio Group (Santonian-Danian), Antarctica. Notwithstanding, finding of informative cranial material is extremelyrare. A new specimen (MLP 15-I-7-6), from the Cape Lamb Member of the Snow Hill Island Formation (lower Maastrichtian) in Vega Island (Fig. 1.A, B) allows studyingth...