Just out | Evolution of Oligo-Miocene talpids (Mammalia, Talpidae) in Europe: focus on the genera Myxomygale and Percymygale n. gen. @ Historical Biology

Just out @ Historical Biology


New material recovered in the Oligocene locality St-Martin-de-Castillon (Vaucluse, France; MP24) provides a better knowledge of the characteristics of the species vauclusensis in its type-locality, hitherto assigned to the genus Myxomygale (Talpinae, tribe Urotrichini). In Europe, the species assigned to Myxomygale range from Late Eocene/Early Oligocene to the end of the Middle Miocene (MN 7/8). However noticeable differences can be observed in mandibles of these taxa, sometimes even coexisting in the same localities. We propose for the plesiomorphic branch (including M. vauclusensis and M. minor) a new genus, Percymygale, closely related to Myxomygale. Percymygale is consequently also assigned to the tribe Urotrichini. Today, the tribe Urotrichini (American and Japanese shrew-moles) is composed of terrestrial, semi-fossorial species, not well adapted to digging but able to climb small bushes, and foraging in grasslands, forests and covered landscapes. As a result, their limbs protrude laterally from the body (unlike in moles) and their humeri are usually longer with very limited adaptations to digging. Humeri are poorly known for Myxomygale and only fragmentary humeri are known for Percymygale n. gen. making comparisons difficult. However the muzzle development in Percymygale and Myxomygalesuggests that Myxomygale was perhaps a better burrower than Percymygale.

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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)