Just out | First report of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the Gray Fossil Site (late Miocene or early Pliocene), Tennessee, USA @ PeerJ


Just out @ PeerJ


First report of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the Gray Fossil Site (late Miocene or early Pliocene), Tennessee, USA


Author(s)

Nicholas J. Czaplewski


Abstract:

Thousands of vertebrate fossils have been recovered from the Gray Fossil Site, Tennessee, dating to the Miocene-Pliocene boundary. Among these are but eight specimens of bats representing two different taxa referable to the family Vespertilionidae. Comparison of the fossils with Neogene and Quaternary bats reveals that seven of the eight specimens pertain to a species of Eptesicus that cannot be distinguished from recent North American Eptesicus fuscus. The remaining specimen, a horizontal ramus with m3, is from a smaller vespertilionid bat that cannot confidently be assigned to a genus. Although many vespertilionid genera can be excluded through comparisons, and many extinct named taxa cannot be compared due to nonequivalence of preserved skeletal elements, the second taxon shows morphological similarities to small-bodied taxa with three lower premolar alveoli, three distinct m3 talonid cusps, and m3 postcristid showing the myotodont condition. It resembles especially Nycticeius humeralis and small species of Eptesicus. Eptesicus cf. E. fuscus potentially inhabited eastern North America continuously since the late Hemphillian land mammal age, when other evidence from the Gray Fossil Site indicates the presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains of a warm, subtropical, oak-hickory-conifer forest having autochthonous North American as well as allochthonous biogeographical ties to eastern Asia and tropical-subtropical Middle America.

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DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3263


READ IT HERE: https://peerj.com/articles/3263/

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)