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Climate change and evolution of early lagomorphs (Mammalia): a study perspective based on new materials of Ordolagus from Nei Mongol (northern China)

摘要:The Early Oligocene is a critical time for global climate changes in the Cenozoic. This epoch witnessed severe mammalian faunal turnovers known as “Grande Coupure” in Europe and “Mongolian Remodelling” in Asia. However, insights about morphological changes in Oligocene mammal lineages have not been explored in detail. One of the least diversified groups of recent mammals, lagomorpha, is globally common in the fossil records, especially in Asia. During the Oligocene, many Eocene archaic lagomorph taxa died out and were replaced by more advanced forms. New findings from Nei Mongol and re-examination of the specimens from older collections enabled a revision of a common Asian lagomorph genus, Ordolagus, which possibly has a close affinity with the Middle–Late Eocene genus Gobiolagus. In Nei Mongol, we recognized the presence of Ordolagus during the basal Early Oligocene. Comparisons with coeval and slightly older lagomorph taxa from Asia and North America show that Ordolagus attained some salient tooth morphological characters (i.e., development of anteroconid on p3, full hypselodonty of cheek teeth, and lingual connection of trigonid and talonid on p4–m2), which are also the key features of modern leporids. The appearance of those morphologic features in Ordolagus is coeval to major global or regional climatic changes. Further investigations on Asian early lagomorphs compared with the study of other small mammals and local climatic factors will be essential to refine the role of lagomorphs as palaeoclimatic proxies.

英文摘要:The Early Oligocene is a critical time for global climate changes in the Cenozoic. This epoch witnessed severe mammalian faunal turnovers known as “Grande Coupure” in Europe and “Mongolian Remodelling” in Asia. However, insights about morphological changes in Oligocene mammal lineages have not been explored in detail. One of the least diversified groups of recent mammals, lagomorpha, is globally common in the fossil records, especially in Asia. During the Oligocene, many Eocene archaic lagomorph taxa died out and were replaced by more advanced forms. New findings from Nei Mongol and re-examination of the specimens from older collections enabled a revision of a common Asian lagomorph genus, Ordolagus, which possibly has a close affinity with the Middle–Late Eocene genus Gobiolagus. In Nei Mongol, we recognized the presence of Ordolagus during the basal Early Oligocene. Comparisons with coeval and slightly older lagomorph taxa from Asia and North America show that Ordolagus attained some salient tooth morphological characters (i.e., development of anteroconid on p3, full hypselodonty of cheek teeth, and lingual connection of trigonid and talonid on p4–m2), which are also the key features of modern leporids. The appearance of those morphologic features in Ordolagus is coeval to major global or regional climatic changes. Further investigations on Asian early lagomorphs compared with the study of other small mammals and local climatic factors will be essential to refine the role of lagomorphs as palaeoclimatic proxies.

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[V1] 2021-04-02 16:58:46 chinaXiv:202104.00006V1 下载全文
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