摘要：Reconstructing the diet of extinct species is a fundamental goal in vertebrate paleobiology. Dental calculus is the calcium phosphate deposits on teeth, which captures a large number of food particles and contains the food information of ancient animal. It is possible to explore ancient animal dietary and investigate the environmental information from dental calculus. A large number of starch granules were found in dental calculus of Dicros gansuensis excavated from the earliest Late Miocene Guonigou fauna of the Linxia Basin, Gansu Province. It is the first time that starch granules from Late Miocene were found. We classified the ancient starch granules by its morphological characteristics and also analyzed the starch granules of leaves of modern plants around the living environment of D. gansuensis to find modern starch granules and compare them with ancient ones. The results indicate that D. gansuensis may eat not only shrubs leaves, such as the plant from Caprifoliaceae, but also some tree leaves from Juglandaceae (walnut), and maybe some herbs from Ranunculaceae and Polygonaceae. It is consistent with the results of previous morphological studies, and it also provides more information. Our study extends the range of time and object for dental calculus research, and offers more possibilities for research on feeding habits of ancient mammals.
摘要：Mammut is the terminal taxon of the proboscidean group Mammutidae, which survived to the Late Pleistocene. Although this genus was widely distributed in the Pliocene of Eurasia and the Pleistocene of North America, little is known about its early evolution. Here, we report on Mammut cf. M. obliquelophus from the Upper Miocene of northern China based on new fossil material, including an almost complete juvenile cranium and other remains, which show many primitive features within Mammutidae and clearly demonstrate the morphological evolution of Mammut. The strongly laterally expanded lateral wing of the occiput and the presence of basal constriction of the incisive fossa display cranial similarity between Mammut cf. M. obliquelophus and both Eozygodon morotoensis and Choerolophodon guangheensis, early representatives of the Mammutidae and Choerolophodontidae, respectively, indicating the close relationship between these two groups: both of them are located at the basal phylogenetic positions in Elephantimorpha.This result is further confrmed by a cladistic analysis.