24 April 2015

A new Mesozoic mammal genus recently erected

Not only dinosaurs can be found within the vertebrate fossil record from the Spanish Wealden facies. These are teeth of a recently erected mammal genus from the El Castellar Formation: the spalacotheriid Aliaga molinenses from the Molino Alto fossil site (municipality of Aliaga, Teruel province, Spain), early Barremian in age. Spalacolestines are more diverse in North America, where they ranged from Albian–Campanian, but first appear in the Barremian of Western Europe, supporting the hypothesis that the group had a Eurasian origin and later dispersed to North America.

Figure caption (Cuenca-Bescós et al., 2014: fig. 2): A–E, left m1, MPZ-2013/11, in occlusal (A), distal (B), mesial (C), mesiobuccal (D), and mesiolingual (E) views; F–J, left mx, MPZ-2013/12 (holotype), in occlusal (F), distal (G), mesial (H), buccal (I), and lingual (J) views; K, MPZ-2013/13, broken right mx in occlusal view; L–P, right mp, MPZ-2013/14, in occlusal (L), mesial (M), distal (N), buccal (O), and lingual (P) views. Note the bilobed mesial root visible in the distal and lingual views.

Reference:

Cuenca-Bescós, G., Canudo, J.I., Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M., Cifelli, R. 2014. Spalacotheriid symmetrodonts from the Early Cretaceous of Spain. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 34 (6), 1427-1436. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.866574 Request paper

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