New Eocene mammal fossils discovered in Myanmar


From Naturwissenschaften:

Artiodactyls from the Pondaung Formation (Myanmar): new data and reevaluation of the South Asian Faunal Province during the Middle Eocene

Abstract: Although Asia is thought to have played a critical role in the radiation of artiodactyls, the fossil record of stem selenodonts (“dichobunoids”) remains dramatically poor in tropical Asian regions.

In this study, we report a new dichobunid genus and species Cadutherium kyaukmagyii and a new basal ruminant genus and species Irrawadymeryx pondaungi, from the late Middle Eocene Pondaung Formation, Central Myanmar.

Although the scarcity of the present material prevents any attempts to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of Cadutherium with contemporaneous forms from other Holarctic landmasses, this new form shed new light on the diversity of these small rabbit-like ungulates during a key period of their evolutionary history.

Reexamination of the small-bodied artiodactyls from Pondaung leads us to propose new identifications of certain published specimens and, in turn, to investigate the temporal and geographic distribution of taxa recognized in the Pondaung Formation.

Although fragmentary, these potential new taxa reveal an unsuspected diversity of small forms among artiodactyls of Pondaung.

This addition to the Eocene record of dichobunoids and early ruminants provides further insight in the diversity of dental patterns among small artiodactyls from the Pondaung Formation and attests to the antiquity of these groups in Southeast Asia.

6 thoughts on “New Eocene mammal fossils discovered in Myanmar

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