First Miocene rodent from Lebanon provides the 'missing link' between Asian and African gundis (Rodentia: Ctenodactylidae)

Type Article
Date 2015-08
Language English
Author(s) Lopez-Antonanzas RaquelORCID1, 2, Knoll FabienORCID1, 2, 3, Maksoud Sibelle4, Azar DanyORCID5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Bristol, Sch Earth Sci, Bristol, Avon, England.
2 : Museo Nacl Ciencias Nat CSIC, Dept Paleobiol, Madrid, Spain.
3 : Univ Manchester, Sch Earth Atmospher & Environm Sci, Manchester, Lancs, England.
4 : Univ Bretagne Occidentale, UMR Domaine Ocean 6538, Brest, France.
5 : Lebanese Univ, Fac Sci 2, Dept Nat Sci, Fanar, Lebanon.
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Publishing Group), 2015-08 , Vol. 5 , P. 12871 (11p.)
DOI 10.1038/srep12871
WOS© Times Cited 10

Ctenodactylinae (gundis) is a clade of rodents that experienced, in Miocene time, their greatest diversification and widest distribution. They expanded from the Far East, their area of origin, to Africa, which they entered from what would become the Arabian Peninsula. Questions concerning the origin of African Ctenodactylinae persist essentially because of a poor fossil record from the Miocene of Afro-Arabia. However, recent excavations in the Late Miocene of Lebanon have yielded a key taxon for our understanding of these issues. Proafricanomys libanensis nov. gen. nov. sp. shares a variety of dental characters with both the most primitive and derived members of the subfamily. A cladistic analysis demonstrates that this species is the sister taxon to a clade encompassing all but one of the African ctenodactylines, plus a southern European species of obvious African extraction. As such, Proafricanomys provides the 'missing link' between the Asian and African gundis.

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