ResearchPad - miocene-epoch https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Unravelling the mystery of “Madagascar copal”: Age, origin and preservation of a Recent resin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15728 The loss of biodiversity during the Anthropocene is a constant topic of discussion, especially in the top biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar. In this regard, the study of preserved organisms through time, like those included in "Madagascar copal", is of relevance. “Madagascar copal" originated from the leguminous tree Hymenaea verrucosa, which produced and produces resin abundantly. In the last 20 years, interest has focused on the scientific study of its biological inclusions, mainly arthropods, described in dozens of publications. The age and origin of the deposits of "Madagascar copal" have not yet been resolved. Our objectives are to determine its age and geographical origin, and thus increase its scientific value as a source of biological/palaeobiological information. Although Hymenaea was established in Madagascar during the Miocene, we did not find geological deposits of copal or amber in the island. It is plausible that the evolution of those deposits was negatively conditioned by the type of soil, by the climate, and by the development of soil/litter microorganisms, which inhibit preservation of the resin pieces in the litter and subsoil over 300 years. Our results indicate that "Madagascar copal" is a Recent resin, up to a few hundred years old, that originated from Hymenaea trees growing in the lowland coastal forests, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The included and preserved biota is representative of that ecosystem today and during historical times. Inclusions in this Recent resin do not have the palaeontological significance that has been mistakenly attributed to them, but they do have relevant implications for studies regarding Anthropocene biodiversity loss in this hottest hotspot.

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<![CDATA[Comparisons of Schansitherium tafeli with Samotherium boissieri (Giraffidae, Mammalia) from the Late Miocene of Gansu Province, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7573d5eed0c4843cfdbf

We are describing and figuring for the first time skulls of Schansitherium tafeli, which are abundant in the Gansu area of China from the Late Miocene. They were animals about the size of Samotherium with shorter necks that had two pairs of ossicones that merge at the base, which is unlike Samotherium. The anterior ossicones consist of anterior lineations, which may represent growth lines. They were likely mixed feeders similar to Samotherium. Schansitherium is tentatively placed in a very close position to Samotherium. Samotherium and Schansitherium represent a pair of morphologically very similar species that likely coexisted similarly to pairs of modern species, where the main difference is in the ossicones. Pairs of ruminants in Africa, for example, exist today that differ mostly in their horn shape but otherwise are similar in size, shape, and diet. The absence of Schansitherium from Europe is interesting, however, as Samotherium is found in both locations. While is it challenging to interpret neck length and ossicone shape in terms of function in combat, we offer our hypothesis as to how the two species differed in their fighting techniques.

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<![CDATA[Revision of Varanus marathonensis (Squamata, Varanidae) based on historical and new material: morphology, systematics, and paleobiogeography of the European monitor lizards]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b75d5eed0c4846994b2

Monitor lizards (genus Varanus) inhabited Europe at least from the early Miocene to the Pleistocene. Their fossil record is limited to about 40 localities that have provided mostly isolated vertebrae. Due to the poor diagnostic value of these fossils, it was recently claimed that all the European species described prior to the 21st century are not taxonomically valid and a new species, Varanus amnhophilis, was erected on the basis of fragmentary material including cranial elements, from the late Miocene of Samos (Greece). We re-examined the type material of Varanus marathonensis Weithofer, 1888, based on material from the late Miocene of Pikermi (Greece), and concluded that it is a valid, diagnosable species. Previously unpublished Iberian material from the Aragonian (middle Miocene) of Abocador de Can Mata (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Barcelona) and the Vallesian (late Miocene) of Batallones (Madrid Basin) is clearly referable to the same species on a morphological basis, further enabling to provide an emended diagnosis for this species. Varanus amnhophilis appears to be a junior subjective synonym of V. marathonensis. On the basis of the most complete fossil Varanus skeleton ever described, it has been possible to further resolve the internal phylogeny of this genus by cladistically analyzing 80 taxa coded for 495 morphological and 5729 molecular characters. Varanus marathonensis was a large-sized species distributed at relatively low latitudes in both southwestern and southeastern Europe from at least MN7+8 to MN12. Our cladistic analysis nests V. marathonensis into an eastern clade of Varanus instead of the African clade comprising Varanus griseus, to which it had been related in the past. At least two different Varanus lineages were present in Europe during the Neogene, represented by Varanus mokrensis (early Miocene) and V. marathonensis (middle to late Miocene), respectively.

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<![CDATA[Integrated Chronology, Flora and Faunas, and Paleoecology of the Alajuela Formation, Late Miocene of Panama]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdce60

The late Miocene was an important time to understand the geological, climatic, and biotic evolution of the ancient New World tropics and the context for the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). Despite this importance, upper Miocene deposits containing diverse faunas and floras and their associated geological context are rare in Central America. We present an integrated study of the geological and paleontological context and age of a new locality from Lago Alajuela in northern Panama (Caribbean side) containing late Miocene marine and terrestrial fossils (plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates) from the Alajuela Formation. These taxa indicate predominantly estuarine and shallow marine paleoenvironments, along with terrestrial influences based on the occurrence of land mammals. Sr-isotope ratio analyses of in situ scallop shells indicate an age for the Alajuela Formation of 9.77 ± 0.22 Ma, which also equates to a latest Clarendonian (Cl3) North American Land Mammal Age. Along with the roughly contemporaneous late Miocene Gatun and Lago Bayano faunas in Panama, we now have the opportunity to reconstruct the dynamics of the Central America seaway that existed before final closure coincident with formation of the Isthmus of Panama.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive species set revealing the phylogeny and biogeography of Feliformia (Mammalia, Carnivora) based on mitochondrial DNA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc77b

Extant Feliformia species are one of the most diverse radiations of Carnivora (~123 species). Despite substantial recent interest in their conservation, diversification, and systematic study, no previous phylogeny contains a comprehensive species set, and no biogeography of this group is available. Here, we present a phylogenetic estimate for Feliformia with a comprehensive species set and establish a historical biogeography based on mitochondrial DNA. Both the Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogeny for Feliformia are elucidated in our analyses and are strongly consistent with many groups recognized in previous studies. The mitochondrial phylogenetic relationships of Felidae were for the first time successfully reconstructed in our analyses with strong supported. When divergence times and dispersal/vicariance histories were compared with historical sea level changes, four dispersal and six vicariance events were identified. These vicariance events were closely related with global sea level changes. The transgression of sea into the lowland plains between Eurasia and Africa may have caused the vicariance in these regions. A fall in the sea level during late Miocene to Pliocene produced the Bering strait land bridge, which assisted the migration of American Feliformia ancestors from Asia to North America. In contrast with the ‘sweepstakes hypothesis’, our results suggest that the climate cooling during 30–27 Ma assisted Feliformia migration from the African mainland to Madagascar by creating a short-lived ice bridge across the Mozambique Channel. Lineages-through-time plots revealed a large increase in lineages since the Mid-Miocene. During the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum, the ecosystems and population of Feliformia rapidly expanded. Subsequent climate cooling catalyzed immigration, speciation, and the extinction of Feliformia.

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<![CDATA[Megalictis, the Bone-Crushing Giant Mustelid (Carnivora, Mustelidae, Oligobuninae) from the Early Miocene of North America]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97a73

We describe cranial and mandibular remains of three undescribed individuals of the giant mustelid Megalictis ferox Matthew, 1907 from the latest Arikareean (Ar4), Early Miocene mammal fauna of Nebraska, and Wyoming (USA) housed at the American Museum of Natural History (New York, USA). Our phylogenetic hypothesis indicates that Ar4 specimens assigned to M. ferox constitute a monophyletic group. We assign three additional species previously referred to Paroligobunis to Megalictis: M. simplicidens, M. frazieri, and “M.” petersoni. The node containing these four species of Megalictis and Oligobunis forms the Oligobuninae. We test the hypothesis that Oligobuninae (Megalictis and Oligobunis) is a stem mustelid taxon. Our results indicate that the Oligobuninae form the sister clade to the crown extant mustelids. Based on the cranium, M. ferox is a jaguar-size mustelid and the largest terrestrial mustelid known to have existed. This new material also sheds light on a new ecomorphological interpretation of M. ferox as a bone-crushing durophage (similar to hyenas), rather than a cat-like hypercarnivore, as had been previously described. The relative large size of M. ferox, together with a stout rostrum and mandible made it one of the more powerful predators of the Early Miocene of the Great Plains of North America.

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<![CDATA[New evidence indicates the presence of barracuda (Sphyraenidae) and supports a tropical marine environment in the Miocene of Madagascar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdff82

Recent exploration of Miocene-age deposits at Nosy Makamby, a small island ~50 km southwest of Mahajanga city in northwestern Madagascar, has led to the recovery of a large sample [82] of isolated barracuda teeth (Sphyraena sp.). in a tropical marine fauna that also includes diverse marine invertebrates, chondrichthyans, bony fishes, turtles, crocodylians, and sirenians. Characteristically for barracudas, the teeth are labiolingually flattened and fang-like with a broadly triangular and blade-like acuminate outline and sharply edged but unserrated cutting margins. These barracudas inhabited an environment that included coral reefs (based on fossil scleractinians) and seagrass beds (evidenced by the epiphytic benthic foraminifera Elphidium sp.). The relatively common occurrence of Miocene barracuda at Nosy Makamby corroborates the presence of a tropical marine ecosystem encircling Madagascar by the Miocene, likely similar overall to the environment found there today.

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<![CDATA[Phylogeny and biogeography of South Chinese brown frogs (Ranidae, Anura)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc2bc

Few studies have explored the role of Cenozoic tectonic evolution in shaping the patterns and processes of extant animal distributions in and around East Asia. In this study, we selected South Chinese brown frogs as a model to examine the phylogenetic and biogeographical consequences of Miocene tectonic events within South China and its margins. We used mitochondrial and nuclear molecular data to reconstruct phylogenetic interrelationships among Chinese brown frogs using Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses. The phylogeny results show that there are four main clades of Chinese brown frogs. Excepting the three commonly known Chinese brown frog species groups, R. maoershanensis forms an independent clade nearest to the R. japonica group. Phylogeny and P-distance analyses confirmed R. maoershanensis as a valid species. Among South Chinese brown frogs, there are four subclades associated with four geographical areas: (I) R. maoershanensis; (II) R. japonica; (III) R. chaochiaoensis; and (IV) other species of the R. longicrus species group. Divergence times, estimated using mitochondrial sequences, place the vicariance events among the four subclades in the middle to late Miocene epoch. Our results suggest that (1) South Chinese brown frogs originated due to a vicariance event separating them from the R. chensinensis species group at the time of the Geological movement (~18 million years ago, Ma) in southern Tibet and the Himalayan region; (2) the separation and speciation of R. maoershanensis from the R. japonica group occurred due to the dry climate at approximately 16 Ma; (3) South Chinese brown frogs migrated from South China to Japan at the time (~10.8 Ma) that the global sea-level fell and the East China Sea Shelf Basin was swamp facies, when a land gallery may have formed across the sea to connect the two areas; and (4) R. chaochiaoensis separated from other species of the R. longicrus species group during the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau at approximately 9.5 Ma.

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<![CDATA[Messinian age and savannah environment of the possible hominin Graecopithecus from Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdff65

Dating fossil hominids and reconstructing their environments is critically important for understanding human evolution. Here we date the potentially oldest hominin, Graecopithecus freybergi from Europe and constrain the environmental conditions under which it thrived. For the Graecopithecus-bearing Pikermi Formation of Attica/Greece, a saline aeolian dust deposit of North African (Sahara) provenance, we obtain an age of 7.37–7.11 Ma, which is coeval with a dramatic cooling in the Mediterranean region at the Tortonian-Messinian transition. Palaeobotanic proxies demonstrate C4-grass dominated wooded grassland-to-woodland habitats of a savannah biome for the Pikermi Formation. Faunal turnover at the Tortonian-Messinian transition led to the spread of new mammalian taxa along with Graecopithecus into Europe. The type mandible of G. freybergi from Pyrgos (7.175 Ma) and the single tooth (7.24 Ma) from Azmaka (Bulgaria) represent the first hominids of Messinian age from continental Europe. Our results suggest that major splits in the hominid family occurred outside Africa.

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<![CDATA[A New 13 Million Year Old Gavialoid Crocodylian from Proto-Amazonian Mega-Wetlands Reveals Parallel Evolutionary Trends in Skull Shape Linked to Longirostry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1eab0ee8fa60bcea80

Gavialoid crocodylians are the archetypal longirostrine archosaurs and, as such, understanding their patterns of evolution is fundamental to recognizing cranial rearrangements and reconstructing adaptive pathways associated with elongation of the rostrum (longirostry). The living Indian gharial Gavialis gangeticus is the sole survivor of the group, thus providing unique evidence on the distinctive biology of its fossil kin. Yet phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary ecology spanning ~70 million-years of longirostrine crocodylian diversification remain unclear. Analysis of cranial anatomy of a new proto-Amazonian gavialoid, Gryposuchus pachakamue sp. nov., from the Miocene lakes and swamps of the Pebas Mega-Wetland System reveals that acquisition of both widely separated and protruding eyes (telescoped orbits) and riverine ecology within South American and Indian gavialoids is the result of parallel evolution. Phylogenetic and morphometric analyses show that, in association with longirostry, circumorbital bone configuration can evolve rapidly for coping with trends in environmental conditions and may reflect shifts in feeding strategy. Our results support a long-term radiation of the South American forms, with taxa occupying either extreme of the gavialoid morphospace showing preferences for coastal marine versus fluvial environments. The early biogeographic history of South American gavialoids was strongly linked to the northward drainage system connecting proto-Amazonian wetlands to the Caribbean region.

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<![CDATA[Flowering after disaster: Early Danian buckthorn (Rhamnaceae) flowers and leaves from Patagonia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6b4

Southern-Hemisphere terrestrial communities from the early Paleocene are poorly known, but recent work on Danian plant fossils from the Salamanca Formation in Chubut Province, Argentina are providing critical data on earliest Paleocene floras. The fossils described here come from a site in the Salamanca Formation dating to ca. 1 million years or less after the end-Cretaceous extinction event; they are the first fossil flowers reported from the Danian of South America, and possible the entire Southern Hemisphere. They are compressions and impressions in flat-laminated light gray shale, and they belong to the family Rhamnaceae (buckthorns). Flowers of Notiantha grandensis gen. et sp. nov. are pentamerous, with distinctly keeled calyx lobes projecting from the hypanthium, clawed and cucullate emarginate petals, antepetalous stamens, and a pentagonal floral disk that fills the hypanthium. Their phylogenetic position was evaluated using a molecular scaffold approach combined with morphological data. Results indicate that the flowers are most like those of extant ziziphoid Rhamnaceae. The associated leaves, assigned to Suessenia grandensis gen. et sp. nov. are simple and ovate, with serrate margins and three acrodromous basal veins. They conform to the distinctive leaves of some extant Rhamnaceae in the ziziphoid and ampelozizyphoid clades. These fossils provide the first unequivocal megafossil evidence of Rhamnaceae in the Southern Hemisphere, demonstrating that Rhamnaceae expanded beyond the tropics by the earliest Paleocene. Given previous reports of rhamnaceous pollen in the late Paleogene and Neogene of Antarctica and southern Australia, this new occurrence increases the possibility of high-latitude dispersal of this family between South America and Australia via Antarctica during the Cenozoic.

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<![CDATA[Genetic structure and distribution of Parisotoma notabilis (Collembola) in Europe: Cryptic diversity, split of lineages and colonization patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8a1

Climatic and biome changes of the past million years influenced the population structure and genetic diversity of soil-living arthropods in Europe. However, their effects on the genetic structure of widespread and abundant soil animal species such as the Collembola Parisotoma notabilis remain virtually unknown. This generalist and parthenogenetic species is an early colonizer of disturbed habitats and often occurs in human modified environments. To investigate ancient climatic influence and recent distributions on the genetic structure of P. notabilis we analyzed populations on a pan-European scale using three genetic markers differing in substitution rates. The results showed that P. notabilis comprises several genetic lineages with distinct distribution ranges that diverged in the Miocene. Genetic distances of COI between lineages ranged between 15% and 18% and molecular clock estimates suggest Late Miocene divergences considering the standard arthropod rate of 2.3% per my. Compared to other soil-living arthropods like oribatid mites, European lineages of P. notabilis are rather young and genetically uniform. The close association with anthropogenic habitats presumably contributed to rapid spread in Europe.

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<![CDATA[New Miocene Fossils and the History of Penguins in Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da55ab0ee8fa60b8eba3

Australia has a fossil record of penguins reaching back to the Eocene, yet today is inhabited by just one breeding species, the little penguin Eudyptula minor. The description of recently collected penguin fossils from the re-dated upper Miocene Port Campbell Limestone of Portland (Victoria), in addition to reanalysis of previously described material, has allowed the Cenozoic history of penguins in Australia to be placed into a global context for the first time. Australian pre-Quaternary fossil penguins represent stem taxa phylogenetically disparate from each other and E. minor, implying multiple dispersals and extinctions. Late Eocene penguins from Australia are closest to contemporaneous taxa in Antarctica, New Zealand and South America. Given current material, the Miocene Australian fossil penguin fauna is apparently unique in harbouring ‘giant penguins’ after they went extinct elsewhere; and including stem taxa until at least 6 Ma, by which time crown penguins dominated elsewhere in the southern hemisphere. Separation of Australia from Antarctica during the Palaeogene, and its subsequent drift north, appears to have been a major event in Australian penguin biogeography. Increasing isolation through the Cenozoic may have limited penguin dispersal to Australia from outside the Australasian region, until intensification of the eastwards-flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the mid-Miocene established a potential new dispersal vector to Australia.

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<![CDATA[A Transitional Gundi (Rodentia: Ctenodactylidae) from the Miocene of Israel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1aab0ee8fa60bcdecb

We describe a new species of gundi (Rodentia: Ctenodactylidae: Ctenodactylinae), Sayimys negevensis, on the basis of cheek teeth from the Early Miocene of the Rotem Basin, southern Israel. The Rotem ctenodactylid differs from all known ctenodactylid species, including Sayimys intermedius, which was first described from the Middle Miocene of Saudi Arabia. Instead, it most resembles Sayimys baskini from the Early Miocene of Pakistan in characters of the m1-2 (e.g., the mesoflexid shorter than the metaflexid, the obliquely orientated hypolophid, and the presence of a strong posterolabial ledge) and the upper molars (e.g., the paraflexus that is longer than the metaflexus). However, morphological (e.g., presence of a well-developed paraflexus on unworn upper molars) and dimensional (regarding, in particular, the DP4 and M1 or M2) differences between the Rotem gundi and Sayimys baskini distinguish them and testify to the novelty and endemicity of the former. In its dental morphology, Sayimys negevensis sp. nov. shows a combination of both the ultimate apparition of key-characters and incipient features that would be maintained and strengthened in latter ctenodactylines. Thus, it is a pivotal species that bridges the gap between an array of primitive ctenodactylines and the most derived, Early Miocene and later, gundis.

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<![CDATA[The oldest fossil mushroom]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be042b

A new fossil mushroom is described and illustrated from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of northeast Brazil. Gondwanagaricites magnificus gen. et sp. nov. is remarkable for its exceptional preservation as a mineralized replacement in laminated limestone, as all other fossil mushrooms are known from amber inclusions. Gondwanagaricites represents the oldest fossil mushroom to date and the first fossil mushroom from Gondwana.

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<![CDATA[Phylogeny and biogeography of the amphi-Pacific genus Aphananthe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb901

Aphananthe is a small genus of five species showing an intriguing amphi-Pacific distribution in eastern, southern and southeastern Asia, Australia, and Mexico, also with one species in Madagascar. The phylogenetic relationships of Aphananthe were reconstructed with two nuclear (ITS & ETS) and two plastid (psbA-trnH & trnL-trnF) regions. Clade divergence times were estimated with a Bayesian approach, and the ancestral areas were inferred using the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis and Bayesian Binary MCMC analyses. Aphananthe was supported to be monophyletic, with the eastern Asian A. aspera resolved as sister to a clade of the remaining four species. Aphananthe was inferred to have originated in the Late Cretaceous (71.5 mya, with 95% HPD: 66.6–81.3 mya), and the crown age of the genus was dated to be in the early Miocene (19.1 mya, with 95% HPD: 12.4–28.9 mya). The fossil record indicates that Aphananthe was present in the high latitude thermophilic forests in the early Tertiary, and experienced extinctions from the middle Tertiary onwards. Aphananthe originated in Europe based on the inference that included fossil and extant species, but eastern Asia was estimated to be the ancestral area of the clade of the extant species of Aphananthe. Both the West Gondwanan vicariance hypothesis and the boreotropics hypothesis could be excluded as explanation for its amphi-Pacific distribution. Long-distance dispersals out of eastern Asia into North America, southern and southeastern Asia and Australia, and Madagascar during the Miocene account for its wide intercontinental disjunct distribution.

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<![CDATA[Two New Mylagaulid Rodents from the Early Miocene of China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafdab0ee8fa60bc55c8

Mylagaulid fossorial rodents are a common component of North American Miocene fossil faunas. However outside of North America, only three species are known from Asia. Here we report two new mylagaulids, Irtyshogaulus minor gen. et sp. nov. and Irtyshogaulus major gen. et sp. nov., recovered from early Miocene sediments in the Junggar Basin in northwestern China. The two new taxa are small-sized, high-crowned promylagauline rodents. Their lower molars possess high metastylid crests, small mesostylids, broad and posterolingually expanded labial inflections, and transversely extending metalophid IIs. The mesoconid is absent in both species. The anterior and posterior fossettids are large and equally developed. Their upper M1-2s possess a square occlusal surface with five deep fossettes. The two new taxa are distinguished from each other mainly by their size, the morphology of fossettes and fossettids, development of mesial and distal lophs, posterior reduction of M3, and the orientation of m2 hypolophid. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Irtyshogaulus and Lamugaulus (another early Miocene Asian mylagaulid) are sister taxa. The two genera are nested among the North American promylagaulines, and share a common ancestor from North America, indicating early Miocene intercontinental dispersal within this clade of rodents.

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<![CDATA[The first darter (Aves: Anhingidae) fossils from India (late Pliocene)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdffd6

New fossils from the latest Pliocene portion of the Tatrot Formation exposed in the Siwalik Hills of northern India represent the first fossil record of a darter (Anhingidae) from India. The darter fossils possibly represent a new species, but the limited information on the fossil record of this group restricts their taxonomic allocation. The Pliocene darter has a deep pit on the distal face of metatarsal trochlea IV not reported in other anhingids, it has an open groove for the m. flexor perforatus et perforans digiti II tendon on the hypotarsus unlike New World anhingid taxa, and these darter specimens are the youngest of the handful of Neogene records of the group from Asia. These fossil specimens begin to fill in a significant geographic and temporal gap in the fossil record of this group that is largely known from other continents and other time periods. The presence of a darter and pelican (along with crabs, fish, turtles, and crocodilians) in the same fossil-bearing horizon strongly indicates the past presence of a substantial water body (large pond, lake, or river) in the interior of northern India in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.

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<![CDATA[The Biogeographic South-North Divide of Polygonatum (Asparagaceae Tribe Polygonateae) within Eastern Asia and Its Recent Dispersals in the Northern Hemisphere]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0bab0ee8fa60b7783c

Eastern Asia (EA) is a key region for the diversification of flowering plants in the Northern Hemisphere, but few studies have focused on the biogeographic history within EA in the context of the other northern continents. Polygonatum is an important medicinal genus widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere with its highest species richness in EA, and it represents an excellent model for studying the evolution of biogeographic patterns in this region. Divergence time estimation was used to examine the biogeographic history of Polygonatum based on nuclear ITS and four plastid sequences (rbcL, matK, psbA–trnH and trnC–petN) from 30 Polygonatum species and 35 outgroup taxa. The ancestral area of Polygonatum and subsequent dispersal routes were inferred using Bayes-Lagrange. Polygonatum was estimated to have originated in southern EA during the middle Miocene (14.34–13.57 Ma) with subsequent south-to-north expansion in the late Miocene. Multiple intercontinental dispersal events were inferred between EA and Europe or North America, and all of them have occurred recently in the late Miocene to Pliocene. The separation of Polygonatum into the south and north lineages and their subsequent diversifications in the late Miocene supports the existence of a biogeographic divide between the northern and southern parts of EA that also coincides with the retreat and redevelopment of the arid zone in EA in the Neogene. Our results demonstrate the complexity of biogeographic history of Polygonatum in the Northern Hemisphere including early vicariance followed by frequent and recent dispersals in the Neogene.

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<![CDATA[Magmatic evolution of Panama Canal volcanic rocks: A record of arc processes and tectonic change]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6a5

Volcanic rocks along the Panama Canal present a world-class opportunity to examine the relationship between arc magmatism, tectonic forcing, wet and dry magmas, and volcanic structures. Major and trace element geochemistry of Canal volcanic rocks indicate a significant petrologic transition at 21–25 Ma. Oligocene Bas Obispo Fm. rocks have large negative Nb-Ta anomalies, low HREE, fluid mobile element enrichments, a THI of 0.88, and a H2Ocalc of >3 wt. %. In contrast, the Miocene Pedro Miguel and Late Basalt Fm. exhibit reduced Nb-Ta anomalies, flattened REE curves, depleted fluid mobile elements, a THI of 1.45, a H2Ocalc of <1 wt. %, and plot in mid-ocean ridge/back-arc basin fields. Geochemical modeling of Miocene rocks indicates 0.5–0.1 kbar crystallization depths of hot (1100–1190°C) magmas in which most compositional diversity can be explained by fractional crystallization (F = 0.5). However, the most silicic lavas (Las Cascadas Fm.) require an additional mechanism, and assimilation-fractional-crystallization can reproduce observed compositions at reasonable melt fractions. The Canal volcanic rocks, therefore, change from hydrous basaltic pyroclastic deposits typical of mantle-wedge-derived magmas, to hot, dry bi-modal magmatism at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. We suggest the primary reason for the change is onset of arc perpendicular extension localized to central Panama. High-resolution mapping along the Panama Canal has revealed a sequence of inward dipping maar-diatreme pyroclastic pipes, large basaltic sills, and bedded silicic ignimbrites and tuff deposits. These volcanic bodies intrude into the sedimentary Canal Basin and are cut by normal and subsequently strike-slip faults. Such pyroclastic pipes and basaltic sills are most common in extensional arc and large igneous province environments. Overall, the change in volcanic edifice form and geochemistry are related to onset of arc perpendicular extension, and are consistent with the idea that Panama arc crust fractured during collision with South America forming the observed Canal extensional zone.

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