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  • 1.
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Denk, Thomas (Contributor)
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Kallanxhi, Mădălina-Elena (Contributor)
    The Pleistocene flora of Bezhan, southeast Albania: early appearance of extant tree species2019In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The piggyback basin of Bezhan, southeastern Albania, was formed during the late Neogene and contains Pliocene/Pleistocene deposits. These continental deposits consist of marls, siltstones and clays separated by a thin series of lignite-seams alternating with clays (Bezhan formation). We investigated leaf fossils and dispersed pollen from marls of the upper portion of this formation. Fifty-two plant taxa comprising algae, gymnosperms, and angiosperms were recovered. Of these, at least 19% belong to extant species and less than 16% belong to taxa today extinct in western Eurasia. Tsuga is represented by three pollen taxa with affinities to modern Chinese, Japanese, and North American species. Herbaceous taxa indicative of steppe (Artemisia, Amaranthaceae) occur in low quantities (≤1%) suggesting an interglacial setting. Four vegetation units are recognised: Wet riparian and aquatic vegetation, mesic oak forest, dry sub-Mediterranean woodland, and montane conifer forest. A comparison of the Bezhan flora with well-dated Pliocene and Pleistocene floras of Italy suggests a Calabrian (late early Pleistocene) age for the upper unit. This estimate is based on the abundance of extant taxa, the absence of subtropical taxa, and threshold values of particular taxa (Tsuga, Carya). The findings are in agreement with age estimates for extant tree species from molecular studies.

  • 2.
    Denk, Thomas
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    Smirnov, Pavel
    Trubin, Yaruslav
    Late Oligocene leaf and pollen flora of Southwestern Siberia: taxonomy, biogeography and palaeoenvironments2021In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 33, p. 2951-2976Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Late Oligocene leaf assemblages from four sites in Southwestern Siberia (Kurgan, Tyumen, Omsk oblasts) are described. Twenty-three leaf taxa and 3 reproductive structures represent local vegetation of a lake (Salvinia,Typha, Phragmites, Nelumbo, Hemitrapa, Liquidambar, Pterocarya, Alnus, Populus, Salix, Nyssa). Additionally, 57 spore and pollen taxa were recorded from one site (Shish River). Gymnosperms dominate the assemblage with ~30% Pinaceae and ~25% taxodiaceous (papillate) Cupressaceae pollen. Ferns and peat mosses (Sphagnaceae) comprised ~6%. Angiosperms were dominated by Fagaceae, Betulaceae, Juglandaceae and Ulmus and comprised a few exotic elements (Liquidambar, Eucommia, Nyssa, Symplocos); scarce herbaceous plants reflect lakeshore vegetation. The flora of the Turgay type comprised old elements (Nelumbo protospeciosa, Liquidambar europaea, taxodiaceous/papillate Cupressaceae, Quercus sect. Protobalanus) and taxa present in Siberia/Kazakhstan during the Paleogene with later arrivals in Europe (Ulmus pyramidalis, Quercus pseudocastanea, Alnus julianiformis, Byttneriophyllum tiliifolium). A few taxa were endemic in the late Oligocene of western Siberia (Trapa praeconocarpa, Platycrater iljinskajae sp. nov.). Combined macrofossil and palynological evidence places the Shish River site flora into the late Oligocene Zhuravka (Turtas) Formation. Floras of similar composition from western Eurasia are commonly middle Miocene or youngerin age highlighting the dynamic spatiotemporal evolution of temperate Eurasian floras during the Cenozoic.

  • 3.
    Denk, Thomas
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Güner, H. Tuncay
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    Kallanxhi, M.-E.
    The Pleistocene flora of Bezhan, southeast Albania: early appearance of extant tree species2021In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 33, p. 283-305Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The piggyback basin of Bezhan, southeastern Albania, was formed during the late Neogene and contains Pliocene/Pleistocene deposits. These continental deposits consist of marls, siltstones and clays separated by a thin series of lignite-seams alternating with clays (Bezhan formation). We investigated leaf fossils and dispersed pollen from marls of the upper portion of this formation. Fifty-two plant taxa comprising algae, gymnosperms, and angiosperms were recovered. Of these, at least 19% belong to extant species and less than 16% belong to taxa today extinct in western Eurasia. Tsuga is represented by three pollen taxa with affinities to modern Chinese, Japanese, and North American species. Herbaceous taxa indicative of steppe (Artemisia, Amaranthaceae) occur in low quantities (≤1%)suggesting an interglacial setting. Four vegetation units are recognised: Wet riparian and aquatic vegetation, mesic oak forest, dry sub-Mediterranean woodland, and montane conifer forest. A comparison of the Bezhan flora with well-dated Pliocene and Pleistocene floras of Italy suggests a Calabrian (late early Pleistocene) age for the upper unit. This estimate is based on the abundance of extant taxa, the absence of subtropical taxa, and threshold values of particular taxa (Tsuga, Carya). The findings are in agreement with age estimates for extant tree species from molecular studies.

  • 4. ENGELBRECHT, Andrea
    et al.
    Mörs, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    REGUERO,, Marcelo
    KRIWET, Jürgen
    A new sawshark, Pristiophorus laevis, from the Eocene of Antarctica with comments on Pristiophorus lanceolatus2016In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5. ENGELBRECHT, Andrea
    et al.
    Mörs, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    REGUERO, Marcelo
    KRIWET, Jürgen
    Skates and Rays (Elasmobranchii, Batomorphii) from the Eocene La Meseta and Submeseta formations, Seymour Island, Antarctica2019In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381Article in journal (Refereed)
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  • 6.
    Jovells-Vaqué, Sílvia
    et al.
    Department of Geology and Palaeontology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic;Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallés, Barcelona, Spain.
    Mörs, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    The aberrant hamster Melissiodon (Cricetidae, Rodentia) from the early Miocene of Echzell and other German and French localities2022In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 821-831Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Melissiodon is a rare cricetid with a long stratigraphic range, present from the Oligocene until the Miocene, only found in western and central Europe except some specimens recovered in Anatolia. What makes Melissiodon special is its unique dental and mandible morphology that has led to many questions regarding its relationship to other cricetid genera and its type of diet. In this work, we have studied new material attributed to Melissiodon from the German localities Echzell (MN4) and Petersbuch (MN3 and MN4), and from the French locality Beaulieu (MN3). Moreover, we compared these specimens with the already published material from other localities across western and central Europe during the early Miocene (MN3 and MN4). In conclusion, the studied specimens and the comparison with other material from different European localities allow us to ascribe this new material as Melissiodon dominans, a widely dispersed species across Europe during the early Miocene.

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  • 7.
    Kalthoff, Daniela
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology.
    Modular Wear Facet Nomenclature for Mammalian post-canine dentitions2017In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 30, no 1-2, p. 30-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dental wear facets on the occlusal surface of premolars and molars are traces of their main function, themastication and therefore reflect masticatory movements and also paramasticatory (i.e. non-dietary useof teeth) behavior. Here we present the Modular Wear Facet Nomenclature applicable to most mammaliandentitions. Topographic positions of wear facets in relation to the major cusps and crests of the teeth areused to designate the areas of the occlusal surface the facets occupy (e.g. their mesial, distal, lingual, orbuccal position). Previous published systems for labeling wear facets have been inconsistent with eachother. Therefore, we provide a synoptic review of the most widely-used terminologies, and introducethe alternative Modular Wear Facet Nomenclature. This nomenclature aims to overcome the difficultiescaused by the existing inconsistent wear facet terminologies. Our new approach is applicable to dentitionswhere the occlusal morphology does not change significantly for most of the lifetime of the animal. Inthose dentitions, the primary occlusal surfaces are not significantly modified as wear facets become moreextensive with wearing. This appears to be a common pattern in pre-tribosphenic, tribosphenic molars,and the teeth derived from tribosphenic precursors (e.g. bunodont molar morphologies). In teeth wherethe secondary occlusal surface is functionally intensely modified (i.e. high-crowned and evergrowingteeth with large areas of dentine exposed) any facet labeling system appears to be challenging, since theidentification of individual facets is blurred and their spatial position may be indeterminable.

  • 8.
    Libertín, Milan
    et al.
    Department of Palaeontology, National Museum Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.
    Kvaček, Jiří
    Department of Palaeontology, National Museum Prague, Prague, Czech Republic.
    Bek, Jiří
    Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Palaeoecology, Institute of Geology V.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Rozvojová, Czech Republic.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Palaeobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.
    The early land plant Cooksonia bohemica from the Pridoli, late Silurian, Barrandian area, the Czech Republic, Central Europe2022In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 35, no 12, p. 2504-2514Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cooksonia bohemica Schweitzer (= Aberlemnia bohemica (Schweitzer) Sakala, Pšenička et Kraft) from Přídolí strata of the Barrandian area in the Czech Republic is revised, and its morphology is documented in detail. The holotype bears sporangia that, although reniform, do not possess a slit that would allow valvate opening as assumed in earlier studies. Its axes do not show consistent shortening of segments towards the distal portion of the plant as is typical for Aberlemnia Gonez et Gerrienne. The axes contain tubular structures interpreted here as cells of conducting tissues. Masses of subtriangular trilete spores with equatorial crassitudo and finely microgranulate sculpture are of the Ambitisporites type. Cooksonia bohemica is compared with all species of Cooksonia Lang described previously. Additionally, comparisons are made with the related genus Aberlemnia. Based on studies of the type material of both taxa, we suggest retaining the species in Cooksonia. Cooksonia bohemica is differentiated from other taxa based on a combination of branching pattern, sporangial shape, and spore morphology. The remains are interpreted to be the sporophyte of an early land plant referable to tracheophytes based on the presence of vascular strands in its axes. A general radiation of cooksonioids away from a core region around the Rheic Ocean is proposed for the Silurian–Devonian transition.

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  • 9.
    Liu, Fan
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Early Life and Environments, and Department of Geology, Northwest University, Xi’an, China;Department of Palaeobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Skovsted, Christian
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Topper, Timothy, P.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Zhang, Zhifei
    State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Early Life and Environments, and Department of Geology, Northwest University, Xi’an, China.
    Revision of Triplicatella (Orthothecida, Hyolitha) with preserved digestive tracts from the early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, South China2021In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 33, no 9, p. 1857-1871Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The cap-shaped shells of Triplicatella are known almost exclusively from small shelly fossil assemblages with articulated specimens showing unequivocally that they represent the operculum of a hyolith. Abundant specimens of Triplicatella opimus from the fine-grained shales of the Chengjiang Lagerstätte of South China with soft-part preservation are documented herein. The soft tissues, including the feeding apparatus and complex digestive system, in T. opimus strongly suggest that Triplicatella was a deposit feeder. The digestive tract of T. opimus consists of two limbs, a spiral loop folded into a chevron-like structure and a slightly recurved to straight anal tube, which are preserved as reddish-black traces enriched in iron. The new anatomical information obtained from T. opimus in the Chengjiang Biota suggests an intermediate stage in the development of the characteristic folded gut of orthothecid hyoliths. The new anatomical information reported here shows that Triplicatella is one of the best-preserved early members of the Orthothecida and promotes our understanding of the general anatomy and evolution of the Hyolitha.

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  • 10.
    Mörs, Thomas
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    FLINK, Therese
    Large apeomyine rodents (Mammalia, Eomyidae) from the early Miocene of Echzell, Germany2018In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The dental material described in this paper was collected from fossiliferous ash layers of the Vogelsberg volcanic complex at Echzell, Germany. It consists of 32 teeth of a new large Apeomys species, Apeomys oldrichi n. sp., and 19 teeth of Megapeomys lindsayi Fejfar, Rummel and Tomida. Both species are extremely rare faunal elements in the early Miocene of Europe. Apeomys oldrichi n. sp. is the largest known Apeomys species, and occurs in a number of MN 3 – 4 sites in southern Germany and Czech Republic. Megapeomys lindsayi, the largest Eurasian apeomyine, was described on the basis of a single lower premolar. Herein both lower and upper cheek teeth as well as the lower deciduous premolar are described for the first time. In comparison with related populations from other localities, the evolutionary stage of the two apeomyine species clearly indicates a middle Orleanian age (MN 4) for Echzell which concurs with previous studies.

  • 11.
    Werdelin, Lars
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    African Barbourofelinae (Mammalia, Nimravidae): A critical review2021In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The fossil record of Afrosmilini (Nimravidae, Barbourofelinae) in Africa is reviewed. New material from the middle Miocene of Maboko leads to reassessment of the taxonomic allocations of some specimens and reconsideration of the afrosmilin status of others. Afrosmilini includes Jinomrefu lakwanza, Ginsburgsmilus napakensis, Afrosmilus africanus, A. turkanae, and A. hispanicus (Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, and Spain). Other Nimravidae in Africa, Syrtosmilus syrtensis (Libya), Vampyrictis vipera (Tunisia), and unnamed species from Fort Ternan and the Samburu Hills (Kenya) are here not considered Afrosmilini. There is a complete turnover of African Nimravidae between 14.7 Ma (Maboko) and 13.7 Ma (Fort Ternan) and evidence suggests that the new taxa were immigrants from Eurasia. This turnover coincides with the Middle Miocene Climatic Transition although the causal relationship is not yet clarified. 

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