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A new family of bats in the Paleogene of Europe: Systematics and implications for the origin of emballonurids and rhinolophoids

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Four new species and two new genera are identified and described, following the study of >600 fossil bat remains from 35 Eocene and Oligocene Southern France localities (phosphorite karstic fillings). These genera, Mixopteryx nov. gen. and Carcinipteryx nov. gen., show new combinations of dental characters. These characters are usually observed independently, but not in such combinations, in two well-known families: emballonurids and hipposiderids. Because of these atypical morphological mixtures, several specimens have previously been incorrectly identified, left in open nomenclature, or attributed to Vespertiliavus or Hipposideros (Pseudorhinolophus). Based on an extended comparative analysis of numerous fossil samples ranging from ∼43 Myr (late Middle Eocene) to ∼28 Myr (early Late Oligocene), these two new genera are grouped into a new family: Mixopterygidae, nov. fam. These new paleontological data improve the ongoing phylogenetic debate on bat intra-ordinal phylogeny. By strongly suggesting that mixopterygids, emballonurids and hipposiderids derive from a same late Early Eocene common ancestor, they clearly support yinochiropteran monophyly within microchiropterans.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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