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An amphisbaenid reptile (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae) from the Lower Miocene of Northwest Bohemia (MN 3, Czech Republic)

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Abstract:

The paper deals with the first occurrence of amphisbaenid lizard from the Early Miocene (Eggenburgian, MN 3a) locality Merkur-North (Northwest Bohemia). Amhisbaenids include about 200 species located in six families and are distributed across Africa, South America, Caribbean Islands, North America, Europe and the Middle East. However, many aspects of their evolutionary biology are still poorly understood. The material, which consists of one isolated left dentary Ah-771 SGDB, is determined as Blanus sp. However, the posterior part of the dentary differs completely from all the specimens previously described, due to its extremely short and low coronoid process. In Blanus (both fossil and recent specimens), the coronoid process is distinctly longer and slanting posterodorsally and the dorsoposterior limit of the coronoid process is always higher than the apices of the largest mandibular teeth. Consequently, this specimen may represent a new species, but the material is too fragmentary to demonstrate it completely. In any case, the new materarial extends our knowledge about a morphology, evolution and geographic range of this group.

Keywords: AMPHISBAENIA; BLANUS; EGGERBURGIAN; LOWER MIOCENE; MERKUR-NORTH; MORPHOLOGY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2011/0129

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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