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The Pliocene record of Trischizolagus and Pliopentalagus (Leporidae, Lagomorpha, Mammalia) in Central Europe, with comments on taxonomy and evolutionary history of Leporinae

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Abstract:

To date in the Early Pliocene of Central Europe, the only one well proven, non-Archaeolaginae leporid find was Pliopentalagus dietrichi from its type locality Ivanovce (MN15b, Slovakia). In this study, we extend Central European non-Archaeolagine leporid record by new finds of P. dietrichi from Gundersheim-Findling (MN 15b, Germany) and Trischizolagus dumitrescuae from Beremend 39 (MN 15b, Hungary). A detailed description of the new material is accompanied by critical revision/review of published Eurasian material/data referred to Pliopentalagus and Trischizolagus. P. dietrichi is reported here from 5 Early Pliocene (MN 15b) localities. The species is characterized by elongated p3 possessing always "Alilepus" pattern. It differs from all other Pliocene leporid taxa of Europe in its always crenulated anterior walls of p4-m2 talonids; the crenulation is visible already in the early stage of ontogeny. T. dumitrescuae is reported here from 16 Early Pliocene (MN 14-15) localities of Europe. The species is characterized by predominance of rhombic-rectangular p3 outline with shortened relatively wide anteroconid; p3 pattern of T. dumitrescuae vary among "Alilepus", "Nekrolagus ", and "Hypolagus", being the first significantly predominant. Specificities of the taxonomy/systematics, possible phylogenetic scenarios, and the Ruscinian palaeobiogeography of European leporids under study are discussed and/or summarized.

Keywords: CENTRAL EUROPE; LEPORIDAE; PLIOCENE; PLIOPENTALAGUS; TRISCHIZOLAGUS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2013/0321

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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