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A new species of Orycteropodidae (Mammalia, Tubulidentata) in the Mio-Pliocene of northern Chad

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A new species of fossil Tubulidentata has been found by the Mission Paléoanthropologique Franco-Tchadienne in Northern Chad. It is the first fossil Orycteropodidae (aardvark) from the Mio-Pliocene of Central Africa. The new taxon, Orycteropus abundulafus sp. nov., is considered in the framework of the available Orycteropodidae fossil record. The Chadian specimen is characterized by the highest dental robustness index among all Tubulidentata, the presence of crests on the pterygoid, the triangular-shaped olecranon fossa and the reduction of the deltoid crest. All of these characters are linked to a less fossorial animal that had a tougher diet. This new African species is closer to the Eurasian O. gaudryi than to any other Tubulidentata. Together they form a clade distinct from that which includes O. afer. This is the first evidence of a relationship for aardvarks between Africa and Eurasia. An initial step is made towards revision of the phylogeny of the order. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 143, 109–131.
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Keywords: Africa; Eurasia; palaeogeographical relationships; phylogeny; systematics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: CNRS UMR 6046, Faculté des Sciences, Laboratoire de Géobiologie, Biochronologie et Paléontologie Humaine, Université de Poitiers, 40 Avenue du Recteur Pineau, 86022 Poitiers Cedex, France 2: Université de N’Djaména, BP 1117, N’Djaména, Chad

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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