The earliest Eocene mammal fauna of the Erquelinnes Sand Member near the French-Belgian borderReport as inadecuate

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(2013)GEOLOGICA BELGICA.16(4).p.262-273 Mark abstract The earliest Eocene Erquelinnes site was discovered in 1880, but its mammal fauna has been frequently ignored. This paper provides the first detailed overview of the Erquelinnes mammals since 1929. The new faunal list doubles the known diversity at Erquelinnes to a total of 16 species, now also including amphilemurids, hyaenodontids, mesonychids, louisinids, equids and diacodexeids. The majority of the Erquelinnes species is also present in the earliest Eocene Dormaal MP7 reference fauna, with as most notable exceptions the presence of a potentially dwarfed specimen of Dissacus, and of two perissodactyl taxa at Erquelinnes. The ceratomorph perissodactyl Cymbalophus cuniculus is also known from the earliest Eocene of England, but a specimen identified as cf. Sifrhippus sandrae is closely similar to contemporaneous primitive North American equids. This specimen represents the oldest unambiguous European equid and highlights faunal similarities between Europe and North America during this time interval. Faunal differences between Erquelinnes and Dormaal seem mostly due to depositional differences, and the Erquelinnes fauna represents a typical earliest Eocene fauna, closely similar to other MP7 and PEI faunas in Europe.

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Author: Pieter Missiaen , Florence Quesnel, Christian Dupuis, Jean-Yves Storme and Thierry Smith



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