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    20 April 2022, Volume 60 Issue 2
    A new aardwolf-line fossil hyena from Middle and Late Miocene deposits of Linxia Basin, Gansu, China
    Henry GALIANO, Z. Jack TSENG, Nikos SOLOUNIAS, WANG Xiao-Ming, QIU Zhan-Xiang, Stuart C. WHITE
    2022, 60(2):  81-116.  DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.211025
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    The aardwolf Proteles cristatus is the only known hyaenid, living or extinct, to exhibit an extremely reduced dentition related to its termite-specializing diet. The fossil record of extant aardwolves extends to 2 to 4 million years ago, but records that inform its evolutionary origins are essentially nonexistent. Such circumstance renders it difficult to place this unusual hyena in the broader evolutionary context of small-bodied hyaenid species in Eurasian Neogene deposits. Here we describe a new genus and species of a small-bodied hyaenid, Gansuyaena megalotis, representing the closest morphological link to aardwolves to date. This new fossil hyena is based on a skull with associated mandible, a rostrum preserving several teeth, and several referred specimens. The new specimens were discovered in Neogene deposits in Linxia Basin, Gansu Province, China. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that among early hyaenids, G. megalotis is most closely related, but unlikely ancestral, to the living aardwolf. Also recognized in this new species are the fossils previously referred to “Protictitherium” aff. P. gaillardi from Pasalar, Turkey. Additionally, “Plioviverropsguerini from Los Mansuetos, Spain is interpreted to represent a second Gansuyaena species. In addition to the living aardwolf, Proteles cristatus, our analyses suggest that the proteline lineage includes the extinct genera Gansuyaena, Mesoviverrops, and Plioviverrops. Although the precise timing and geographic location of evolutionary divergence between the aardwolf and Gansuyaena remain elusive, critical new morphological information provided by Gansuyaena specimens reinforce findings from recent genomic analyses that the aardwolf lineage has an ancient origin from small-bodied stem hyaenids prior to the appearance of large and robust bone-cracking hyaenines.

    Attributing “Gomphotherium shensiense” to Platybelodon tongxinensis, and a new species of Platybelodon from the latest Middle Miocene
    WANG Shi-Qi, LI Chun-Xiao
    2022, 60(2):  117-133.  DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220402
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    Platybelodon is the predominant proboscidean of northern China’s Middle Miocene. However, the cranial and cheek tooth morphologies are not clearly diagnosed. In particular, the differential diagnoses between Platybelodon and Gomphotherium have not been comprehensively examined. Here we restudied the cranium previously identified as Gomphotherium shensiense. The upper tusks lack an enamel band, the rostrum is long and narrow, the facial part is rostrally positioned, and a large “prenasal slope” is present. These characters are distinct from those of any species of Gomphotherium, but fit well with some primitive species of Platybelodon, i.e., P. tongxinensis and P. danovi. The molars are also close to the type specimen of P. tongxinensis in the tetralophodont M3 with mesiodistally wide interlophs, curved outline, and a tendency of cementodonty. In this article, we synonymized Gomphotherium shensiense with P. tongxinensis. Moreover, we recognized a new species, Platybelodon tetralophus, from the P. grangeri material collected by the AMNH expedition in Tunggur region. Platybelodon tetralophus differs from P. grangeri and the other species in the tetralophodont M2 and m2, representing the most derived species within Platybelodon. It has only occurred in the uppermost horizon of the Tunggur Formation, i.e., the Tamuqin Fauna (Platybelodon Quarry and Wolf Camp Quarry of AMHN). This work is a comprehensive amending of the genus Platybelodon.

    New fossils of small and medium-sized bovids from the Early Site of Shanshenmiaozui in Nihewan Basin, North China
    TONG Hao-Wen, ZHANG Bei, CHEN Xi, WANG Xiao-Min
    2022, 60(2):  134-168.  DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220413
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    Shanshenmiaozui site in Nihewan Basin in North China is a recently discovered Early Pleistocene site which yields rich and diverse mammalian fossils. In the fauna, the small and medium-sized bovid fossils are well represented and can be referred to the following taxa: Spirocerus wongi, Gazella sinensis, Ovis shantungensis and Megalovis piveteaui respectively, among which G. sinensis is the dominate species. S. wongi and G. sinensis are mainly represented by horn-cores and partial skull bones as well as mandibles; in addition, metacarpal and/or metatarsal bones were also recognized for all of the four species. The horn-cores are easy to be identified to the species level, while the dentitions and the postcranial bones underwent a series of examinations and comparisons before getting properly determined and referred to the most approximate taxa. Among the postcranial bones, the metapodials, especially to the metacarpal bones special attentions were paid, which are crucial not only for taxonomic identification, but also for phylogenetic and paleoecological reconstructions; the previously misidentified metapodial specimens in Nihewan fauna were reconsidered in this paper. In the SSMZ fauna, the bovid guild is dominated by Gazella and Bison, which indicates steppe was the most important biome in Nihewan Basin during Early Pleistocene.