The saurichthyiform fishes, characterized by a pointed rostrum and a streamlined long and slender body plan, ranked among the top predators of the ichthyofauna in the Early Mesozoic oceanic ecosystem. In a cosmopolitan pattern, these fishes rapidly radiated after the end-Permian mass extinction (EPME) and diversified morphologically and ecologically during the Middle Triassic. Thereafter, they seemingly showed a notable shrinkage from a global distribution to an occurrence basically restricted to the western Paleo-Tethys realm since the Late Triassic. Specifically, there is no saurichthyiform fossil record so far from the marine Late Triassic of South China (eastern Paleo-Tethys), where contrastingly they were highly diversified in stratigraphically older Lagerstätten (Middle Triassic Panxian-Luoping and Xingyi biotas). Here we report the discovery of Saurichthys taotie sp. nov. from the Guanling biota of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, southwestern China. This new species is a medium-sized Saurichthys featured by subtriangular subopercles ornamented with densely arranged vertical striae, faint ornamentation on the posterior part of the skull roof, and strong longitudinal ridges decorating the anterodorsal surface of the rostrum. By marking its own group’s first occurrence in the Late Triassic of eastern Paleo-Tethyan province, Saurichthys taotie suggests that the saurichthyiform fishes were actually much more widespread than previously thought during that geological stage when they showed a considerable decline in the diversity. By still possessing some features previously only seen in its Early Triassic congeners elsewhere, Saurichthys taotie sheds new light on the evolutionary and paleobiogeographical history of saurichthyiform fishes.
No definite tetrapod body fossil is known from the Late Triassic of North China. Here we report new tetrapod remains from the Upper Triassic Tanzhuang Formation of Jiyuan, Henan Province. Most of the specimens can be referred to the temnospondyls, and show affinity with Mastodonsaurus. Previously, Mastodonsaurus is only know from Europe. So that, this finding indicates that a clade including Mastodonsaurus and its close relatives had a wide distribution from Europe to East Asia during the Late Triassic. A possible pelvis indicates the presence of another tetrapod group. This discovery fills a tetrapod body record gap in Chinese Late Triassic.
The Lijiang Fauna from the Lijiang Formation of Lijiang, western Yunnan, was dominated by 13 species of perissodactyl fossils, and its age ranged from Irdinmanhan to Sharamurunian Asian Land Mammal Ages (ALMA) according to previous research. Based on reanalysis of some perissodactyls from the Lijiang Fauna, it is suggested here that Rhodopagus yunnanensis is a junior synonym of Lijiangia zhangae, which is similar to Lophiohippus and placed in Anchilophini within the Palaeotheriidae. The enigmatic and scarce Lunania is here regarded as a palaeothere rather than a chalicothere based on its morphological similarities with Paranchilophus, and Lophiohippus probably represents the upper dentitions of Lunania. Furthermore, deperetellid Diplolophodon is revised and comprised of three species: D. similis, D. lunanensis, and D. xiangshanensis (comb. nov.). Teleolophus xiangshanensis from the Lijiang Formation is reassigned to Diplolophodon xiangshanensis. The revised perissodactyls from the Lijiang Fauna are comparable to those from the Rencun Member of the Hedi Formation of the Yuanqu Basin, and its age is confined to Sharamurunian ALMA.
New middle Eocene rodent fossils discovered from the lower part of the Shara Murun Formation of Ula Usu, Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol, China, the classical locality of Sharamurunian mammalian fauna, were identified as 9 separate species (the ctenodactyloids Yuomys cavioides, Gobiomys neimongolensis, G. exiguus, and G. asiaticus, the dipodids Allosminthus uniconjugatus and Primisminthus shanghenus, the cricetid Pappocricetodon rencunensis, the ischyromyid Hulgana cf. H. ertnia, and the cylindrodontid Proardynomys ulausuensis) belonging to 7 genera, 4 families, and 1 superfamily of Rodentia. The Ula Usu rodent assemblage shares a high degree of similarity with that from the “Lower Red” beds of the Erden Obo, and they both represent the typical Sharamurunian rodent assemblages found in northern China. The Sharamurunian rodent fauna in the Erlian Basin is analyzed by the minimum number of individuals based on the rodent materials from the lower part of the Shara Murun Formation in the Ula Usu and the “Lower Red” beds of the Erden Obo. In the Sharamurunian rodent fauna of the Erlian Basin, ctenodactyloids are the most dominant elements, and dipodids and cricetids follow next in prevalence. By analyzing the evolution of the rodent species richness in the Erlian Basin, the rodent faunas show a transformation from a ctenodactyloid dominant assemblage to a cricetid-dipodid dominant one in chronological order. The Sharamurunian rodent fauna from the Erlian Basin differs from that of the Yuanqu Basin and the differences in the rodent assemblages may be a response to the differences between the regional environments.
Vayu 1.0 is a freeware that deals with surface mesh files. It provides a set of tools for rendering, labelling, revisualizing, and reanalyzing meshes. It also offers features for VR mode and one-stop animation production. This paper describes the major features of Vayu 1.0, which includes three main panels, i.e. mesh information, keyframe editor, and shading-transform. Vayu, as an innovative freeware, contains the state-of-the-art new features which provides a fresh set of tools to accelerate future development directions in paleontology, biological sciences and beyond.