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Vertebrata Palasiatica ›› 2022, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (2): 81-116.DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.211025

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A new aardwolf-line fossil hyena from Middle and Late Miocene deposits of Linxia Basin, Gansu, China

Henry GALIANO1, Z. Jack TSENG2,3,4(), Nikos SOLOUNIAS3,5, WANG Xiao-Ming3,4,6, QIU Zhan-Xiang6,7, Stuart C. WHITE8   

  1. 1 Maxilla and Mandible, Ltd 105 West 86th Street Suite # 117, New York 10024, USA
    2 Department of Integrative Biology and Museum of Paleontology, University of California Berkeley 94720, USA
    3 Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History New York 10024, USA
    4 Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Los Angeles 90007, USA
    5 Department of Anatomy, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine Old Westbury, New York 11568, USA
    6 Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100044, China
    7 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100049, China
    8 School of Dentistry, University of California Los Angeles 90095, USA
  • Received:2021-05-25 Online:2022-04-20 Published:2021-10-26
  • Contact: * zjt@berkeley.edu


Henry GALIANO1, 曾志杰2,3,4(), Nikos SOLOUNIAS3,5, 王晓鸣3,4,6, 邱占祥6,7, Stuart C. WHITE8   

  1. 1 美国Maxilla and Mandible有限公司 纽约 10024
    2 美国加州大学伯克利分校,加州大学古生物博物馆 伯克利 94720
    3 美国纽约自然历史博物馆 纽约 10024
    4 美国洛杉矶自然历史博物馆 洛杉矶 90007
    5 美国纽约理工大学医学院 纽约 11568
    6 中国科学院古脊椎动物与古人类研究所 北京 100044
    7 中国科学院大学 北京 100049
    8 美国加州大学洛杉矶分校牙医学院 洛杉矶 90095
  • 通讯作者: * zjt@berkeley.edu
  • 基金资助:
    美国科学基金会(DEB-1257572);美国纽约自然历史博物馆Frick博士后项目2013-2016;美国怀俄明恐龙国际有限责任公司和美国纽约Maxilla and Mandible有限公司资助


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.

Key words: Linxia Basin, Gansu, Middle and Late Miocene, Hyaenidae, Protelinae


非洲土狼(Proteles cristatus)是鬣狗科中牙齿最为退化的一个种类,与其他化石及现生鬣狗物种粗壮的碎骨型牙齿形态截然不同。它的化石记录可以追溯到上新世,但尚缺少中间过渡形态的化石记录,以致生物学家对这一罕见的食蚁性食肉目动物的起源演化缺乏清楚的认知。描述了鬣狗科化石一新属甘肃鬣狗(Gansuyaena), 并讨论其对于土狼起源的重要指示。所记述的标本为从海外收回的甘肃临夏盆地新近纪材料,包括两件破损头骨和下颌。基于甘肃鬣狗的形态特征,进行了一系列的系统发育分析,结果显示Proteles, Mesoviverrops, PlioviverropsGansuyaena组成一个相对原始的鬣狗类群,即土狼亚科(Protelinae)。而且,新的形态证据支持土狼亚科在形态粗壮的鬣狗亚科出现之前就已形成一个独立的支系。

关键词: 甘肃临夏盆地, 中晚中新世, 鬣狗科, 土狼亚科

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