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    A Late Pliocene Hipparion houfenense fauna from Yegou, Nihewan Basin and its biostratigraphic significance
    LIU Jin-Yi, ZHANG Ying-Qi, CHI Zhen-Qing, WANG Yong, YANG Jin-Song, ZHENG Shao-Hua
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (4): 278-323.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.211209
    Abstract694)   HTML239)    PDF(pc) (6561KB)(3779)       Save

    Currently, there are still different views regarding the chronology of the Late Cenozoic deposits in the Nihewan Basin, which results from the contradiction between biostratigraphic correlations based on mammalian fossils and magnetostratigraphic dating results. Biostratigraphic correlations indicate that the aeolian red clay exposed in the Sanggan River canyon, the fluvio-lacustrine red clay with sands and gravels, and the sandy clay of swamp facies on both sides of the lower reaches of the Huliu River belong to the Upper Pliocene, whereas the magnetostratigraphic dating usually correlates them to the Lower Pleistocene. In October 2011, a collection of mammalian fossils was unearthed from a block of collapsed deposits at Yegou in the Nihewan Basin, which is about 300 m north of the Laowogou section that is well known for the Pliocene mammalian fossils from its lower part. The Yegou fossils are identified herein as 10 species in 9 genera: Nyctereutes tingi, N. sinensis, Pachycrocuta pyrenaica, Homotherium sp., Hipparion (Plesiohipparion) houfenense, Dicerorhinus sp., Muntiacus sp., Axis shansius, Gazella blacki, and Paracamelus sp. The fauna is quite different from the classic Early Pleistocene Nihewan Fauna in composition and provides new evidence for the existence of the Upper Pliocene in the Nihewan Basin. Based on a systematic description of the fauna, its composition and geological age are discussed, and the compositional features of large mammals of the Late Pliocene and the Early Pleistocene mammalian faunas in the Nihewan Basin are summarized.

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    A juvenile skull of the longirostrine choristodere (Diapsida: Choristodera), Mengshanosaurus minimus gen. et sp. nov., with comments on neochoristodere ontogeny
    YUAN Meng, LI Da-Qing, Daniel T. KSEPKA, YI Hong-Yu
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (3): 213-228.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210607
    Abstract1457)   HTML2633)    PDF(pc) (2300KB)(2088)       Save

    Choristoderes were an important clade of semi-aquatic predators that occupied Laurasian freshwater ecosystems from the Middle Jurassic to the Miocene. During the Early Cretaceous, the neochoristodere lineage evolved large size and long snouts, converging on the body plan of modern crocodilians. Here, we describe a new longirostrine choristodere, Mengshanosaurus minimus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Mengyin Formation of Shandong Province, China. The holotype is the smallest reported neochoristodere individual, with a skull length of only 35 mm. The poorly ossified braincase, along with retention of a fontanel at the frontal-parietal suture, indicates this individual was a juvenile. Phylogenetic analyses recovered Mengshanosaurus as a neochoristodere, a placement supported by the presence of a single narial opening, fusion of the nasals, and expansion of the temporal fenestrae. In the Neochoristodera,Mengshanosaurus is sister to a clade consisting of Ikechosaurus, Tchoiria, Simoedosaurus, and Champsosaurus. It differs from other neochoristoderes in having the lacrimal foramen between the prefrontal and lacrimal, in addition to having large vomerine teeth (exceeding one-third the width of corresponding maxillary teeth). The closely arranged marginal teeth and large vomerine teeth suggest juvenile choristoderes may have fed on invertebrates and insects, similar to juveniles of modern crocodilians. However, the observation that very young neochoristoderes had similar skull proportions and marginal tooth shapes to adults, along with features suggesting a more fully aquatic ecology, suggest that neochoristoderes exhibited less pronounced ontogenetic niche shifts than modern crocodilians.

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    Nothosaurus luopingensis sp. nov. (Sauropterygia) from the Anisian, Middle Triassic of Luoping, Yunnan Province, China
    SHANG Qing-Hua, LI Chun, WANG Wei
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (4): 249-270.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220524
    Abstract1201)   HTML463)    PDF(pc) (4805KB)(1788)       Save

    Nothosaurus luopingensis sp. nov. from Member II of the Guanling Formation (Anisian, Middle Triassic) of Luoping, Yunnan, China is described based on a specimen comprising the skull and most of the postcranial skeleton. The specimen is assigned to Nothosaurus of Eosauropterygia as suggested by a series of skull characters, such as the maxillary tooth row extending posteriorly beyond the level of the anterior margin of the upper temporal fenestra, the longitudinal diameter of the upper temporal fenestra more than twice as long as that of the orbit, and the presence of maxillary fangs. Compared with Lariosaurus, the following morphological features of the pectoral girdle and the limbs also support the assignment of the specimen to Nothosaurus, i.e., the clavicles with expanded anterolateral corners, the characteristically curved humerus with a straight preaxial angle and a postaxial concavity, the distinct deltopectoral crest on the proximal part of the humerus, no hyperphalangy in the manus, and the absence of pachyostosis in the vertebrae and ribs. On the other hand, the specimen possesses some postcranial features that were previously considered to occur mainly in Lariosaurus, such as more than three ossifications in the carpus, four sacral ribs, and an interclavicle without any trace of a posterior stem. These postcranial characters may no longer be used as the diagnostic features of Lariosaurus. Nothosaurus luopingensis is distinguished from other Nothosaurus species by a unique combination of derived characters, including that the jugal enters the orbit, the nasals are separated, the posterior end of the frontal is bifurcate, pedal digits V and IV are long and subequal in length, and the ungula phalanx is stout. Our phylogenetic analysis corroborates the monophyly of Nothosaurus and suggest that N. luopingensis is the sister group of N. yangjuanensis.

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    The first description of Rhinocerotidae (Perissodactyla, Mammalia) from Xinyaozi Ravine in Shanxi, North China
    DONG Wei, BAI Wei-Peng, ZHANG Li-Min
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (4): 273-294.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210715
    Abstract648)   HTML80)    PDF(pc) (3880KB)(1685)       Save

    Abundant mammalian fossils were uncovered during the field exploration for Nihewan beds at the beginning of the 1980s along Xinyaozi Ravine at Nangaoya Township of Tianzhen County, Shanxi Province in North China and the studied taxa indicate an age of the early Early Pleistocene. Recent studies on the rhino material not yet described show that there are at least two species of rhinocerotids: Elasmotherium peii and Coelodonta nihowanensis . There might be a third taxon provisionally named as Stephanorhinus cf. S. kirchbergensis due to incompleteness of the specimens. Since its morphometric characters are between S. kirchbergensis and C. nihowanensis , it might be a variety of one of the two species although it is more similar to the former than the latter. In the same way, The rhino specimens from Xiashagou named as Rhinoceros sinensis (?) by Teilhard de Chardin and Piveteau (1930) might be a variety of S. kirchbergensis or C. nihowanensis . The rhinocerotids uncovered so far from the Early Pleistocene deposits in the generalized Nihewan Basin including two certain species and two uncertain ones. The localities yielding E. peii include Xiashagou, Shanshenmiaozhui, Daheigou and Xinyaozi; those yielding C. nihowanensis include Xiashagou, Danangou, Donggutuo, Shanshenmiaozhui and Xinyaozi. R. sinensis (?) appeared only at Xiashagou and Stephanorhinus cf. S. kirchbergensis only at Xinyaozi.

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    Xitunaspis, a new eugaleaspid fish (Eugaleaspiformes, Galeaspida) from the Lower Devonian of Qujing, Yunnan
    SUN Hao-Ran, GAI Zhi-Kun, CAI Jia-Chen, LI Qiang, ZHU Min, ZHAO Wen-Jin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (3): 169-183.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220412
    Abstract1237)   HTML580)    PDF(pc) (5006KB)(1624)       Save

    A new genus and species of the family Eugaleaspidae (Eugaleaspiformes, Galeaspida), Xitunaspis magnus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Lower Devonian Xitun Formation in Qujing, Yunnan Province, China. The new genus displays the diagnostic characters of the Eugaleaspidae, including a slit-like median dorsal opening, no inner cornual process, developed median dorsal canals, and only three pairs of lateral transverse canals extending from lateral dorsal canals. Different from the other eugaleaspids, X. magnus possesses a large headshield with thick dermal bone and a more plesiomorphic sensory canal system. The phylogenetic analysis of the Galeaspida reveals that Xitunaspis clusters with Dunyu and Eugaleaspis to form a monophyletic clade Eugaleaspidae Liu, 1965, and has a closer relationship with Dunyu than Eugaleaspis by sharing the thick dermal bone of the headshield. The new finding represents the first convincing fossil record of the Eugaleaspiformes in the middle Lochkovian Xitun Formation and adds to our knowledge about the morphology of eugaleaspiforms and the evolutionary pattern of the sensory canal system in the Eugaleaspiformes and even Galeaspida.

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    A PRIWTIVE ORNITHOPOD FROM THE EARLY CRETACEOUS YIXIAN FORMATION OF LIAONING
    XU Xing, WANG Xiao-Lin, YOU Hai-Lu
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2000, 38 (04): 318-325.  
    Abstract252)      PDF(pc) (904KB)(1617)       Save
    A new ornithopod dinosaur is named and described on the basis of two specimens from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation at Lujiatun Locality, Liaoning Province, China. Diagnostic features of this new ornithopod include six premaxillary teeth,a few foramina on the dorsal surface of the n,a large quadrate foramen on the lateral side of the quadratojugal, lack of external mandibular fenestra, predentary about 1.5 times as long as the premaxillary main body, anterior intercondylar groove of the femur absent, metatarsals not in the same plane, pedal phalanx 111—4 longer than other phalanges of pedal digit Ill. The discovery of a new ornithopod from the Yixian Formation increases the diversity of the Jehol fauna.
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    ON THE OCCURRENCE OF THE ICHTHYOSAUR SHASTASAURUS IN THE GUANLING BIOTA (LATE TRIASSIC), GUIZHOU, CHINA
    SHANG Qing-Hua, LI Chun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2009, 47 (3): 178-193.  
    Abstract566)      PDF(pc) (4496KB)(1614)       Save
    A completely articulated ichthyosaur skeleton from the Guanling biota, Guizhou is described. The well preserved postcranial skeleton demonstrates that Guizhouichthyosaurus tangae,a large Triassic ichthyosaurid species previously described fromGuizhou, should be referred to Shastasaurus. Enough materials were found to make possible a satisfactory determination of the systematic position of the large Guanling ichthyosaur species, although both the genus Shastasaurus and the family Shastasauridae have long been hard to define due to the fragmentary nature of the type specimens. The postcranial characters of Shastasaurus tangaeare described in detail based on the new skeleton, the holotype ofGuizhouichthyosaurus tangae and other associated Guanling large ichthyosaur materials. The trunk is very long, with more then 60 presacral vertebrae and a ventrally bent tail. The scapula is broad sickle-shaped. The humerus is anteriorly notched, with a short shaft. The radius is nearly rectangular, with a small notch in the anterior edge, and a very slightly concave posterior edge. The ulna is much smaller than the radius, with a slightly concave anterior edge and bluntly rounded posterior and distal edges. The forefin and hindfin have four principal digits.
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    TWO NEW PTERODACTYLOID PTEROSAURS FROM THE EARLY CRETACEOUS JIUFOTANG FORMATION OF WESTERN LIAONING,CHINA
    WANG XiaoLin, ZHOU ZhongHe
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2003, 41 (01): 34-41.  
    Abstract320)      PDF(pc) (228KB)(1581)       Save
      In this paper we report two new pterodactyloid pterosaurs from the Jiufotang Formation in western Liaoning Province of northeast China. They are Chaoyangopterus zhangi gen. et sp. nov. (Nyctosauridae) and Liaoningopterus gui gen. et sp. nov. (Anhangueridae). The former not only represents the first such record in Asia but also the earliest record and most complete skeleton of the family. Some revisions of the family are made, such as having four wing digits and well-developed manual digits I~III. Liaoningopterus is the largest pterosaur ever discovered in China; its teeth also represent the largest known from any pterosaurs. Discoveries of two more pterosaurs from the Jiufotang Formation further show that two pterosaur assemblages could be recognized in the Jehol Group, represented by the Yixian Formation and Jiufotang Formation, respectively. The pterosaur assemblage of the Jiufotang Formation shows a lot resemblance to that of the Early Cretaceous Santana Formation (Aptian/ Albian) such as the Tapejaridae and Anhangueridae. The age of the Jiufotang Formation (Aptian) is slightly older than the Santana Formation.
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    NEW MESONYCHID (MAMMALIA) MATERIAL FROM THE LOWER PALEOGENE OF THE ERLIAN BASIN, NEIMONGOL, CHINA
    JIN Xun 
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2012, 50 (3): 245-257.  
    Abstract132)      PDF(pc) (3027KB)(1441)       Save
    Early Paleogene mesonychid specimens, recently collected from the Huheboerhe area and Bayan Ulan, eastern Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), are described in this paper. They represent six species and four genera, a few of the specimens are specifically indeterminate. Mesonyx nuhetingensis sp. nov., from the basal Arshanto Formation, differs from previously known species of Mesonyx in p4 being the longest lower cheek tooth and weak lingual cingula being present on p3 and p4, respectively. Other mesonychid specimens described in this paper are referred toDissacus serratus, Dissacus sp., Mesonyx uqbulakensis, Mongolonyx dolichognathusand Harpagolestes leei. General evolutionary trends seen in mesonychids from theErlian Basin show a gradual increase in body size and a change in feeding habits from active predation to scavenging.
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    A NEW SPECIES OF ENTELODONTIDAE (ARTIODACTYLA, MAMMALIA) FROM LATE EOCENE OF NEI MONGOL, CHINA
    WANG Ban-Yue, QIU Zhan-Xiang
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2002, 40 (03): 194-202.  
    Abstract102)      PDF(pc) (1921KB)(1428)       Save
    While visiting the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in May and June, 2001, invited by Dr. R. H. Tedford, the authors were able to make a survey of the fossils collected by the 3rd Central Asiatic Expedition during the 1920s. Among them some undescribed specimens of Entelodontidae were recovered. They were labelled as found from late Eocene deposits of Nei Mengol in 1928. Eocene entelodontids were poorly known in Asia. These specimens are important not only because they represent a new taxon, but also they cast new light on the affinity between Asian and North American entelodonts.
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    ODONTOLOGICAL AND CRANIOLOGICAL COMPARISONS OF THE RECENT HEDGEHOG NEOTETRACUS WITH HYLOMYS ANDNEOHYLOMYS (ERINACEIDAE, INSECTIVORA, MAMMALIA)
    Burkart ENGESSER, JIANG Xue-Long
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2011, 49 (4): 406-422.  
    Abstract154)      PDF(pc) (6751KB)(1399)       Save
    The dentition and some cranial characters of Neotetracus, a small, little known member of the subfamily Hylomyinae are described and compared with corresponding parts of Hylomys, another closely related hylomyine erinaceid. The milk-dentition is included in these descriptions. Since the single species of the genus Neotetracus, N. sinensis, was placed by some authors in the genus Hylomys, the comparisons aim at finding out, whether the fusing of the two genera is justified or not. Neohylomys hainanensis, another hylomyine having been placed by some authors in the genus Hylomys, is, despite the scarce material at disposal, included in these comparisons as well. The comparisons yield distinct differences between these three hylomyines in almost each tooth and in some skull features, fully justifying the maintenance of the genera Neotetracus,Neohylomys and Hylomys. The differences found are also used to assess the evolutionary level of the three forms with respect to each other. The Hylomyinae are living today in a relatively small area in Southeast Asia and are represented by five genera with a total of six species. In the past, especially during the Middle and Late Miocene, this subfamily was spread over almost the whole northern hemisphere: from Asia to Europe and North Africa, and to North America. The Hylomyinae were also much more diverse than today, so far 9 fossil genera with 47 species having been described. Therefore it is justified to speak of the Hylomyinae as relict forms. To emphasize the shrinking of the distribution area of the Hylomyinae, the reasons for which are not yet understood, an abridged history of the subfamily is given.
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    A LONG-NECKED THERIZINOSAUROID DINOSAUR FROM THE UPPER CRETACEOUS IREN DABASU FORMATION OF NEI MONGOL, PEOPL E’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
    ZHANG Xiao-Hong, XU Xing, ZHAO Xi-Jin, Paul SERENO, KUANG Xue-Wen, TAN Lin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2001, 39 (04): 282-290.  
    Abstract295)      PDF(pc) (524KB)(1392)       Save
    Two partial skeletons are described from the Upper Cretaceous Iren Dabasu Formation of Nei Mongol that represent a new therizinosauroid theropod. Neimongosaurus yangi gen. et sp. nov., is the first therizinosauroid to preserve most of the axial column and nearly all of the long bones of a single individual. Distinctive characteristics of the new species include anterior caudal vertebrae with a circular fossa under the transverse process, radius with a prominent biceps tuberosity, proximal pedal phalanges with well developed heels, tibia with an extremely long fibular crest that is much longer than the half length of the tibia, lateral surface of preacetabular process twisted to face dorsally, and caudal vertebrae with widely divergent prezygapophyses. Neimongosaurus displays a few characters that are not reported in other therizinosauroids but do occur in some advanced maniraptorians, such as highly pneumatized vertebra and derived shoulder girdle. Particularly the elongated neck and shortened tail provide further evidence for a close relationship between therizinosauroids and oviraptorsaurs.
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    Reappraisal of the largest ctenochasmatid Moganopterus zhuiana Lü et al., 2012
    GAO Dian-Song, JIANG Shun-Xing, XU Li, CHENG Xin, YANG Li-Li, JIA Song-Hai, WANG Xiao-Lin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (3): 197-211.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220111
    Abstract1782)   HTML2028)    PDF(pc) (3373KB)(1365)       Save

    Moganopterus zhuiana Lü et al., 2012 was erected as a member of the Boreopteridae, which was questioned by different researchers shortly after the publication. Although the new assignment to the Ctenochasmatidae is widely accepted by pterosaur researchers, some characteristics still require a detailed description. Here, the holotype of this taxon is restudied, and some ambiguous characteristics are re-identified. The diagnosis of this taxon has been revised as the following: a large ctenochasmatid pterosaur, which can be distinguished from other members of this clade by a single autapomorphy: an elongated rod-like parietal crest that extends posterodorsally, forming an angle of about 15° with the ventral margin of the skull. This taxon can be further distinguished from other ctenochasmatids on the basis of the following combination of characteristics: straight occlusal surfaces of the upper and low jaws; presence of a low premaxillary crest confined anterior to the nasoantorbital fenestra; rostrum about two thirds of the skull length; nasoantorbital fenestra occupying slightly more than 20% of the skull length; about 100 slender teeth; and a mid-cervical length/width ratio of about 7. The wingspan of M. zhuiana has been re-estimated according to a simple regression equation for wingspan versus skull length in ctenochasmatids. It confirms that M. zhuiana, although smaller than previous thought, is still the largest known ctenochasmatid. When comparing the sizes of ctenochasmatids in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, ctenochasmatids showed a rough tendency to increase their sizes.

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    Redescription of Nochelaspis maeandrine ,the largest eugaleaspiform from the Lower Devonian of Qujing, Yunnan
    MENG Xin-Yuan, ZHU Min, GAI Zhi-Kun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (4): 257-272.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210727
    Abstract1605)   HTML3154)    PDF(pc) (5428KB)(1340)       Save

    The new specimens of the largest eugaleaspiform Nochelaspis maeandrine are redescribed from two localities of the Xishancun Formation in Qujing City, Yunnan Province, southwestern China. Nochelaspis is most suggestive of Yunnanogaleaspis from the same horizon, but differs in its slit-like median dorsal opening (length/width>6), much stronger inner cornual process, coarse stellate ornamentation, and the serrations along the edges of the median dorsal opening and headshield. The new findings reveal the morphological details on the ventral side of the headshield as well. The oralobranchial fenestra is covered by a large dermal ventral plate, which is decorated with dense, tiny granular tubercles, and aligned with six pairs of separated, large, and circular branchial openings. This condition is different from that of osteostracans, in which the oralobranchial fenestra is covered by numerous minute scales or larger dermal platelets, and the branchial openings are slit-shaped and covered by small skin flaps somewhat like those of elasmobranchs. However, the branchial openings of galeaspids and osteostracans are both located ventrally as in modern rays, indicating a benthic lifestyle dwelling on sandy or muddy substrates in a quiet marine environment.

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    WERE IMMIGRANTS A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE EARLIEST PALEOCENE MAMMALIAN FAUNA OF THE NORTH AMERICAN WESTERN INTERIOR?
    William A. CLEMENS
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2010, 48 (4): 285-307.  
    Abstract150)      PDF(pc) (1928KB)(1334)       Save
    The roles of immigration and endemic radiation of survivors of the extinctions marking the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary in evolution of the earliest Paleocene (Puercan) mammalian fauna of the North American Western Interior have been debated. Continued field and laboratory research has significantly expanded and refined knowledge of the compositions of North American latest Cretaceous (Lancian North American Land Mammal Age) and Puercan 1 (Pu1) local faunas. It has also revealed limitations in biochronological correlations of these local faunas. In general, Pu1 local faunas of the northern Western Interior reflect the extinction or extirpation of lineages of Lancian marsupials and consist primarily of multituberculate and eutherian mammals. The majority of Pu1 mammals were immigrants, many dispersing into the area soon after the K/T boundary. Testing the hypothesis of Asian origins of the immigrants is hampered by lack of latest Cretaceous or earliest Paleocene mammalian local faunas particularly from high North American paleolatitudes and Pacific coastal areas of Asia. Another working hypothesis, that most, if not all, of the Pu1 immigrant mammals entering the northern Western Interior could have dispersed from other areas of the North American continent has increasing support and has yet to be falsified.
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    A NEW THERIZINOSAUROID (DINOSAURIA, THEROPODA) FROM THE UPPER CRETACEOUS IREN DABASU FORMATION OF NEI MONGOL
    XU Xing, ZHANG Xiao-Hong, Paul SERENO, ZHAO Xi-Jin, KUANG Xue-Wen, HAN Jun, TAN Lin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2002, 40 (03): 228-240.  
    Abstract209)      PDF(pc) (206KB)(1296)       Save
    A partial skeleton is described from the Upper Cretaceous Iren Dabasu Formation of Nei Mongol that represents a new therizinosauroid theropod, Erliansaurus bellamanus gen. et sp. nov. Distinctive characteristics of the new species include enlarged nutritional foramen on anterior caudals, prominent crest-like posterior trochanter on the humerus bordered medially by an oval depression, rugose swelling located dorsal to the ischiadic peduncle on the lateral surface of the ilium, posterior margin significantly higher than anterior margin on the fibular proximal end, and distally located hypertrophied anterior trochanter on the fibula. Preliminary analysis suggests that E. bellamanus represents an intermediate taxon between the primitive therizinosauroids and the advanced Therizinosauroidae. The discovery of E. bellamanus provides important information regarding the diversity within Therizinosauroidea.
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    A REVISED LOOK AT LIAONINGORNIS LONGIDIGITRUS (AVES)
    Yixian Formation, Enantiornithes, Ornithurae,Ornithuromorpha, Liaoningornis
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2012, 50 (1): 25-37.  
    Abstract141)      PDF(pc) (3831KB)(1241)       Save
    Many of the earliest discovered ornithurine birds from the Jehol Group in northeastern China are highly fragmentary; this current study on the only known specimen of Liaoningornis longidigitrus, first described by Hou in 1997, indicates the taxon is in fact a member of Enantiornithes. Although based on fragmentary and poorly preserved material, the absence of a well-developed sternum,lack of developed cnemial crests on the tibiotarsi and reduced pedal unguals suggests Liaoningornis should be excluded from the more advanced ornithothoracine clade. The taxon remains distinct from all known enantiornithines, although it shows similarity to the Spanish taxon Eoalulavis hoyasi; shared features of the sternum suggest a close relationship between these two, although disparity from other enantiornithines suggests this may be an artifact of ontogeny. TheLiaoningornis specimen is too fragmentary to be able to make strong inferences about its placement within the diverse enantiornithine clade.
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    THE DISCOVERY OF PLIOPITHECUS FROM NORTHERN JUNGGAR BASIN, XINJIANG
    WU Wen Yu, MENG Jin, YE Jie
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2003, 41 (01): 76-86.  
    Abstract123)      PDF(pc) (172KB)(1240)       Save
    A new species of Pliopithecus - P. bii sp. nov., is erected on dental morphology of m2~m3 and a central lower incisor, which were collected from the early Middle Miocene Halamagai Formation of Tieersihabahe in the northern Junggar Basin of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The new species is especially characterized by a deep buccal funnel, which is enclosed by the cristid obliqua, the crest descending along the buccal slope of protoconid, and the buccal branch of prehypocristid. One P4 collected from near the same locality is assigned to Pliopithecus sp. because of its smaller size in relation to the m2 and m3. The associated mammal fauna of P. bii is approximately comparable to Tongxin fauna. Consequently P. bii is of early Middle Miocene in age, equivalent to the European Neogene land mammal age MN6. The high similarity between Dionysopithecus shuangouensis and Pliopithecus especially P. bii supports the inference made by Harrison and Gu (1999) that pliopithecini (Pliopithecus) was derived from an Asian rather than an African source.
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    Vayu 1.0, a new set of tools for visualizing surface meshes
    LU Jing
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (1): 71-80.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.221020
    Abstract1233)   HTML315)    PDF(pc) (2788KB)(1204)       Save

    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.

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    Reanalysis of Oculudentavis shows it is a lizard
    LI Zhi-Heng, WANG Wei, HU Han, WANG Min, YI Hong-Yu, LU Jing
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (2): 95-105.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.201020
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    The recent finding of a fossil entombed in a Late Cretaceous amber - Oculudentavis khaungraae - was claimed to represent a humming bird-sized dinosaur. Regardless of the intriguing evolutionary hypotheses about the bauplan of Mesozoic dinosaurs (including birds) posited therein, this enigmatic animal demonstrates various morphologies resembling lizards. If Oculudentavis was a bird, it challenges several fundamental morphological differences between Lepidosauria and Archosauria. Here we reanalyze the original computed tomography scan data of the holotype of Oculudentavis khaungraae (HPG-15-3). Morphological evidences demonstrated here highly contradict the avian or even archosaurian phylogenetic placement of the species. In contrast, our analysis revealed multiple skull morphologies of HPG-15-3 resembling those of squamates, including pleurodont marginal teeth, an open infratemporal fenestra, and the presence of palatal dentition. Based on these new morphological information, the phylogenetic position of Oculudentavis was analyzed in a data matrix sampling across the Diapsida. Taxon sampling of the data matrix included multiple species of lizards, birds, and major clades in Lepidosauromorpha and Archosauromorpha. In the strict consensus tree, Oculudentavis is nested within Squamata. These results show that morphology of the Oculudentavis khaungraae holotype supports a squamate rather than avian or dinosaurian affinity of the species.

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    DISCOVERY OF PARACERATHERIUM IN THE NORTHERN JUNGGAR BASIN OF XINJIANG
    YE Jie, MENG Jin, WU WenYu
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2003, 41 (03): 220-229.  
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    Paraceraterium sui sp. nov. is represented by a lower jaw collected at Loc. 20004 (46°35. 779′N, 87°43. 818′E) of Saerduoyila, Halamagai Village, Fuhai County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The new species is similar to the type species of the genus, P. bugtiense, in general morphology of the mandible and teeth, but differs from the latter in larger size, the proportionally deeper horizontal ramus, the more anteroventrally curved symphysis and the much deeper trenched dorsal surface of symphysis. The associated small mammals indicates an age of Late Oligocene. The occurrence of Paraceratherium sui demonstrates that the genus Paraceratherium erected by Forster-Cooper, based on the lower jaw from Pakistan, is a valid taxon different from Indricotherium.
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    THE ORIGIN AND EARLY EVOLUTION OF FEATHERS: INSIGHTS FROM RECENT PALEONTOLOGICAL AND NEONTOLOGICAL DATA
    XU Xing, GUO Yu
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2009, 47 (4): 311-329.  
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    Recent paleontological and neontological studies on feathers and feather-like integumentary structures have improved greatly our understanding of the origin and early evolution of feathers. New observations on some non-avian dinosaur specimens preserving integumentary structures, in combination with recent paleontological and neontological data, provide additional insights into this important evolutionary issue. Five major morphogenesis events are inferred to have occurred sequentially early in feather evolution before the origin of the Aves, and they are: 1) appearance of filamentous and tubular morphology, 2) formation of follicle and barb ridges, 3) appearance of rachis, 4) appearance of planar form, and 5) formation of pennaceous barbules. These events produce several morphotypes of feathers that are common among non-avian archosaurs but are probably lost later in avian evolution, and they also produced several morphotypes of feathers that are nearly identical or identical to those of modern birds. While feathers of non-avian dinosaurs exhibit many unique features of modern feathers, some of them also possess striking features unknown in modern feathers. Several models of evolutionary origin of feathers based on developmental data suggest that the origin of feathers is a completely innovative event and the first feathers have nothing to do with reptilian scales. We believe, however, that the defining features of modern feathers might have evolved in an incremental manner rather than in a sudden way. Consequently, an evolutionary model characteristic of both transformation and innovation is more acceptable for feather evolution. The function of the first feather is inferred to be neither related to flight nor to insulation. Display or heat dissipation, among others, remains viable hypotheses for initial function of feathers. An integrative study is promising to provide much new insights into the origin of feathers.
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    A redescription of the Silurian Sinogaleaspis shankouensis (Galeaspida, stem-Gnathostomata) from Jiangxi, China
    GAI Zhi-Kun, SHAN Xian-Ren, SUN Zhi-Xin, ZHAO Wen-Jin, PAN Zhao-Hui, ZHU Min
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2020, 58 (2): 85-99.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.191105
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    Sinogaleaspis shankouensis is redescribed based on 11 new specimens collected from the type locality of the Xikeng Formation in Xiushui county, Jiangxi Province. The in-depth morphological study indicates that the sensory canal system of S. shankouensis exhibits a mélange of characters of plesiomorphic galeaspid taxa, Eugaleaspiformes, Polybranchiaspiformes and Huananaspiformes. The grid distribution of the sensory canal system on the dorsal side of the head-shield, which comprises four longitudinal canals intercrossed with six pairs of transverse canals in S. shankouensis, probably represents a plesiomorphic condition of vertebrates. Sinogaleaspis shankouensis belongs to the Sinogaleaspis-Xiushuiaspis Fauna or the Maoshan Assemblage which represents the first diversification of galeaspids in the Telychian, Llandovery of the Silurian period. The sedimentary paleoenvironment of the Xikeng Formation in Xiushui, Jiangxi Province is suggestive of a brackish water environment, whereas a large sum of muddy gravels in fish-bearing sandstone beds point to a short distance of potamic transportation. This indicates that the Sinogaleaspis-Xiushuiaspis Fauna may live in a fresh water environment in the river rather than their burial area in the sea.

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    On the scientific names of mastodont taxa: nomenclature, Chinese translation, and taxonomic problems
    WANG Shi-Qi, LI Chun-Xiao, ZHANG Xiao-Xiao
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (4): 295-332.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210728
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    The mastodont-grade proboscideans represent an important stage in the evolution of the group, establishing the basic pattern of the evolution of the crown groups of proboscideans. The research on mastodons has a history of more than 400 years. The classification and nomenclature have been revised and changed many times, and the problems in their evolution were fully reflected in the history of mastodon nomenclature. In this paper, we undertook a bibliographical research into the nomenclature and etymology of various mastodont groups, reviewing 175 translated Chinese names of mastodont-grade proboscideans, including 12 taxon names higher than the genus level, 46 genera, and 117 species, covering almost all the species of the mastodont radiation. On this basis, we review the principal phylogenetic hypotheses of mastodont interrelationships, and highlight problems in the classification and nomenclature of mastodonts. The evolution of the skull and mandible of mastodons is continuous in all clades, reflecting the same parallel evolution trend; while, although the morphological characteristics of cheek teeth across all lineages are not obvious, they are relatively stable in each lineage. Choerolophodontidae is the most robust monophyletic group within the mastodonts, of which Synconolophus may be a distinct, valid genus. Miomastodon and Pliomastodon of Mammutidae may both be valid, but they are not necessarily the direct ancestor of Mammut americanum . The phylogenetic relationship between Platybelodon danovi , P. grangeri and Aphanobelodon zhaoi within the Amebelodontidae is questionable, depending on whether the lower incisor section of P. danovi is the dentine rod structure or not, while Konobelodon britti in America may be a synonym of Torynobelodon loomisi . The species assigned to Konobelodon in Asia is possibly not amebelodontids, but probably attributable to Paratetralophodon , instead; Serridentinus of Gomphotheriidae may be a valid taxon, representing a trend towards somewhat zygodonty in Gomphotheriidae that terminated with the Cuvieroniinae. The Cuvieroniinae may only include Cuvieronius and Rhynchotherium , while other brevirostrine gomphotheres in America, such as Stegomastodon may have been evolved from a lineage of amebelodonts. Notiomastodon may be related to Sinomastodon , which itself may have originated from Pliomastodon (?) zhupengensis in southern China. The name Mastodon intermedius Teilhard de Chardin & Trassaert, 1937 (now Sinomastoodon intermedius ) has the senior primary homonym Mastodon intermedius Eichwald, 1831. We suggest that Sinomastodon intermedius should be replaced with its senior synonym-Sinomastodon sendaicus (Matsumoto, 1924).

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    Revisit of Hsianwenia wui (Cyprinidae: Schizothoracinae) from the Pliocene of Qaidam Basin
    BI Dai-Ran, WU Fei-Xiang, WANG Ning, CHANG Mee-Mann, FANG Geng-Yu
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (1): 1-28.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.211026
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    The Qaidam Basin is a key area for understanding the paleoenvironmental and faunal history of the Tibetan Plateau. The fossil schizothoracine fish, Hsianwenia wui, evolved extraordinarily thickened bones to adapt to the aridification of the Qaidam Basin during the Pliocene. However, the nature of the bone thickening itself remains elusive. To promote the further investigation of the physiological mechanism of the pachyostosis and the phylogenetic interrelationships of Hsianwenia and all relevant cyprinids, here we present a comprehensive morphological study of Hsianwenia. We have new information on the anterior part of the cranial cavity, a large supraneural 3 in the Weberian apparatus, numerous procurrent caudal fin rays supported by the preural centrum (Pu) 5, and a neural arch on Pu2. We also find the differentiated pattern of the bone-thickening: the pachyostosis exists in the endoskeleton but not in the dermal skeleton; it is more obvious in ventral bones than in dorsal ones, when the thickening is present in the dorsally and ventrally grouped endoskeletal bones (e.g., the epineural and epipleural intermuscular bones). Considering the integrity of musculoskeletal system manipulating the chewing activities, we suspect that the thickened pharyngeal jaws and the hard food processing might be associated with the unique hind protrusion (cleithral “humeral” process) of the dermal pectoral girdle of Hsianwenia.

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    RESTUDY OF BIS HANOPLIOSAURUS YOUNGI DONG 1980, A FRESH-WATER PLESIOSAURIAN FROM THE JURASSIC OF CHONGQING
    SATO Tamaki, LI Chun, WU XiaoChun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2003, 41 (01): 17-33.  
    Abstract252)      PDF(pc) (309KB)(936)       Save
    Bishanopliosaurus youngi Dong, 1980 from the Jurassic Dongyuemiao Member of the Ziliujing Formation in Chongqing Municipality, China is redescribed in detail. The holotype of B. youngi is the postcranial skeleton of a young individual, but so far the most complete plesiosaurian fossil known from the Asian Jurassic. Our restudy indicates that B. youngi can be diagnosed by the bifurcated sacral ribs combined with the compressed neural spine, narrow coracoid, and the humerus with a peculiar projection. B. youngi is a valid taxon, but its phylogenetic relationships with other plesiosaurians remain uncertain mainly because of the lack of cranial features. Previous studies on the Dongyuemiao fauna and flora indicate that the sediments are of subtropical freshwater origin. The discovery of B. youngi added further information on the freshwater invasion of plesiosaurians. Freshwater plesiosaurians so far known are very fragmentary, but their wide geographic and temporal distributions suggest that the presence of plesiosaurians in freshwater environment was not uncommon in most of their history.
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    A new Late Triassic tetrapod locality from North China
    SHI Yu-Tai, CHEN Jian-Ye, LIU Jun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (1): 17-25.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220818
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    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.

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    Reappraisal of some perissodacyl fossils from the Middle Eocene of the Lijiang Basin, Yunnan, China with a revision of tapiroid Diplolophodon
    BAI Bin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (1): 26-42.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220721
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    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.

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    Reappraisal of Serridentinus gobiensis Osborn & Granger and Miomastodon tongxinensis Chen: the validity of Miomastodon
    WANG Shi-Qi, ZHANG Xiao-Xiao, LI Chun-Xiao
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2020, 58 (2): 134-158.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.200310
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    The elephantimorph proboscideans, Serridentinus gobiensis Osborn & Granger, 1932, and Miomastodon tongxinensis Chen, 1978, from the Middle Miocene of northern China, were revised as Zygolophodon gobiensis (Osborn & Granger, 1932). However, their phylogenetic positions are still being debated because of their intermediate morphology between the typical bunodont (Gomphotheriidae) and zygodont (Mammutidae) elephantimorphs. In the present paper, we compare their dental and mandibular morphology with that of the Eurasian Z. turicensis, Gomphotherium subtapiroideum, and G. tassyi, as well as the North American Mio. merriami and G. productum. It appears that S. gobiensis and Mio. tongxinensis share with Mio. merriami the slightly more bunodont molar morphology than that of Z. turicensis, e.g., the thicker enamel, thicker pretrite crescentoids, higher interlophid enamel pillars in buccal view, and the narrower contour majorly caused by the narrower posttrite half loph(id)s. S. gobiensis and Mio. merriami also possess an “erected oval cross-sectioned mandibular tusk”, in which the cross-section is mediolaterally compressed (dorsoventral diameter being larger than the mediolateral one). Whereas, in Z. turicensis and G. productum, the mandibular tusk is “laid oval cross-sectioned”, in which the cross-section is dorsoventrally compressed (dorsoventral diameter is smaller than the mediolateral one). Therefore, it is reasonable to revive the genus Miomastodon Osborn, 1922, which contains the species that were previously attributed to Zygolophodon, but they have relatively bunodont molar morphology (i.e., the robust type of the Z. turicensis group). The mandibular tusk with erected oval cross-section seems to be a synapomorphy of Miomastodon species. Furthermore, the molar morphology of G. subtapiroideum and G. tassyi also exhibits intermediate status between the typical bunodonts and zygodonts. However, the mandibular symphysis of G. subtapiroideum and G. tassyi is stronger than that of Miomastodon, and the mandibular tusk is pyriform cross-sectioned. The validity of Miomastodon and G. subtapiroideum/tassyi obscures the boundary between the Gomphotheriidae and Mammutidae, and suggests that the evolutions of the Gomphotheriidae and Mammutidae are deeply involved in with each other, rather than straightforwardly detached. This phenomenon has been revealed by a collagen sequence analysis among Notiomastodon, Mammut, and extant elephants, which should be further studied.

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    HESPEROTHERIUM - A NEW GENUS OF THE LAST CHALICOTHERES
    QIU Zhan-Xiang
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2002, 40 (04): 317-325.  
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    Chalicothere remains were only occasionally met in late Pliocene-middle Pleistocene deposits of China. Since they were usually very poorly represented, mostly by single teeth, identification was often highly tentative. Nevertheless, they were always identified as belonging to the genus Nestoritherium (formerly Circotherium). The latter was erected by Kaup in 1859 based on Falconer and Cautley’s description of anterior parts of skulls and lower jaws from the Siwaliks, India. On October 14th, 2000, the author had the opportunity to visit the fossil mammal localities in the Tianzhen County, Shanxi, accompanied by Prof. Wei Qi, who found and excavated these localities during the first years of the 1980s. Fortunately enough, some chalicothere fossils were found during the visit at the Loc. 80045, where typical Nihewan fauna were collected by Wei in 1980~ 1981. The new find of the chalicothere fossils tumed out particularly important in clarification of the affinity of the Chinese chalicothere material so far referred to Nestoritherium. The new fossils show clearly that they materially differ from the Siwaliks Nestoritherium and deserve to be classified as a new genus, for which the name Hesperotherium is proposed, alluding to the pre2extinction stage of the Chalicotheiidae. Hesperotherium gen. nov.
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    Panxianichthys imparilis gen. et sp. nov., a new ionoscopiform (Halecomorphi) from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou, China
    XU Guang-Hui, SHEN Chen-Chen
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2015, 53 (1): 1-15.  
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    The Ionoscopiformes are a fossil lineage of halecomorphs known only from the Mesozoic marine deposits. Because of their close relationships with the Amiiformes, the Ionoscopiformes are phylogenetically important in investigating the early evolution and biogeography of the Halecomorphi. However, fossil evidence of early ionoscopiforms was scarce; until recently,Robustichthys from the Middle Triassic Luoping Biota, eastern Yunnan,China, represents the oldest and only known ionoscopiform in the Triassic. Here we report the discovery of a new ionoscopiform, Panxianichthys imparilis gen. et sp. nov., on the basis of two well preserved specimens from the Middle Triassic Panxian Biota, western Guizhou, China. The discovery documents the second ionoscopiform in the Middle Triassic; although Panxianichthys is slightly younger than Robustichthys, it is significantly older than other members of this group from the Late Jurassic of Europe, and Early Cretaceous of North and South America. Panxianichthys possesses an important synapomorphy of the Ionoscopiformes: a sensory canal in the maxilla, but retains some primitive characters unknown in other ionoscopiforms. Results of our phylogenetic analysis recover Panxianichthys as the most primitive ionoscopiform, and provide new insight on the early evolution of this clade. The interrelationships of the Ionoscopidae have been reassessed;Quetzalichthysis regarded more closely related to Ionoscopus than to Oshunia. In addition, our analysis supports the reassessment of Furo muensteri as an ophiopsid ionoscopiform. The successive discoveries of Robustichthys andPanxianichthys from China indicate that the early diversification of the Ionoscopiformes is more rapid than previously thought.
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    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
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    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.

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    Cartilage on the furculae of living birds and the extinct bird Confuciusornis: a preliminary analysis and implications for flight style inferences in Mesozoic birds
    WU Qian, Jingmai K. O’CONNOR, LI Zhi-Heng, Alida M. BAILLEUL
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (2): 106-124.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.201222
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    The early evolution of flight is one of the most studied topics in vertebrate paleontology. Living birds have evolved to utilize a variety of flight styles, but studies focused on inferring flight strategies in Mesozoic birds are often contradictory and without a clear consensus, making it necessary to find additional informative characteristics that can be useful for inferences in fossils. Virtually nothing is known about the histology of the avian pectoral girdle, even though skeletal and joint tissues are key candidates to solve form-function relationships. Avian secondary cartilage found on the dermal bones of the avian skeleton is influenced by epigenetics and only forms when joints are stimulated by muscle contractions. As the only dermal bone in the avian postcranium, the furcula is a potential site for the formation of furcular secondary cartilage and merits further attention. It is still unknown whether adult living birds and fossil birds have furcular secondary cartilage. Here we present histological analyses conducted on the furcula-coracoid articulation in three living birds (Spilopelia chinensis, the Spotted dove; Passer montanus, the Eurasian tree sparrow; and Apus apus, the Common swift), taxa that utilize different flight styles, and one of the most common fossil birds of the Jehol Biota, Confuciusornis. Secondary cartilage was identified on the furculae of the living birds and of Confuciusornis, representing the first report of furcular secondary cartilage in the fossil record. Clear differences in secondary cartilage morphologies were observed in the living species, but additional data is required to establish a strong form-function relationship that could be useful for making inferences in Mesozoic birds.

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    Do chondrocytes within calcified cartilage have a higher preservation potential than osteocytes?A preliminary taphonomy experiment
    Alida M. BAILLEUL, WU Qian, LI Dong-Sheng, LI Zhi-Heng, ZHOU Zhong-He
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (2): 108-122.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.230309
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    Chondrocytes with remnants of nuclei and biomolecules were recently reported in two Cretaceous dinosaurs from North America and China. For multiple reasons, it was hypothesized that calcified cartilage (CC) had a better potential than bone to preserve ancient cells. Here we provide the first experimental test to this hypothesis by focusing on the most important variable responsible for cellular preservation: the postmortem blockage of autolysis. We compare the timing of autolysis between chondrocytes and osteocytes in an avian model (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) buried for up to 60 days under natural conditions that did not inhibit autolytic enzymes. Within 15 days post-burial, almost all osteocytes were already cytolyzed but chondrocytes in CC were virtually unaffected. All osteocytes were cytolyzed after 30 days, but some chondrocytes were still present 60 days post-burial. Therefore, even in harsh conditions some CC chondrocytes still survive for months postmortem on a time scale compatible with permineralization. This is consistent with other data from the forensic literature showing the extreme resistance of hyaline cartilage (HC) chondrocytes after death and does support the hypothesis that CC has a better potential than bone for cellular preservation, especially in fossils that were not permineralized rapidly. However, because the samples used were previously frozen, it is possible that the pattern of autolysis observed here is also a product of cell death due to ice crystal formation and not strictly autolysis, meaning a follow-up experiment on fresh (non-frozen samples) is necessary to be extremely accurate in our conclusions. Nevertheless, this study does show that CC chondrocytes are very resistant to freezing, suggesting that chondrocytes are likely better preserved than osteocytes in permafrost fossils and mummies that underwent a freezing-thawing cycle. It also suggests that cartilage (both hyaline and calcified) may be a better substrate for ancient DNA than bone. Moreover, even though we warrant follow-up taphonomy experiments with non-frozen samples paired with DNA sequencing, we already urge ancient DNA experts to test CC as a new substrate for ancient DNA analyses in fossils preserved in hot and temperate environments as well.

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    First record of Saurichthys (Actinopterygii: Saurichthyidae) from the Late Triassic of eastern Paleo-Tethys
    FANG Geng-Yu, SUN Yuan-Lin, JI Cheng, WU Fei-Xiang
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (1): 1-16.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.221013
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    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.

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    MESONYCHIDS FROM LUSHI BASIN, HENAN PROVINCE, CHINA
    Jin Xun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2005, 43 (02): 151-164.  
    Abstract178)      PDF(pc) (353KB)(782)       Save
    Mesonychids from the Lushi Formation , Middle Eocene , Lushi Basin, Henan Province, China are described. They include at least four taxa: Harpagolestes orientali, Pachyaena sp., Mongolestes cf. M. alxaensis and a new species —Harpagolestes leei.
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    A new pteranodontoid pterosaur forelimb from the upper Yixian Formation, with a revision of Yixianopterus jingangshanensis
    JIANG Shun-Xing, ZHANG Xin-Jun, CHENG Xin, WANG Xiao-Lin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (2): 81-94.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.201124
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    Pterosaurs in the Jehol Biota have been found in the Yixian and Jiufotang formations. The Jingangshan bedding is in the upper part of the Yixian Formation. The first two pterosaur embryos ever discovered in the world, two archaeopterodactyloid specimens, and the questionable Yixianopterus jingangshanensis have been reported in previous literature. Here, we describe a forelimb from this horizon and confirm its phylogenetic position in the Pteranodontoidea. The holotype of Y. jingangshanensis, now housed at Benxi Geological Museum, has been examined. The diagnosis of this taxon has been revised without the consideration of the artificial parts as following, a pteranodontoid pterosaur with a distinguished combination of characters: triangular and labiolingually compressed teeth with the first two more slender and longer than the others; teeth vertical to the occlusal surface; the second wing phalanx about 93% the length of the first wing phalanx. In the Jehol Biota, archaeopterodactyloid specimens have been mainly discovered from the Yixian Formation, while tapejaroids are almost found from the Jiufotang Formation. Including the new forelimb and Y. jingangshanensis, the pteranodontoids from the Jiufotang Formation are slightly greater in number than those from the Yixian Formation in species and specimens, differing from the previous thoughts on the distribution.

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    A new species of Luganoia (Luganoiidae, Neopterygii) from the Middle Triassic Xingyi Biota, Guizhou, China
    XU Guang-Hui
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2020, 58 (4): 267-282.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.200624
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    Neopterygii is the largest known group of ray-finned fishes today, and the Luganoiidae, recognized by its specialized skull and greatly deepened flank scales, is a stem lineage of this group in the Middle Triassic. Since its naming in 1939, the Luganoiidae has been represented solely by the marine species Luganoia lepidosteoides found near the Ladinian/Anisian boundary of the southern and eastern Switzerland, northern Italy and southeastern Spain. Here, I report the discovery of a new species of this genus, Luganoia fortuna sp. nov. based on a nearly complete specimen from the late Middle Triassic (Ladinian) marine deposits exposed near Xingyi, Guizhou, China. The discovery represents the first record of the Luganoiidae in Asia, indicating that the biogeographical distribution of this family is much wider than previously recognized. Comparative studies of the new species with the type species from Europe reveal some anatomical features previously unnoticed in Luganoia, e.g., the presence of antorbitals, absence of a plate-like quadratojugal, presence of a narrow naked region of the body at the base of the dorsal fin, presence of a small anal fin closer to the caudal fin than to the pelvic fin, and absence of postcleithra. An amended diagnosis of the genus is presented. Moreover, the distinguishable features between the Chinese and European species are highlighted in this study, and they provide valuable information on the morphological diversification of Luganoia.

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    On kannemeyeriiform dicynodonts from the Shaanbeikannemeyeria Assemblage Zone of the Ordos Basin, China
    LIU Jun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (3): 212-248.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220601
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    Shaanbeikannemeyeria is a common tetrapod from the lower part of the Ermaying Formation of the Ordos Basin, China. There are taxonomical questions surrounding this genus, such as the validity of the genus, and how many species are included within it. Several specimens have been collected since 1978. Shaanbeikannemeyeria first appeared from the top of the Heshanggou Formation. These specimens are described to clarify the diagnostic characters, the individual variations and the phylogenetic position of Shaanbeikannemeyeria. Only one species, S. xilougouensis, is recognized. It is characterized by the following autapomorphies: occiput strongly inclined relative to the palate such that the skull is much shorter basally than dorsally, sword tip-like premaxillary posterodorsal processes, tall and dorsally-convex cutting blade on the medial edge of the dorsal surface of the dentary, reflected lamina with a separated posteroventral process, and 15 dorsal vertebrae. This species shows variations on the cranial morphology, such as the occiput height relative to the width, the snout tip (sharp or obtuse), the shape of the orbital portion of the zygomatic arch, and the shape of caniniform process. Some variations could be ontogenetically related, such as the development of the caniniform process and tusk, the posterior extension of the maxilla on the zygomatic arch, the distance between the frontal and the premaxilla, the intertemporal bar width, and the exposing degree of the parietals. Based on postcranial bones, the second dicynodont genus (possibly Parakannemeyeria) is present in the lower Ermaying Formation.

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    Reexamination of the oldest pigeon (Aves: Columbidae) from Asia: Columba congi from the Early Pleistocene of Zhoukoudian, Beijing, China
    SHEN Wei, Thomas A. STIDHAM, LI Zhi-Heng
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (3): 245-256.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.210304
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    Columba congi is an extinct species that was described as part of the Early Pleistocene (~1.7 Ma) fauna from locality 12 of the UNESCO Zhoukoudian or “Peking Man” site in Beijing, China. Only four partial humeri of the original type series of 11 bones can be located, and the features present in those specimens do not support the original diagnosis. However, our study and redescription shows that the straight and flat margin of the pneumotricipital fossa rim (in ventral view) and the relative distal position of the dorsal supracondylar tubercle may support the continued recognition of C. congi as a valid extinct species. Columba congi appears to be the oldest fossil of Columba in Asia, and it lived during a warmer and wetter period of time of the Pleistocene with a forested Zhoukoudian. Further study of pigeons from all localities at Zhoukoudian should help to resolve questions about pigeon biogeography and evolution, including possibly the time and center of origin of the globally distributedC. livia.

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