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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
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    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
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    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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    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
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    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
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    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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    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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    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
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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
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    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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    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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    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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    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
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    A cuboid bone of a large Late Miocene elasmothere from Qingyang, Gansu, and its morphological significance
    ZHANG Xiao-Xiao, SUN Dan-Hui
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (1): 29-41.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210809
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    A cuboid specimen collected from the Late Miocene stratum at Qingyang, Gansu, China is described here. The size of the Qingyang specimen is comparatively huge, even larger than the average size of Elasmotherium caucasicum collected from Nihewan, Hebei, China. The morphology of the Qingyang specimen is identical to that of other specimens of Elasmotheriini; thus, the Qingyang specimen belongs to a huge elasmothere, most probably Sinotherium. By comparison with extant rhino species, the complex of the main body and the apophysis exhibit functional significance. The angle between the frontal plate of the cuboid and the main axis of the apophysis can suggest the ecological conditions occupied by an elasmothere. From analysis of the morphology of the cuboid, Sinotherium and the more derived elasmotheres probably lived in forested or wooded environments, differing from the previous hypothesis of their paleoenvironment.

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    An Upper Miocene “Hipparion fauna” locality sandwiched by basalt in Hanjiaying, Nei Mongol
    WANG Qian, LIU Yan, WANG Li-Hua, Mikael FORTELIUS, ZHANG Zhao-Qun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (2): 125-137.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.210323
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    Here we report a Hipparion fauna locality discovered in between two basalt layers near Hanjiaying Village, Jining District, Wulanchabu City, Nei Mongol. K-Ar isotopic dating of the lower and upper level of the basalt constrains the age of the fauna from 7.2 to 6.8 Ma. Compared with classical Hipparion fauna from northern China, the Hanjiaying fauna is closer to those from Baode of Shanxi, Siziwang Banner of Nei Mongol and the Linxia Basin of Gansu. It is similar to the Loc. 43, 44 and 49 from Baode by faunal composition, confirming their age to be ~7.0 Ma rather than 5.5 Ma. The high similarity with the fossils from Wulanhua, Siziwang Banner, Nei Mongol, verified the age of Wulanhua fauna at about 7 Ma. Compared with faunas from the Linxia Basin, Gansu, it is more similar to those from the upper part of the Liushu Formation, especially the Yangjiashan fauna. Based on the faunal composition and their tooth morphology, the Hanjiaying fauna could be included in the “Gazella dorcadoides” fauna, which is supposed to be at the west paleobiome in northern China during the Late Miocene.

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    Exceptional preservation of an extinct ostrich from the Late Miocene Linxia Basin of China
    LI Zhi-Heng, Alida M. BAILLEUL, Thomas A. STIDHAM, WANG Min, DENG Tao
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (3): 229-244.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.210309
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    Here we report a new avian fossil from the Late Miocene Linxia Basin, Northwest China, with exceptional soft-tissue preservation. This specimen preserves parts of cervical vertebrae and tracheal rings that are typically ostrich-like, but cannot be diagnosed at the species level. Therefore, the fossil is referred to Struthio sp. The new specimen was preserved in association with a partial skull of Hipparion platyodus. To explore the soft tissue preservation in a fossil deposited in a terrestrial setting, we applied a combination of analytic methods to investigate the microscopic features of the fossilized avian bone. Bacterial alterations (bone bioerosion) were revealed by light microscopy and petrographic sections under SEM imaging. Soft-tissues (fossilized remnants of endogenous blood vessels and red blood cells) were preserved in one demineralized bone fragment and also observed in the in-situ ground-section. These are the first records of soft-tissue preservation in vertebrate remains from the Late Miocene Linxia Basin. Associated geological and sedimentological evidence combined with our new data provide insights into the postmortem taphonomic conditions of this ostrich specimen. A seasonal monsoon might have facilitated the microbial erosion penecontemporaneous with the burial of the specimen. This study encourages interdisciplinary research involving morphology, sedimentology, geochemistry, and histological soft-tissue analyses to better understand the Late Miocene faunal turnovers, climates, and fossil preservation in the Liushu Formation in northwestern China.

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    The pelvic morphology of Parayunnanolepis (Placodermi, Antiarcha) revealed by tomographic data
    ZHU You-An, WANG Ya-Jing, QU Qing-Ming, LU Jing, ZHU Min
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (2): 81-89.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.221126
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    The pelvic morphology, and whether the pelvic fin is present or absent in the earliest jawed vertebrates are key in interpreting the origin of vertebrate paired fins. Parayunnanolepis xitunensis, an antiarch placoderm from the Early Devonian of Yunnan, South China, was previously described to possess the earliest evidence of both dermal and endoskeletal pelvic girdles, presumably for the attachment of the pelvic fins. Here, we redescribe the pelvic region of the holotype based on high-resolution computed tomographic data. Instead of having two large plates previously designated as dermal pelvic girdles, Parayunnanolepis possesses three pairs of lateral pelvic plates, and one large oval median pelvic plate. The paired pelvic plates are flat ventral plates, and differ from other dermal pelvic girdles in lacking a dorsal extension. There is no definitive evidence for the presence of an endoskeletal pelvic girdle in Parayunnanolepis, although the possibility cannot be ruled out. A comparison of the dermal pelvic plates in various jawed stem-gnathostomes suggests the presence of both paired and median pelvic plates is shared by different lineages and might be plesiomorphic. The jawed stem-gnathostomes may have recruited the ventral dermal skeleton of the post-thoracic body into different functional units.

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    Using Bayesian tip-dating method to estimate divergence times and evolutionary rates
    ZHANG Chi
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (4): 333-341.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210516
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    Bayesian tip dating is a recently developed method to estimate divergence times and evolutionary rates. It overcomes several drawbacks in traditional stepwise approach. However, it also requires more knowledge about statistics. This paper hierarchically explains the theory and computation in the Bayesian tip-dating approach, and divides the whole process into prior for the divergence times, prior for the evolutionary rates, model for the character changes and Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm, which are key components in this method. The aim is to provide a general guidance for paleontologists in empirical data analyses.

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    First Middle Devonian galeaspid from the Haikou Formation in Yunnan Province
    MENG Xin-Yuan, Zhu Min, WANG Jun-Qing, PAN Zhao-Hui, GAI Zhi-Kun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (3): 184-196.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220613
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    The Early Emsian Event (E’Em Event), the most significant bio-event for Chinese Devonian vertebrates, has significantly impacted on the diversity of galeaspids. The endemic Galeaspida almost became extinct after the Mid-Emsian Event (M’Em Event). Only few galeaspid taxa survived from these events, such as Clarorbis apponomedianus from the Eifelian of Guangxi, South China, and an indeterminate galeaspid from the Frasnian of Ningxia, Northwest China. Here, we report the first Middle Devonian galeaspid, Dongfangaspis sp., from the Haikou Formation in Wuding, Yunnan Province. The new material is more suggestive of the type species of Dongfangaspis, D. major, than Laxaspis and Polybranchiaspis in its suborbicular headshield with small inner cornual process, broad and nearly aequilate ventral rim, and about 45 pairs of branchial fossae. Dongfangaspis bears the largest number of branchial fossae ever recorded in galeaspids, which probably play an important role in Dongfangaspis surviving from the E’Em and M’Em events. The new finding represents the second Middle Devonian fossil record of galeaspids, and extends the chronological range of Dongfangaspis from the Pragian (Early Devonian) to the Eifelian (Middle Devonian).

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    Taxonomic revision of the holotype of Proboselaphus watasei Matsumoto, 1915 (Bovidae, Artiodactyla) from Chuanyu area, China
    NISHIOKA Yuichiro, KOHNO Naoki, KUDO Yuichiro
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (3): 200-212.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.210322
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    A taxonomic revision of Proboselaphus watasei Matsumoto, 1915 (Bovidae, Artiodactyla) from the Pleistocene of Chuanyu area, China demonstrates that this genus and species names are invalid. The holotype with a skull and mandibles was recently rediscovered in the fossil collection by Nobuo Naora, which is housed in the National Museum of Japanese History, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Proboselaphus watasei was described as a closely-related species to living nilgai, or Boselaphus tragocamelus, in South Asia, based on general characteristics of pecorans, such as small bony horn-cores and hypsodont cheek teeth. However, the cranial and dental morphologies re-examined in the present study clearly show that the holotype has cervid-specific characteristics: e.g., the fronto-parietal surface curving dorsally, the basioccipital with a triangular outline, and molars with isolated anterior and posterior lobes. The molars of the holotype are comparable to those of Cervus unicolor, in having strong accessary structures (or spurs, cingulums/cingulids, and styles/stylids), and are as large as those ofCervus cf. C. unicolor from the Pleistocene deposits in southern China. This taxonomic change suggests that any crown-boselaphins had not dispersed into East Asia since the Pleistocene.

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    A small-sized dinocephalosaurid archosauromorph from the Middle Triassic of Yunnan, southwestern China
    WANG Wei, LEI Hong, LI Chun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2024, 62 (1): 13-32.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.231013
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    Among numerous marine reptiles discovered in the Triassic eastern Tethys, today’s Southern China, Dinocephalosaurus is a bizarre animal comparable to European Tanystropheus in developing a prominently long neck. These two taxa are respectively assigned to Dinocephalosauridae and Tanystropheidae, and the two families and other basal members collectively form an early-diverging clade of Archosauromorpha. Here we report a new archosauromorph specimen, IVPP V18579, excavated from the lower Middle Triassic (Anisian), from Luoping, Yunnan in southwestern China. Compared with all the hitherto known dinocephalosaurids and tanystropheids, this skeletally mature individual is exclusively similar to Dinocephalosaurus in a number of characteristics, particularly with the long posterodorsal process of the premaxilla extending posteriorly beyond the level of the external nares, the concave posterior margin of the anteroposteriorly broad quadrate, and the strongly expanded distal end of the chevron in most of the caudal vertebrae. However, this reptile is much smaller than Dinocephalosaurus and different from Dinocephalosaurus and the other dinocephalosaurid, Pectodens, in many aspects, such as an anteriorly tapering long rostrum, the dentition composed of short conical teeth with less heterodonty, relatively but obviously tall neural spines of the axis and the anterior cervical vertebrae. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that the new archosauromorph is a dinocephalosaurid, and then we erect Austronaga minuta gen. et sp. nov. based on this specimen. Detailed comparisons in osteological anatomy and the discussion about its potential aquatic adaptation of this new taxon are also provided.

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    Climate change and evolution of early lagomorphs (Mammalia): a study perspective based on new materials of Ordolagus from Nei Mongol (northern China)
    Chiara ANGELONE, ZHANG Zhao-Qun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (2): 138-168.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.1000-3118.210325
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    The Early Oligocene is a critical time for global climate changes in the Cenozoic. This epoch witnessed severe mammalian faunal turnovers known as “Grande Coupure” in Europe and “Mongolian Remodelling” in Asia. However, insights about morphological changes in Oligocene mammal lineages have not been explored in detail. One of the least diversified groups of recent mammals, lagomorpha, is globally common in the fossil records, especially in Asia. During the Oligocene, many Eocene archaic lagomorph taxa died out and were replaced by more advanced forms. New findings from Nei Mongol and re-examination of the specimens from older collections enabled a revision of a common Asian lagomorph genus, Ordolagus, which possibly has a close affinity with the Middle-Late Eocene genus Gobiolagus. In Nei Mongol, we recognized the presence of Ordolagus during the basal Early Oligocene. Comparisons with coeval and slightly older lagomorph taxa from Asia and North America show that Ordolagus attained some salient tooth morphological characters (i.e., development of anteroconid on p3, full hypselodonty of cheek teeth, and lingual connection of trigonid and talonid on p4-m2), which are also the key features of modern leporids. The appearance of those morphologic features in Ordolagus is coeval to major global or regional climatic changes. Further investigations on Asian early lagomorphs compared with the study of other small mammals and local climatic factors will be essential to refine the role of lagomorphs as palaeoclimatic proxies.

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    A Temnospondyl tooth from the Middle Triassic of the Ordos Basin, Shaanxi Province
    WU Rui, TU Li, HAN Feng-Lu
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (1): 54-58.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210810
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    An isolated large temnospondyl tooth was discovered from the Middle Triassic Tongchuan Formation, Weibei Oilfield, Ordos Basin, Shaanxi Province of China. Compared with the teeth of crocodylomorphs, plesiosaurs and temnospondyls, the tooth can be referred to temnospondyl based on the following features: the crown is elongated and recurved with a circular cross-section; there are no denticles or carinae on the crown; well-marked apicobasal grooves are shown on the crown surface. This tooth represents the first temnospondyl found in the Middle Triassic Tongchuan Formation and is the youngest fossil record of temnospondyls in the North China Block.

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    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
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    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.

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    First discovery of dinosaur eggs in Nanhu Gebi of Hami, Xinjiang, China
    WANG Qiang, XING Hao, SHI Hai-Tao, FANG Kai-Yong, ZHU Xu-Feng, ZHOU Ming-Xiao, WANG Xiao-Lin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (4): 324-327.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220801
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    Here we report the first dinosaur eggshells found in the Nanhu Gebi of Hami, including Elongatoolithus elongatus and Ovaloolithus oosp. The discovery of these dinosaur eggs not only enlarge the palaeogeographic distribution of elongtaoolithid and ovaloolithid eggs, but also indicate the geological age of egg-bearing strata to be the end of Late Cretaceous. Whether the strata can be correlated with the Subashi Formation in Turpan Basin remains to be clarified.

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    A revision of the eggshell fragment of Spheroolithus megadermus from Laiyang, Shandong Province, China
    ZHANG Shu-Kang
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (1): 59-68.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.211021
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    In 1958, a special type of dinosaur egg was discovered in Zhaotuan, Laiyang, Shandong Province, China. Although only a large eggshell fragment was collected, its extremely large thickness indicated that the eggshell fragment represented a new ootaxon. In previous studies, it was named Spheroolithus megadermus and assigned to the oogenus Spheroolithus under the oofamily of the Spheroolithidae based on the microstructure in radial view. However, a comparative study of the microstructure in tangential views between the large eggshell fragment from Laiyang and the recently reported Multifissoolithus from Zhejiang Province, China and Yamaguchi, Japan revealed that all of them have roughly paralleled and wavy clefts. Therefore, this study reassigned the large eggshell fragment from Laiyang to Multifissoolithus of the Dongyangoolithidae and discussed its unique compact layer near the eggshell’s inner surface, as well as the chronological and spatial distribution of dongyangoolithid eggs. The reassignment of the holotype of Spheroolithus megadermus also indicates that the referred specimen of Spheroolithus megadermus from Changtu, Liaoning Province becomes the holotype of a new oospecies Spheroolithus quantouensis.

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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
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    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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    Stratigraphical significance of Ulantatal sequence
    Joonas Wasiljeff, ZHANG Zhao-Qun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (1): 42-53.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210716
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    Robust regional chronostratigraphic framework is the basis of understanding climatic and faunal events in the geologic history. One of the most dramatic faunal turnovers of the past 50 million years in Asia is linked to the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT) at about 34 Ma. However, the chronostratigraphic relationships between faunal modulation and geologic events associated with the EOT in China have remained uncertain before and after the epoch boundaries, mainly due to the scarcity of continuous records and problems in correlating and subdividing the classic areas containing abundant mammalian fossils. Past decades have seen developments in establishing Chinese regional Paleogene Land Mammal Ages, and albeit many ages are well constrained, some, such as those of the latest Eocene and the Oligocene, have remained unsettled. In this paper, we present how recent evidence from the fossiliferous Ulantatal sequence, Nei Mongol, China, provides better constraints to the latest Eocene and Oligocene Chinese Land Mammal ages (Baiyinian, Ulantatalian, and Tabenbulukian). We propose Ulantatal sequence as a new regional unit stratotype section of the Ulantatalian stage, and the lower boundary of Tabenbulukian stage to be reassigned to Chron C9r (27.7 Ma), with the lowest occurrence of Sinolagomys as the marker horizon.

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    A new specimen of Parabohaiornis martini (Avialae: Enantiornithes) sheds light on early avian skull evolution
    WANG Min
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (2): 90-107.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.230217
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    The Enantiornithes is the most speciose clade of Mesozoic avialans with over 60 named taxa reported from most continents that span the whole Cretaceous. Most of the fossil remains of this clade, as well as those of other early diverging avialans are preserved in two-dimensions. This complicates efforts to extract detailed anatomical information from the skull, in which the composite elements are delicate and thus not easily observable through conventional methods. The scarcity of well-preserved early avialan skulls, as well as the limited number of specimens that have been analyzed using computed tomography scanning, consequently circumscribes a large morphological gap in the fossil record during the transition from the heavy and akinetic dinosaurian skull to the lightweight and kinetic bird skull. Here, we present a three-dimensional digital reconstruction of the skull and part of the cervical vertebrae of a new specimen of the enantiornithine Parabohaiornis martini from the Early Cretaceous of China. Our results demonstrate that Parabohaiornis retains the plesiomorphic non-avialan dinosaurian temporal and palatal configurations, reinforcing the recent hypothesis that the temporal and palatal regions are evolutionarily conservative and that the akinetic skull has been conserved well into diversification of early branching avialans.

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    The Sharamurunian rodent fauna in the Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol, China
    LI Qi, LI Qian
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (1): 43-70.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.221123
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    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.

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    A new species of Pararhizomys (Tachyoryctoidinae, Muroidea) from Linxia Basin of Gansu Province
    WANG Ban-Yue
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (4): 271-277.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.220403
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    An anterior part of skull was recently found near Xiayangwan in Guanghe County, Gansu Province, presumably from the Liushu Formation. The skull represents a new species of Pararhizomys, named as Pararhizomys parvulus. The new species is characterized by: small size, upper molars higher crowned and mesio-lingually hypsodont with sinus deeper than mesosinus; sinus and mesosinus in M3 being transverse and overlapping each other, but sinus longer than mesosinus on occlusal view. Based on shared apomorphies (lingually hypsodont upper molars and transverse sinus and mesosinus on M3 occulsal surface), P. parvulus and P. huaxiaensis are supposed to form a sister group. However, P. parvulus may be more derived than P. huaxiaensis as demonstrated by the more hypsodont molars and the deeper sinus in M3.

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    A new species of Pteronisculus from the Middle Triassic (Anisian) of Luoping, Yunnan, China, and phylogenetic relationships of early actinopterygian fishes
    REN Yi, XU Guang-Hui
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2021, 59 (3): 169-199.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.210518
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    Actinopterygii, the largest group of extant vertebrates, includes Cladistia, Actinopteri (Chondrostei plus Neopterygii) and closely related fossil taxa. The extinct genus Pteronisculus belongs to a stem lineage of actinopterygian fishes represented by 11 species from the Early Triassic of Madagascar, Europe and North America, and a single species from the early Middle Triassic of China. Here, we report the discovery of a new species of this genus, Pteronisculus changae, on the basis of five well-preserved specimens from the Middle Triassic (Anisian) marine deposits exposed in Luoping, eastern Yunnan, China. The discovery documents the second convincing species of Pteronisculus in the Middle Triassic and the largest stem actinopterygian fish in the Luoping Biota, having a maximum total length of up to 295 mm. The new species possesses a toothed lacrimal, which is characteristic ofPteronisculus, but it is easily distinguished from other species of the genus by some autapomorphies, e.g., a medial process at the middle portion of the intertemporal, 21 supraneurals, and 83 lateral line scales. The results of our cladistic analysis provide new insights into the relationships of early actinopterygians and recover Pteronisculus as a sister taxon of the Carboniferous rhadinichthyid Cyranorhis at the actinopterygian stem. Based on the body form, teeth and other features, it can be deduced that Pteronisculus changae is likely a relatively fast-swimming predator, feeding on planktonic invertebrates and smaller or younger fishes known to occur in the same biota. As one of the youngest species of the genus, the new species provides additional evidence to suggest that the diversity of Pteronisculus is higher than previously thought and that the eastern Paleotethys Ocean likely constituted a refuge for species of this genus during the early Middle Triassic.

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    Discovery of Stalicoolithidae in Shanggao County, Jiangxi Province, China
    FANG Kai-Yong, LIU Qing-Hua, WANG Qiang, ZHU Xu-Feng, DENG Li, LIU Yu-Chun, WEN Jun, WANG Xiao-Lin
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2022, 60 (1): 69-78.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.211222
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    Here we describe a partially-preserved dinosaur clutch with twelve nearly complete eggs discovered in Shanggao County, Jiangxi Province that can be assigned to Coralloidoolithus shizuiwanensis. These dinosaur eggs are nearly spheroid in shape, with an average polar axis of 11.8 cm and an average equatorial diameter of 9.8 cm. The eggshell has a maximum thickness of about 2.5 mm and is composed of a thin cone layer and a multilevel columnar layer, the latter of which can be divided into inner, medial and outer zones. There are dense horizontal growth lines in the inner zone, lamellar and speckled dark materials in the medial zone, and the secondary eggshell units are distributed in the medial and outer zones. According to this discovery, we revise the main taxonomic characteristic of Coralloidoolithus in the Stalicoolithidae to be the loose and dark materials in the medial zone of the columnar layer. This discovery not only extends the paleogeographic distribution of Coralloidoolithus shizuiwanensis, but also provides comparative evidence of the Late Cretaceous strata in the Shanggao red basin.

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    New findings of Xiyuichthys (Xiushuiaspidae, Galeaspida) from the Silurian of Jiangxi Province and Tarim Basin
    SHAN Xian-Ren, LIN Xiang-Hong, ZHANG Yu-Meng, LI Xu-Tong, GAI Zhi-Kun
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (4): 245-260.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.230904
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    New findings of the early Silurian Xiyuichthys (Xiushuiaspidae, Galeaspida), Xiyuichthys lixiensis sp. nov. and X. zhangi are described from the Qingshui Formation in Jiangxi Province and the Tataertag Formation in Tarim Basin respectively. X. lixiensis sp. nov. is characterized by the partially serrated lateral margin of the headshield and the ornamentation composed of extremely coarse granular tubercles (one tubercle per square millimetre). The complete early Silurian biostratigraphic sequence in northwestern Jiangxi warrants the erection of a standard section for the correlation of Silurian shallow marine red beds in South China and Tarim blocks. Thus, the finding of X. lixiensis from the Qingshui Formation (Silurian Lower Red Beds) in Jiujiang of Jiangxi bears important biostratigraphic significance. It can directly compare to X. zhangi from the Tataertag Formation in Tarim Basin on the specific level, which corroborates the correlations between the Tataertag Formation in Tarim Block and the Silurian Lower Red Beds in South China. Fossil records suggest that Xiushuiaspidae have a relatively broader stratigraphic range, but exhibit distinct composition at different stratigraphic horizons, with Xiyuichthys and Changxingaspis arising in the Silurian Lower Red Beds (Qingshui, Tangchiawu, and Tataertag formations) and Xiushuiaspis occurring in the Silurian Upper Red Beds (Xikeng Formation).

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    Taxonomic revision of Sinoeugnathus kueichowensis (Halecomorphi, Holostei) from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou and Yunnan, China
    FENG Dong-Hao, XU Guang-Hui, MA Xin-Ying, REN Yi
    Vertebrata Palasiatica    2023, 61 (3): 161-181.   DOI: 10.19615/j.cnki.2096-9899.230703
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    The previously alleged ‘eugnathid amiiform’ Sinoeugnathus kueichowensis is a small-sized halecomorph from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) marine deposits of Guizhou and Yunnan, China. A morphological redescription and taxonomic revision of this taxon are provided based on a detailed examination of the holotype and 15 new specimens. Studies of these specimens revealed some morphological details previously undescribed or misidentified for this taxon, including a hatchet-shaped antorbital, two broad suborbitals, a sensory canal in the maxilla, and three pairs of extrascapulars. For the first time, Sinoeugnathus was incorporated into an analysis of halecomorph phylogeny, and the results recover it as the sister taxon of the Anisian Subortichthys from Luoping, Yunnan, and both are grouped with two Ladinian genera Allolepidotus and Eoeugnathus from the Monte San Giorgio area into a monophyletic group (namely Subortichthyidae fam. nov. herein) at the base of Ionoscopiformes. This taxonomic reassessment of Subortichthys provides new insights into the phylogeny and paleogeographic evolution of Ionoscopiformes.

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