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Université de Fribourg

First record of fossil anguines (Squamata; Anguidae) from the Oligocene and Miocene of Turkey

Čerňanský, Andrej ; Vasilyan, Davit ; Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Joniak, Peter ; Mayda, Serdar ; Klembara, Jozef

In: Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 2017, vol. 110, no. 3, p. 741–751

Fossil anguine lizard specimens from several Turkish localities are described in this paper. The material comes from ten different localities, spanning a large geographic area consisting of both parts of the European Turkey and Anatolia, and ranging in age from the Oligocene to the Late Miocene. In certain cases, the generic determination was possible and, accordingly, members of Ophisaurus...

Université de Fribourg

The earliest evidence for Upper Paleolithic occupation in the Armenian Highlands at Aghitu-3 Cave

Kandel, Andrew W. ; Gasparyan, Boris ; Allué, Ethel ; Bigga, Gerlinde ; Bruch, Angela A. ; Cullen, Victoria L. ; Frahm, Ellery ; Ghukasyan, Robert ; Gruwier, Ben ; Jabbour, Firas ; Miller, Christopher E. ; Taller, Andreas ; Vardazaryan, Varduhi ; Vasilyan, Davit ; Weissbrod, Lior

In: Journal of Human Evolution, 2017, vol. 110, no. Supplement C, p. 37–68

With its well-preserved archaeological and environmental records, Aghitu-3 Cave permits us to examine the settlement patterns of the Upper Paleolithic (UP) people who inhabited the Armenian Highlands. We also test whether settlement of the region between ∼39–24,000 cal BP relates to environmental variability. The earliest evidence occurs in archaeological horizon (AH) VII from...

Université de Fribourg

Exceptional soft tissues preservation in a mummified frog-eating Eocene salamander

Tissier​, Jérémy ; Rage, Jean-Claude ; Laurin, Michel

In: PeerJ, 2017, vol. 5, p. e3861

Fossils are almost always represented by hard tissues but we present here the exceptional case of a three-dimensionally preserved specimen that was ‘mummified’ (likely between 40 and 34 million years ago) in a terrestrial karstic environment. This fossil is the incomplete body of a salamander, Phosphotriton sigei, whose skeleton and external morphology are well preserved, as revealed by...

Université de Fribourg

A review of the fossil record of turtles of the clade Thalassochelydia

Anquetin, Jérémy ; Püntener, Christian ; Joyce, Walter G.

In: Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 2017, vol. 58, no. 2, p. 317–369

The Late Jurassic (Oxfordian to Tithonian) fossil record of Europe and South America has yielded a particularly rich assemblage of aquatic pan-cryptodiran turtles that are herein tentatively hypothesized to form a monophyletic group named Thalassochelydia. Thalassochelydians were traditionally referred to three families, Eurysternidae, Plesiochelyidae, and Thalassemydidae, but the current...

Université de Fribourg

A revision of the trionychid turtle Procyclanorbis sardus Portis, 1901 from the late Miocene of Sardinia (Italy) = Une révision de la tortue trionychidé Procyclanorbis sardus Portis, 1901 du Miocène supérieur de Sardaigne (Italie)

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Zoboli, Daniel ; Pillola, Gian Luigi ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Annales de Paléontologie, 2017, vol. 103, no. 2, p. 127–134

Procyclanorbis sardus Portis, 1901 is the first fossil trionychid turtle described from Sardinia. This late Miocene taxon was originally considered to have affinities with the African and southern Asian cyclanorbines. We here redescribe in detail the holotype specimen of this species, which has suffered severe degradation since its original publication. A comparison between the original state of...

Université de Fribourg

The last European varanid: demise and extinction of monitor lizards (Squamata, Varanidae) from Europe

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Villa, Andrea ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2017, vol. 37, no. 2, p. e1301946

Remains of a varanid lizard from the middle Pleistocene of the Tourkobounia 5 locality near Athens, Greece are described. The new material comprises cranial elements only (one maxilla, one dentary, and one tooth) and is attributed to Varanus, the genus to which all European Neogene varanid occurrences have been assigned. Previously, the youngest undisputed varanid from Europe had been...

Université de Fribourg

Fossil lizards and snakes from Ano Metochi – a diverse squamate fauna from the latest Miocene of northern Greece

Georgalis, Georgios L. ; Villa, Andrea ; Delfino, Massimo

In: Historical Biology, 2017, vol. 29, no. 6, p. 730–742

We here describe a new squamate fauna from the late Miocene (Messinian, MN 13) of Ano Metochi, northern Greece. The lizard fauna of Ano Metochi is here shown to be rather diverse, consisting of lacertids, anguids, and potential cordylids, while snakes are also abundant, consisting of scolecophidians, natricines and at least two different colubrines. If our identification is correct, the Ano...

Université de Fribourg

The comparative osteology of Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., a new coastal marine turtle from the Late Jurassic of Porrentruy (Switzerland)

Püntener​, Christian ; Anquetin, Jérémy ; Billon-Bruyat, Jean-Paul

In: PeerJ, 2017, vol. 5, p. e3482

During the Late Jurassic, several groups of eucryptodiran turtles inhabited the shallow epicontinental seas of Western Europe. Plesiochelyidae are an important part of this first radiation of crown-group turtles into coastal marine ecosystems. Fossils of Plesiochelyidae occur in many European localities, and are especially abundant in the Kimmeridgian layers of the Swiss Jura Mountains (Solothurn...

Université de Fribourg

A new species of Argyromys (Rodentia, Mammalia) from the oligocene of the valley of lakes (Mongolia): its importance for palaeobiogeographical homogeneity across Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan

López-Guerrero, Paloma ; Maridet, Olivier ; Zhang, Zhaoqun ; Daxner-Höck, Gudrun

In: PLOS ONE, 2017, vol. 12, no. 3, p. e0172733

We describe a new species of Rodentia (Mammalia), Argyromys cicigei sp. nov. from Toglorhoi (fossil bed TGW-A/2a) in Mongolia and Ulantatal (fossil beds UTL 1 and UTL 7) in China. Its tooth morphology differs from the type species Argyromys aralensis from Akespe in Kazakhstan by smaller size and simpler structures. Argyromys has been assigned in different families of Muroidea, such as...

Université de Fribourg

Anatomical differentiation of isolated scales of amiiform fishes (Amiiformes, Actinopterygii) from the Early Cretaceous of Las Hoyas (Cuenca, Spain)

Martín-Abad, Hugo

In: Comptes Rendus Palevol, 2017, vol. 16, no. 3, p. 257–265

The scales of amiiform fishes are more different from each other than previously stated. The anatomy of the scales of the three amiiform taxa from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian) of Las Hoyas (Cuenca, Spain) is described in detail. The differences between them has allowed the segregation of isolated scales form the fossil record of this site into the three taxa, providing relatively large...