, Volume 48, Issue 11, pp 1129-1134

A new species ofGobiconodon (Triconodonta, Mammalia) and its implication for the age of Jehol Biota

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Abstract

A new species ofGobiconodon is found from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China. The new taxa,G. zofiae sp. nov., has a confluent opening for branches II and III of the trigeminal nerve on the anterior lamina of the petrosal.G. zofiae sp. nov. is similar toRepenomamus in having an ossified Meckel’s cartilage connecting the lower jaws and ear region. The new species, with enlarged I1/I1, posteriorly located infraorbital foramen and four mental foramina, distinctly differs from the other species ofGobiconodon. The new material indicates thatGobiconodon has four, not five, upper molariforms. The presence ofGobiconodon in Jehol Biota makes it possible to correlate Jehol Biota with faunas in eastern Asia and North America, and suggests the age of the Yixian Formation to be Early Cretaceous.

The Chinese version of this paper was published on Chinese Science Bulletin (in Chinese), 2003, 48: 177–182, which should be referred for citation of the naming of the new species,Gobiconodon zofiae sp. nov.