Article

Swiss Journal of Palaeontology

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 161-181

Large mammals from Rickenbach (Switzerland, reference locality MP29, Late Oligocene): biostratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental implications

  • Bastien MennecartAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Institute of Geology, University of Fribourg
  • , Laureline ScherlerAffiliated withSection d’archéologie et paléontologie, République et Canton du Jura, Office de la Culture, Hôtel des Halles Email author 
  • , Florent HiardAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Institute of Geology, University of Fribourg
  • , Damien BeckerAffiliated withSection d’archéologie et paléontologie, République et Canton du Jura, Office de la Culture, Hôtel des Halles
  • , Jean-Pierre BergerAffiliated withDepartment of Geosciences, Institute of Geology, University of Fribourg

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Abstract

Since the first exploitation of the Huppersandstones quarry of Rickenbach (Canton Solothurn, Switzerland) in 1898, many fossils of plants, molluscs, and vertebrates have been discovered. The study of the small mammals brought this locality to international recognition as the type locality for the European mammalian reference level MP29 (latest Oligocene). Our study reviews the terrestrial herbivorous mammals of Rickenbach and aims to reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic conditions in which they lived. The perissodactyls and cetartiodactyls are described and identified: Protapirus sp. (Tapiridae), Ronzotherium romani and Diaceratherium lamilloquense (Rhinocerotidae), Anthracotherium magnum and Microbunodon minimum (Anthracotheriidae), Palaeochoerus pusillus (Suoidea), and Dremotherium guthi, “Amphitragulusquercyi, “Amphitragulusfeningrei, and Babameryx engesseri gen. et sp. nov. (Ruminantia). Based on the updated faunal list, a cenogram of the locality of Rickenbach is established. We also performed ecomorphologic analyses on ruminants and rhinocerotids. The reconstructed palaeoenvironment of Rickenbach probably corresponded to a savannah woodland affected by a subtropical climate with clear seasonality.

Keywords

Perissodactyla Cetartiodactyla Babameryx engesseri gen. et sp. nov. Cenogram Ecomorphology Chattian