, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 161-181
Date: 14 Dec 2011

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

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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.