, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 87-95
Date: 27 Nov 2010

The earliest record of birch mice from the Early Miocene Nei Mongol, China


The earliest species of birch mouse, Sicista primus sp. nov., was recovered from the 17-Ma-old (Early Miocene) Gashunyinadege locality, central Nei Mongol, China. It is ~9 Ma older than the previous first appearance datum of Sicista in Eurasia. This study indicates that North American Macrognathomys is a synonym of Eurasian Sicista, having 12 shared dental characters. As a result, the biogeography of dipodids indicates that Asian Sicista dispersed to North America as opposed to the hypothesis that Sicista originated from the North American clade. Sicista is one of the few extant rodent genera that originated as early as the Early Miocene.