Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 100, Issue 5, pp 437–449

A new fossil thryonomyid from the Late Miocene of the United Arab Emirates and the origin of African cane rats

  • Brian P. Kraatz
  • Faysal Bibi
  • Andrew Hill
  • Mark Beech
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-013-1043-4

Cite this article as:
Kraatz, B.P., Bibi, F., Hill, A. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2013) 100: 437. doi:10.1007/s00114-013-1043-4

Abstract

Cane rats (Thryonomyidae) are represented today by two species inhabiting sub-Saharan Africa. Their fossil record is predominately African, but includes several Miocene species from Arabia and continental Asia that represent dispersal events from Africa. For example, Paraulacodus indicus, known from the Miocene of Pakistan, is closely related to living Thryonomys. Here we describe a new thryonomyid, Protohummus dango, gen. et sp. nov., from the late Miocene Baynunah Formation of the United Arab Emirates. The new thryonomyid is less derived than “Thryonomysasakomae from the latest Miocene of Ethiopia and clarifies the origin of crown Thryonomys and the evolutionary transition from Paraulacodus. A phylogenetic analysis shows Protohummus dango to be morphologically intermediate between Paraulacodus spp. and extinct and living Thryonomys spp. The morphological grade and phylogenetic position of Protohummus dango further supports previous biochronological estimates of the age of the Baynunah Formation (ca. 6–8 Ma).

Keywords

ThryonomyidaeBaynunah formationMioceneArabiaAfricaAsia

Abbreviations

AUH

Fossil specimens from the Baynunah Formation curated and housed with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (previously the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage)

LACM

Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

Pa

Paracone

Prl

Protoloph

Pr

Protocone

Hy

Hypocone

Pol

Posteroloph

Ml

Metaloph

Mt

Metacone

Al

Anteroloph

Pold

Posterolophid

Hyd

Hypoconid

Prd

Protoconid

Mld

Metalophulid I

Mtd

Metaconid

End

Entoconid

Hyld

Hypolophid

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian P. Kraatz
    • 1
  • Faysal Bibi
    • 2
  • Andrew Hill
    • 3
  • Mark Beech
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyWestern University of Health SciencesPomonaUSA
  2. 2.Department of MammalogyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Historic Environment DepartmentAbu Dhabi Tourism & Culture AuthorityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  5. 5.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of York, The King’s ManorYorkUK