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Senckenbergiana lethaea

, Volume 77, Issue 1–2, pp 161–193 | Cite as

The ancestors of the lemmings (Lemmini, Arvicolinae, Cricetidae, Rodentia) in the early Pliocene of Wölfersheim near Frankfurt am Main; Germany

  • Oldřich Fejfar
  • Charles A. Repenning
Article

Abstract

More than 1000 isolated molars of the advanced cricetids with high-crowned molars (the subfamilies Arvicolinae; the “microtoid” Baranomyinae, Prometheomyinae and Trilophomyinae) from the early Pliocene (MN 15b) in the lignite quarry “Römerstraße” at Wölfersheim in the Horloff Basin about 30 km north-east of Frankfurt am Main represent the following forms:Mimomys (Mimomys) hassiacus Heller 1936,Mimomys (Cseria) gracilis Kretzoi 1969,Dolomys occitanus (Thaler 1956),Germanomys weileri Heller 1936,Baranomys longidens (Kowalski 1960),Baranomys kowalskii (Kretzoi 1962) andTrilophomys vandeweerdi Brandy 1979. Later, more extensive examinations revealed the unexpected record of two new forms with rooted molars which represent ancestral forms of two lemming tribes of the subfamily Arvicolinae, the Synaptomyini (Tobienia kretzoii n. g., n. sp.) and Lemmini (Lemmini n. g., n. sp.). The new genusTobienia shows close affinities to the extant North American genus of the Northern Bog LemmingMictomys True 1894, the history of which in North America is described in detail. The oldest record,Mictomys vetus (Wilson 1934), has rootless molars and is about 1.5 Ma younger than the fauna of Wölfersheim. The assemblage of both mastodontsAnancus arvernensis andMammut borsoni and a tapirTapirus arvernensis, together with the advanced cricetids supports a Late Ruscinian (mammalian zone MN 15b, i.e. approx. 4 Ma) age for the Wölfersheim fauna.

Key words

Fossil mammals Arvicolines Rodents ancestral lemmings early Poliocene Horloff Basin — Vogelsberg Germany 

Die Ausgangsformen der Lemminge (Lemmini, Arvicolinae, Cricetidae, Rodentia) im unteren Pliozän von Wölfersheim nahe Frankfurt am Main; Deutschland

Kurzfassung

Mehr als 1000 isolierte hochkronig-prismatische Molaren fortschrittlicher hamsterartiger Nagetiere (die Unterfamilien Arvicolinae, die sog. “microtoide” Baranomyinae, Prometheomyinae und Trilophomyinae) aus dem unteren Pliozän (die Zone MN 15b) der Lignitschacht “Römerstraße” von Wölfersheim im Horloff-Graben/Vogelsberg ca. 30 km NE von Frankfurt am Main belegen folgende Arten:Mimomys (Mimomys) hassiacus Heller 1936,Mimomys (Cseria) gracilis Kretzoi 1969,Dolomys occitanus (Thaler 1956),Germanomys weileri Heller 1936,Baranomys longidens (Kowalski 1960),Baranomys kowalskii (Kretzoi 1962) undTrilophomys vandeweerdi Brandy 1979. Detaillierte Vergleiche ergaben unerwartet zwei neue Formen der Unterfamilie Arvicolinae mit bewurzelten Molaren, welche die Ausgangsformen von zwei Tribus der Lemminge — Synaptomyini (Tobienia kretzoii n. g., n. sp.) und Lemmini (Lemmini n. g., n. sp.) — repräsentieren. Die erste besser belegte GattungTobienia zeigt enge Beziehungen zur rezenten Gattung des “nördlichen Sumpflemming”Mictomys True 1894 Nordamerikas; ihre Geschichte wird ausführlich geschildert. Der älteste Beleg,Mictomys vetus (Wilson 1934), hat wurzellose Molaren, und ist 1.5 Mill. J. jünger als das Niveau der Fauna von Wölfersheim. Das Vorkommen der beiden Mastodon-ArtenAnancus arvernensis undMammut borsoni und des TapirsTapirus arvernensis zusammen mit den fortschrittlichen Cricetiden unterstützt das Alter der Fauna als ausgehendes Ruscinium (die Säugetier-Zone MN 15b), d. h. um die 4 Mill. J.

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Copyright information

© E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oldřich Fejfar
    • 1
  • Charles A. Repenning
    • 2
  1. 1.Paleontological InstituteCharles UniversityPrague 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.LakewoodU.S.A.

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