Naturwissenschaften

, 94:575 | Cite as

The oldest African fox (Vulpes riffautae n. sp., Canidae, Carnivora) recovered in late Miocene deposits of the Djurab desert, Chad

  • Louis de Bonis
  • Stéphane Peigné
  • Andossa Likius
  • Hassane Taïsso Mackaye
  • Patrick Vignaud
  • Michel Brunet
Original Paper

Abstract

We report on the oldest fox (Canidae) ever found in Africa. It is dated to 7 Ma based on the degree of evolution of the whole fauna. It belongs to a new species. Its overall size and some morphological characteristics distinguish the Chadian specimen from all the other foxes. The presence of Vulpes and of the genus Eucyon in slightly younger African locality, as well as in southwestern Europe in the late Miocene, may indicate that canids migrated in Europe from Africa through a trans-Mediterranean route.

Keywords

Mammalia Carnivora Canidae Africa Late Miocene 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Many thanks are due to the authorities from Chad and France for supporting the field expeditions in the Djurab. This work was supported by a grant from the RHOI/NSF program. For access to comparative material, we thank D. Robineau and Alexis Martin, Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris. Many thanks are also due to Sabine Riffaut who skillfully prepared the drawings and Xiaoming Wang (Natural History Museum, Los Angeles) for critics on an earlier draft of the paper. We are especially grateful to Lars Werdelin (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm) for his insightful comments and for improving the language. We also thank two anonymous referees for their comments and all the MPFT members who helped to collect the fossils.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis de Bonis
    • 1
  • Stéphane Peigné
    • 1
  • Andossa Likius
    • 2
  • Hassane Taïsso Mackaye
    • 2
  • Patrick Vignaud
    • 1
  • Michel Brunet
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géobiologie, Biochronologie et Paléontologie humaine, UMR 6046 CNRSUniversité de PoitiersPoitiers cedexFrance
  2. 2.Université de N’DjamenaN’DjamenaChad

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