, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 417–422

Euarchontan affinity of Paleocene Afro-European adapisoriculid mammals and their origin in the late Cretaceous Deccan Traps of India

Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-010-0651-5

Cite this article as:
Smith, T., De Bast, E. & Sigé, B. Naturwissenschaften (2010) 97: 417. doi:10.1007/s00114-010-0651-5


The controversial family Adapisoriculidae, a group of shrew-sized Paleocene mammals, had proposed relationships with insectivores, marsupials and more recently to plesiadapiforms. Adapisoriculid remains are numerous in the early Paleocene locality of Hainin, Belgium, and allow us a test of these different phylogenetic hypotheses. Here, we identify the first tarsal bones of adapisoriculid mammals. The highly specialised bones indicate an arboreal mode of life with euarchontan affinity. Moreover, the tarsal bones are morphologically very close to those of the late Cretaceous Deccanolestes from the Deccan intertrappean beds of India, and also share several characters with the Paleocene plesiadapiforms and the extant cynocephalid dermopterans. The adapisoriculid affinities of Deccanolestes are also confirmed by tooth morphology, indicating that Deccanolestes is a primitive member of this family. These phylogenetic affinities suggest a paleobiogeographic scenario for the family with dispersal either via East Africa or across the Tethys area.


Adapisoriculidae Deccanolestes Euarchonta Mammalia Paleocene Belgium 

Supplementary material

114_2010_651_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (216 kb)
S1Association of dental and tarsal specimens of adapisoriculids (PDF 215 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (6 kb)
S2Measurements and body mass of Bustylus marandati (PDF 6 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
S3Teilhardina belgica footbones (PDF 1178 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (41 kb)
S4Marcgodinotius indicus footbones (PDF 40 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (147 kb)
S5Tupaia sp. footbones (PDF 147 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (169 kb)
S6Cryptotopos? sp. (Nyctitheriidae) footbones (PDF 168 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM7_ESM.pdf (171 kb)
S7Plesiadapis tricuspidens footbones (PDF 170 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM8_ESM.pdf (15 kb)
S8Ignacius clarkforkiensis footbones (PDF 15 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM9_ESM.pdf (70 kb)
S9Mixodectes malaris footbones (PDF 70 kb)
114_2010_651_MOESM10_ESM.pdf (28 kb)
S10Cynocephalus volans footbones (PDF 28 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PalaeontologyRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Université Claude Bernard–Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance

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