, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 117–123 | Cite as

First diatomyid rodent from the Early Miocene of Arabia

  • Raquel López-AntoñanzasEmail author
Original Paper


The Asian family Diatomyidae is known from the Early Oligocene to the present. Among living rodents, this group comprises only the recently discovered Laonastes aenigmamus from Laos. Fossil diatomyids are known from only a few sites, in which they are often rare. The discovery of Pierremus explorator gen. nov. sp. nov. in the Lower Miocene of As-Sarrar (Saudi Arabia) raises to ten the number of extinct diatomyid species recognized. Pierremus explorator is the first record of a diatomyid from the Afro-Arabian plate. This discovery provides evidence that, together with other rodents (ctenodactylids, zapodids…), the diatomyids took advantage of the corridor that was established between Afro-Arabia and Eurasia in Early Miocene times.


Diatomyidae Saudi Arabia Miocene Dam Formation Paleobiogeography 



The rodent remains from Saudi Arabia were collected during field campaigns organized by H. Thomas (Collège de France, Paris) with permission of the Department of Antiquities and Museums in Riyadh. S. Sen (Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris) kindly lent the specimen for study. The author thanks M. A. Álvarez-Sierra (Universidad Complutense, Madrid), R. Asher (University of Cambridge, Cambridge), L. Flynn (Harvard University, Cambridge), L. Marivaux (Université Montpellier II, Montpellier), P. Mein (Université Lyon I, Villeurbanne), P. Peláez-Campomanes (Museo nacional de Ciencias naturales-CSIC, Madrid) and the anonymous reviewers who helped to improve this work. Thanks are due to M. Pickford (Collège de France, Paris) for correcting the English of the manuscript. The author is currently supported by the Ramón y Cajal Program and the research project CGL2008-05813-CO2-01 directed by J. Morales (Museo nacional de Ciencias naturales-CSIC, Madrid).

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOC 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de PaleobiologíaMuseo nacional de Ciencias naturales-CSICMadridSpain

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