Naturwissenschaften

, 98:397 | Cite as

The oldest African bat from the early Eocene of El Kohol (Algeria)

  • Anthony Ravel
  • Laurent Marivaux
  • Rodolphe Tabuce
  • Mohammed Adaci
  • Mohammed Mahboubi
  • Fateh Mebrouk
  • Mustapha Bensalah
Original Paper

Abstract

The Afro-Arabian Paleogene fossil record of Chiroptera is very poor. In North Africa and Arabia, this record is limited, thus far, to a few localities mainly in Tunisia (Chambi, late early Eocene), Egypt (Fayum, late Eocene to early Oligocene), and Sultanate of Oman (Taqah, early Oligocene). It consists primarily of isolated teeth or mandible fragments. Interestingly, these African fossil bats document two modern groups (Vespertilionoidea and Rhinolophoidea) from the early Eocene, while the bat fossil record of the same epoch of North America, Eurasia, and Australia principally includes members of the “Eochiroptera.” This paraphyletic group contains all primitive microbats excluding modern families. In Algeria, the region of Brezina, southeast of the Atlas Mountains, is famous for the early Eocene El Kohol Formation, which has yielded one of the earliest mammalian faunas of the African landmass. Recent fieldwork in the same area has led to the discovery of a new vertebrate locality, including isolated teeth of Chiroptera. These fossils represent the oldest occurrence of Chiroptera in Africa, thus extending back the record of the group to the middle early Eocene (Ypresian) on that continent. The material consists of an upper molar and two fragments of lower molars. The dental character association matches that of “Eochiroptera.” As such, although very fragmentary, the material testifies to the first occurrence of “Eochiroptera” in Algeria, and by extension in Africa. This discovery demonstrates that this basal group of Chiroptera had a worldwide distribution during the early Paleogene.

Keywords

Chiroptera Early Eocene Africa Algeria 

References

  1. Court N, Mahboubi M (1993) Reassessment of lower Eocene Seggeurius amourensis: aspects of primitive dental morphology in the mammalian order Hyracoidea. J Paleontol 67(5):889–893Google Scholar
  2. Eiting TP, Gunnell GF (2009) Global completeness of the bat fossil record. J Mamm Evol 16:151–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gheerbrant E, Cappetta H, Feist M, Jaeger JJ, Sudre J, Vianey-Liaud M, Sigé B (1992) La succession des faunes de vertébrés d'âge Paléocène supérieur et Eocène inférieur dans le bassin d'Ouarzazate, Maroc. Contexte géologique, bilans biostratigraphique et paléogéographique. Newsl Stratigr 28(1):33–58Google Scholar
  4. Gheerbrant E, Sudre J, Capetta H, Iarochene M, Amaghzaz M, Bouya B (2002) A new large mammal from the Ypresian of Morocco: evidence of surprising diversity of early proboscideans. Acta Palaeontol Pol 47:493–506Google Scholar
  5. Gheerbrant E, Sudre J, Capetta H, Mourer-Chauviré C, Bourdon E, Iarochene M, Amaghzaz M, Bouya B (2003) Les localités à mammifères des carrières de Grand Daoui, bassin des Ouled Abdoun, Maroc, Yprésien: Premier état des lieux. B Soc Geol Fr 174:279–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gheerbrant E, Sudre J, Tassy P, Amaghzaz M, Bouya B, Iarochene M (2005) Nouvelles données sur Phosphatherium escuilliei (Mammalia, Proboscidea) de l’Eocène inférieur du Maroc, apports à la phylogénie des Proboscidea et des ongulés lophodontes. Geodiversitas 27:239–333Google Scholar
  7. Gingerich PD (2006) Environment and evolution through the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum. Trends Ecol Evol 21(5):246–253PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gunnell GF (2010) Chiroptera. In: Sanders WJ, Werdelin L (eds) Cenozoic mammals of Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 587–604Google Scholar
  9. Gunnell GF, Simmons NB (2005) Fossil evidence and the origin of bats. J Mamm Evol 12(1/2):209–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gunnell GF, Jacobs BF, Herendeen PS, Head JJ, Kowalski E, Msuya CP, Mizambwa FA, Harrison T, Habersetzer J, Storch G (2003) Oldest placental mammal from sub-Saharan Africa: Eocene microbat from Tanzania—evidence for early evolution of sophisticated echolocation. Palaeontol Electronica 5(3):10ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Gunnell GF, Simons EL, Seiffert ER (2008) New bats (mammalia: Chiroptera) from the late Eocene and early Oligocene, Fayum depression, Egypt. J Vertebr Paleontol 28(1):1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Habersetzer J, Storch G (1992) Cochlea size in extant Chiroptera and middle Eocene microchiropterans from Messel. Naturwissenschaften 79:462–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hand S, Novacek M, Godthelp H, Archer M (1994) First Eocene bat from Australia. J Vertebr Paleontol 14(3):375–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harrison DL, Hooker JJ (2010) Late middle Eocene bats from the Creechbarrow Limestone Formation Dorset, southern England with description of a new species of Archaeonycteris (Chiroptera: Archaeonycteridae). Acta Chiropterol 12(1):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hill JE, Smith JD (eds) (1984) Bats a natural history, vol 877. British Museum (Natural History) Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Hooker JJ (1996) A primitive emballonurid bat (Chiroptera, Mammalia) from the earliest Eocene of England. Palaeovertebrata 25(2–4):287–300Google Scholar
  17. Jepsen GL (1966) Early Eocene bat from Wyoming. Science 154(3754):1333–1339PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jodot P (1953) Les Pseudoceratodes du Nummulitique continental circumsaharien. Bull Serv carte Géol Algér 17:124Google Scholar
  19. Legendre S (1984) Etude odontologique des représentants actuels du groupe Tadarida (Chiroptera, Molossidae). Implications phylogénétiques, systématiques et zoogéographiques. Rev Suisse Zool 91(2):399–442Google Scholar
  20. Mahboubi M, Ameur R, Crochett JY, Jaeger JJ (1984) Earliest known proboscidean from early Eocene of north-west Africa. Nature 308(2):543–544PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mahboubi M, Ameur R, Crochet JY, Jaeger JJ (1986) El Kohol (Saharian Atlas, Algeria): a new Eocene mammal locality in northwestern Africa. Stratigraphical, phylogenetic and paleobiogeographical data. Palaeontogr Abt A 192:15–49Google Scholar
  22. Maitre E, Sigé B, Escarguel G (2008) A new family of bats in the Paleogene of Europe: systematics and implications for the origin of emballonurids and rhinolophoids. N Jb Geol Paläont Abh 250(2):199–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marandat B (1991) Mammifères de l'Ilerdien moyen (Eocène inférieur) des Corbières et du Minervois (bas-Languedoc, France). Systématique, biostratigraphie, corrélations. Palaeovertebrata 20(2–3):55–144Google Scholar
  24. Mebrouk F, Mahboubi M, Bessedik M, Feist M (1997) L'apport des charophytes à la stratigraphie des formations continentales paléogènes de l'Algérie. Geobios 30:171–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nouhbani A, Hautier L, Jaeger J-J, Mahboubi M, Tabuce R (2008) Variabilité dentaire et crânienne de Numidotherium koholense (Mammalia, Proboscidea) de l’Eocène d’ El Kohol, Algérie. Geobios 41:515–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Russell DE, Sigé B (1970) Révision des chiroptères du Lutétien de Messel (Hesse, Allemagne). Palaeovertebrata 3(4):83–182Google Scholar
  27. Russell DE, Louis P, Savage DE (1973) Chiroptera and Dermoptera of the French early Eocene, vol 95. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  28. Seiffert ER (2010) Chronology of Paleogene mammal localities. In: Sanders WJ, Werdelin L (eds) Cenozoic mammals of Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 19–26Google Scholar
  29. Sigé B (1985) Les chiroptères oligocènes du Fayum, Egypte. Geol Palaeontol 19:161–189Google Scholar
  30. Sigé B (1991) Rhinolophoidea et Vespertilionoidea (Chiroptera) du Chambi (Eocène inférieur de Tunisie). Aspect biostratigraphique, biogéographique et paléoécologique de l'origine des chiroptères modernes. N Jb Geol Paläont Abh 182(3):355–376Google Scholar
  31. Sigé B, Thomas H, Sen S, Gheerbrant E, Roger J, Al-Sulaimani Z (1994) Les chiroptères de Taqah (Oligocène inférieur, Sultanat d'Oman). Premier inventaire systématique. Münchner Geowiss Abh 26(A):35–48Google Scholar
  32. Sigé B, Habersetzer J, Storch G (1998) The deciduous dentition and dental replacement in the Eocene bat Palaeochiropteryx tupaiodon from Messel: the primitive condition and beginning of specialization of milk teeth among Chiroptera. Lethaia 31:349–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sigé B, Maitre E, Hand S (2007) The primitive condition of the lower molars among bat. J Vertebr Paleonto 27(supplement to number 3):146aGoogle Scholar
  34. Simmons NB (2005) Chapter 11, Chiroptera. In: Rose KD, Archibald JD (eds) The rise of placental mammals: origins and relationships of the major extant clades. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, pp 159–173Google Scholar
  35. Simmons NB, Geisler JH (1998) Phylogenetic relationship of Icaronycteris, Archaeonycteris, Hassianycteris, and Palaeochiropteryx to extant bat lineages, with comments on the evolution of echolocation and foraging strategies in Microchiroptera. Bull U S Natl Mus 235:1–182Google Scholar
  36. Simmons NB, Seymour KL, Habersetzer J, Gunnell GF (2008) Primitive early Eocene bat from Wyoming and the evolution of flight and echolocation. Nature 451(14):818–821PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Smith T, Rana RS, Missiaen P, Rose KD, Sahni A, Singh H, Singh L (2007) High bat (Chiroptera) diversity in the early Eocene of India. Naturwissenschaften 94:1003–1009PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Storch G, Sigé B, Habersetzer J (2002) Tachypteron franzeni n. gen., n. sp., earliest emballonurid bat from middle Eocene of Messel (Mammalia, Chiroptera). Palaeontol Z 76(2):189–199Google Scholar
  39. Tabuce R, Antunes MT, Sigé B (2009) A new primitive bat from the earliest Eocene of Europe. J Vertebr Paleontol 29(2):627–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Teeling EC, Springer MS, Madsen O, Bates P, O'Brien SJ, Murphy WJ (2005) A molecular phylogeny for bats illuminates biogeography and the fossil record. Science 307:580–584PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tejedor M, Czaplewski NJ, Goin FJ, Aragon E (2005) The oldest record of South American bats. J Vertebr Paleontol 25(4):990–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Van Valen L (1979) The evolution of bat. Evol Theory 4:103–121Google Scholar
  43. Veselka N, McErlain DD, Holdsworth DW, Eger JL, Chlem RK, Mason MJ, Brain KL, Faure PA, Fenton MB (2010) A bony connection signals laryngeal echolocation in bats. Nature 463:939–942PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yongsheng T (1997) Middle Eocene small mammals from Liguanqiao Basin of Henan Province and Yuanqu Basin of Shanxi Province, central China. Acta Palaeontol Sinic 18(New Series C Number 26):26–256Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Ravel
    • 1
  • Laurent Marivaux
    • 1
  • Rodolphe Tabuce
    • 1
  • Mohammed Adaci
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohammed Mahboubi
    • 3
  • Fateh Mebrouk
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mustapha Bensalah
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR-CNRS 5554, Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, cc064Université Montpellier IIMontpellier cedex 05France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de recherche n°25, Département des Sciences de la TerreUniversité Abou Bekr BelkaïdTlemcenAlgeria
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Paléontologie stratigraphique et PaléoenvironnementUniversité d’OranOranAlgeria
  4. 4.Département des Sciences de la Terre, Faculté des SciencesUniversité de JijelJijelAlgeria

Personalised recommendations