Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 100, Issue 5, pp 437–449 | Cite as

A new fossil thryonomyid from the Late Miocene of the United Arab Emirates and the origin of African cane rats

  • Brian P. Kraatz
  • Faysal Bibi
  • Andrew Hill
  • Mark Beech
Original Paper

Abstract

Cane rats (Thryonomyidae) are represented today by two species inhabiting sub-Saharan Africa. Their fossil record is predominately African, but includes several Miocene species from Arabia and continental Asia that represent dispersal events from Africa. For example, Paraulacodus indicus, known from the Miocene of Pakistan, is closely related to living Thryonomys. Here we describe a new thryonomyid, Protohummus dango, gen. et sp. nov., from the late Miocene Baynunah Formation of the United Arab Emirates. The new thryonomyid is less derived than “Thryonomysasakomae from the latest Miocene of Ethiopia and clarifies the origin of crown Thryonomys and the evolutionary transition from Paraulacodus. A phylogenetic analysis shows Protohummus dango to be morphologically intermediate between Paraulacodus spp. and extinct and living Thryonomys spp. The morphological grade and phylogenetic position of Protohummus dango further supports previous biochronological estimates of the age of the Baynunah Formation (ca. 6–8 Ma).

Keywords

Thryonomyidae Baynunah formation Miocene Arabia Africa Asia 

Abbreviations

AUH

Fossil specimens from the Baynunah Formation curated and housed with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (previously the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage)

LACM

Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

Pa

Paracone

Prl

Protoloph

Pr

Protocone

Hy

Hypocone

Pol

Posteroloph

Ml

Metaloph

Mt

Metacone

Al

Anteroloph

Pold

Posterolophid

Hyd

Hypoconid

Prd

Protoconid

Mld

Metalophulid I

Mtd

Metaconid

End

Entoconid

Hyld

Hypolophid

Supplementary material

114_2013_1043_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (654 kb)
ESM Fig. S1Strict consensus trees that a exclude Lavocatomys, b exclude Gaudeamus and c include both Gaudeamus and Lavocatomys (JPEG 654 kb)

References

  1. Antoine PO, Marivaux L, Croft DA, Billet G, Ganerød M, Jaramillo C, Martin T, Orliac MJ, Tejada J, Altamirano AJ, Duranthon F, Fanjat G, Rousse S, Salas Gismondi R (2012) Middle Eocene rodents from Peruvian Amazonia reveal the pattern and timing of caviomorph origins and biogeography. Proc Roy Soc B: Bio Sci 279:1319–1326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bibi F (2011) Mio–Pliocene faunal exchanges and African biogeography: the record of fossil bovids. PLoS One 6:e16688PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bibi F, Shabel AB, Kraatz BP, Stidham T (2005) New fossil ratite (Aves: Palaeognathae) eggshell discoveries from the late Miocene Baynunah Formation of the United Arab Emirates, Arabian Peninsula. Palaeontol Electron 9:13pGoogle Scholar
  4. Bibi F, Hill A, Beech M, Yasin W (2013) Late Miocene fossils from the Baynunah Formation, United Arab Emirates: summary of a decade of new work. In: Wang X, Flynn LJ, Fortelius M (eds) Fossil mammals of Asia: neogene biostratigraphy and chronology. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Bishop LC, Hill A (1999) Fossil Suidae from the Baynunah Formation, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In: Whybrow PJ, Hill A (eds) Fossil vertebrates of Arabia, with emphasis on the Late Miocene faunas, geology, and palaeoenvironments of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yale University Press, New Haven, pp 254–270Google Scholar
  6. Coster P, Benammi M, Lazzari V, Billet G, Martin T, Salem M, Abolhassan Bilal A, Chaimanee Y, Schuster M, Valentin X, Brunet M, Jaeger J-J (2010) Gaudeamus lavocati sp. nov. (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from the early Oligocene of Zallah, Libya: first African caviomorph? Naturwissenschaften 97:697–706PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Bruijn H (1999) A late Miocene insectivore and rodent fauna from the Baynunah Formation, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In: Whybrow PJ, Hill A (eds) Fossil vertebrates of Arabia, with emphasis on the Late Miocene faunas, geology, and palaeoenvironments of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yale University Press, New Haven, pp 186–200Google Scholar
  8. de Bruijn H, Whybrow PJ (1994) A Late Miocene rodent fauna from the Baynunah Formation, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. P K Ned Akad B Phys 97:407–422Google Scholar
  9. Denys C (1987) Fossil rodents (other than Pedetidae) from Laetoli. In: Leakey MD, Harris JM (eds) Laetoli: a Pliocene site in Northern Tanzania. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 118–170Google Scholar
  10. Denys C (2011) Rodents. In: Harrison T (ed.) Paleontology and geology of Laetoli: human evolution in context, vol. 2, Fossil hominins and the associated fauna. Springer, New York, pp 15–53Google Scholar
  11. Flynn LJ, Winkler AJ (1994) Dispersalist implications of Paraulacodus indicus: a South Asian rodent of African affinity. Hist Bio 9:223–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Flynn LJ, Jacobs LL, Sen S (1983) La diversite de Paraulacodus (Thryonomyidae, Rodentia) et des groupes apparentes pendant le Miocene. Ann Paléontol, Paris 69:355–366Google Scholar
  13. Flynn LJ, Tedford RH, Zhanxiang Q (1991) Enrichment and stability in the Pliocene mammalian fauna of North China. Paleobiology 17:246–265Google Scholar
  14. Geraads D (1998) Rongeurs du Miocène supérieur de Chorora (Ethiopie): Cricetidae, Rhizomyidae, Phiomyidae, Thryonomyidae, Sciuridae. Palaeovertebrata 27:203–216Google Scholar
  15. Hill A, Bibi F, Beech M, Yasin al-Tikriti W (2012) Before archaeology: life and environments in the Miocene of Abu Dhabi. In: Potts D, Hellyer P (eds) Fifty years of Emirates archaeology. Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Abu Dhabi, pp 20–33Google Scholar
  16. Holroyd PA, Stevens NJ (2009) Differentiation of Phiomys andrewsi from Lavacatomys aequatorialis (n.gen., n.sp.) (Rodentia, Thryonomyidae) in the Oligo–Miocene interval on continental Africa. J Vert Pal 29:1331–1334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kawamura Y, Nakaya H (1984) Thryonomyid rodent from the late Miocene Namurungule Formation, Samburu Hills, northern Kenya. Afr Study Monogr Suppl. 2:133–139Google Scholar
  18. López Antoñanzas R, Sen S (2005) New species of Paraphiomys (Rodentia, Thryonomyidae) from the Lower Miocene of As-Sarrar, Saudi Arabia. Paleontology 48:223–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. López Antoñanzas R, Sen S, Mein P (2004) Systematics and phylogeny of the cane rats (Rodentia: Thryonomyidae). Zool J Linn Soc-Lond 142:423–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Maddison WP, Maddison DR (2010) Mesquite: a modular system for evolutionary analysis. Version 2.74. http://mesquiteproject.org
  21. Manthi FK (2007) A preliminary review of the rodent fauna from Lemudong'o, Southwestern Kenya, and its implication to the late Miocene paleoenvironments. Kirtlandia 56:92–105Google Scholar
  22. Marivaux L, Lihoreau F, Manthi FK, Ducrocq S (2012) A new basal Phiomorph (Rodentia, Hystricognathi) from the late Oligocene of Lokone (Turkana Basin, Kenya). J Vert Pal 32:646–657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McKenna MC, Bell SK (1997) Classification of mammals above the species level. Columbia University Press, New York, p 631Google Scholar
  24. Sallam H, Seiffert ER, Steiper ME, Simons EL (2009) Fossil and molecular evidence constrain scenarios for the early evolutionary and biogeographic history of hystricognathous rodents. P Natl A Sci 106:16722–16727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sallam H, Seiffert ER, Simons EL (2011) Craniodental morphology and systematics of a new family of hystricognathous rodents (Gaudeamuridae) from the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene of Egypt. PLoS One 6:e16525PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Swofford DL (2002) PAUP*: phylogenetic analysis using pasimony (*and other methods) Version 4. Sinauer Associates, SunderlandGoogle Scholar
  27. Tassy P (1999) Miocene elephantids (Mammalia) from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; palaeobiogeographic implications. In: Whybrow PJ, Hill A (eds) Fossil vertebrates of Arabia, with emphasis on the Late Miocene faunas, geology, and palaeoenvironments of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yale University Press, New Haven, pp 209–233Google Scholar
  28. Thomas H (1984) Les origines africaines des Bovidae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) miocènes des lignites de Grosseto (Toscane, Italie). Bull Muséum Natl Hist Nat Sect C 6:81–101Google Scholar
  29. Thomas H, Sen S, Khan M, Battail B, Ligabue G (1982) The Lower Miocene fauna of As-Sarrar (Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia). Atlal 5:109–136Google Scholar
  30. Thomas H, Roger J, Sen S, Pickford M, Gheerbrant E, Al-Sulaimani Z, Al-Busaidi S (1999) Oligocene and Miocene vertebrates in the Southern Arabian Peninsula (Sultanate of Oman) and their geodynamic and paleogeographic settings. In: Whybrow PJ, Hill A (eds) Fossil vertebrates of Arabia, with emphasis on the Late Miocene faunas, geology, and palaeoenvironments of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yale University Press, New Haven, pp 430–442Google Scholar
  31. van der Merwe M (2000) Tooth succession in the greater cane rat Thryonomys swinderianus (Temminck, 1827). J Zool 251:541–545. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2000.tb00811.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wesselman HB, Black MT, Asnake M (2009) Small mammals. In: Haile-Selassie Y, WoldeGabriel G (eds) Ardipithecus kadabba: late Miocene evidence from the Middle Awash,Ethiopia. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 105–133Google Scholar
  33. Whybrow PJ (1987) Miocene geology and palaeontology of Ad Dabtiyah, Saudi Arabia. Bull Brit Mus (Nat Hist) Geology 41:367–457Google Scholar
  34. Whybrow PJ, Hill A (1999) Fossil vertebrates of Arabia, with emphasis on the Late Miocene faunas, geology, and palaeoenvironments of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Yale University Press, New Haven, p 523Google Scholar
  35. Whybrow PJ, Collinson ME, Daams R, Gentry AW, McClure HA (1982) Geology, fauna (Bovidae, Rodentia) and flora of the early Miocene of eastern Saudi Arabia. Tert Res 4:105–120Google Scholar
  36. Winkler AJ (1992) Systematics and biogeography of middle Miocene rodents from the Muruyur beds, Baringo district, Kenya. J Vert Pal 12:236–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Winkler AJ (1994) The middle/upper Miocene dispersal of major rodent groups between Southern Asia and Africa. In: Tomida Y, Li CK, Setoguchi T (eds.) Rodent and lagomorph families of Asian origins and diversification. National Science Museum Monographs no. 8. pp 173–184Google Scholar
  38. Winkler AJ (1997) Systematics, paleobiogeography, and paleoenvironmental significance of rodents from the Ibole Member, Manonga Valley, Tanzania. In: Harrison T (ed) Neogene paleontology of the Manonga Valley, Tanzania: a window into the evolutionary history of East Africa. Plenum Press, New York, pp 311–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Winkler AJ (2002) Neogene paleobiogeography and Baringo paleoenvironments: contributions from the Tugen Hills rodents and lagomorphs. J Hum Evol 42:237–256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Winkler AJ (2003) Rodents and lagomorphs from the Miocene and Pliocene of Lothagam, Northern Kenya. In: Leakey MG, Harris JM (eds) Lothagam: the dawn of humanity in Eastern Africa. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 169–190Google Scholar
  41. Winkler AJ, Denys C, Avery DM (2010) Chapter 17: Rodentia. In: Werdelin L, Sanders WJ (eds) Cenozoic mammals of Africa. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 263–304Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian P. Kraatz
    • 1
  • Faysal Bibi
    • 2
  • Andrew Hill
    • 3
  • Mark Beech
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyWestern University of Health SciencesPomonaUSA
  2. 2.Department of MammalogyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Historic Environment DepartmentAbu Dhabi Tourism & Culture AuthorityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  5. 5.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of York, The King’s ManorYorkUK

Personalised recommendations