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Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 12, Issue 1–2, pp 9–22 | Cite as

Mammalian Faunal Succession in the Cretaceous of the Kyzylkum Desert

  • J. David ArchibaldEmail author
  • Alexander P. Averianov
Article

Abstract

Both metatherians and eutherians are known from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian, 125 mya; million years ago) of China, while eutherian-dominated mammalian faunas appeared in Asia at least by the earliest Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian, 95 mya). The approximately 99–93 my old (Cenomanian) Sheikhdzheili l.f. from western Uzbekistan is a small sample of only eutherians, including three zhelestids and a possible zalambdalestoid. The much better-known 90 my old (Turonian) Bissekty l.f. at Dzharakuduk in the central Uzbekistan includes 15 named and unnamed species, based on ongoing analyses. Of these, 12 are eutherians represented by at least the three groups—asioryctitheres, zalambdalestids, and zhelestids—plus an eutherian of uncertain position—Paranyctoides. Zalambdalestids and zhelestids have been argued to be related to the origin of the placental gliriforms (Euarchontoglires) and ferungulates (Laurasiatheria), respectively. Although there are four previously recognized metatherians, we believe three are referable to the deltatheroid Sulestes karakshi and the fourth, Sailestes quadrans, may belong to Paranyctoides. There is one multituberculate and one symmetrodont in the Bissekty l.f. While comparably aged (Turonian) localities in North America have somewhat similar non-therians, they have more metatherians and no eutherians. The next younger localities (early Campanian, ∼80 mya) in North America have both a zhelestid and Paranyctoides, suggesting dispersal of eutherians from Asia. At Dzharakuduk, the approximately 85 my old (late Turonian/Coniacian) Aitym l.f. is much less well known than the Bissekty l.f., but yields nearly identical taxa, with two non-therians, one metatherian, and six eutherians.

Keywords

Mammalia Theria Eutheria Metatheria Cretaceous Middle Asia North America 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesSaint PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Department of BiologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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