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Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 17–43 | Cite as

Gobiconodon (Mammalia) from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia and Revision of Gobiconodontidae

  • Alexey Lopatin
  • Alexander Averianov
Original Paper

Abstract

There are two species of Gobiconodon in the Early Cretaceous Khoboor locality of Mongolia: G. borissiaki Trofimov, 1978, and G. hoburensis (Trofimov, 1978). The smaller G. hoburensis has i2 half the size of i1, double-rooted dp2, and two generations of molariforms (m1-5 and m1r-4r). In the larger G. borissiaki, i2 is about ¾ size of i1, dp2 is single-rooted, and there are three generations of molariforms (m1-5, m1r-5r, m1rr-2rr). In larger G. ostromi Jenkins and Schaff, 1988, there are three molariforms of the third generation (m1rr-3rr). The anterior lower dentition of Gobiconodon is interpreted as i1-3, c, and dp1-2. The replacement of dp1 by p1 is known only in G. hoburensis. The dp2 is not replaced and may be lost in some specimens (G. hoburensis, G. ostromi) with its alveolus plugged by bone. Gobiconodon includes five valid species: G. borissiaki, G. hoburensis, G. ostromi, G. hopsoni Rougier et al., 2001, and G. zofiae Li et al., 2001 (=G. luoianus Yuan et al., 2009, syn. nov.). The holotype upper maxilla of G. hopsoni is not diagnostic and a new diagnosis for this species is provided based on lower dentitions from the type locality. Repenomamus Li et al., 2001, and Meemannodon Meng et al., 2005, are the only other members of the Gobiconodontidae. The dental formula of Repenomamus is reinterpreted as I1-3, C, P1, M1-5/i1-2, c, p1-2, m1-5 and thus it differs from Gobiconodon by lack of i3 and P2. Meemannodon is different from Gobiconodon by lack of i3 (the upper dentition is unknown). The Early Cretaceous Jeholodens, Yanoconodon, and Liaoconodon are closer to the Gobiconodontidae than to the Amphilestidae by having only two premolars. Liaoconodon with modified anterior dentition is likely the closest relative to the Gobiconodontidae. The Gobiconodontidae is likely the sister taxon for the clade Amphilestidae + Trechnotheria.

Keywords

Mammalia Trechnotheria Gobiconodon Mongolia Early Cretaceous 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (projects 13-04-01401 and 13-04-00525). We thank Guilermo Rougier (University of Louisville, Louisville, USA) and an anonymous reviewer for reading the manuscript and critical comments that improved our article.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Borissiak Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia and Department of Sedimentary Geology, Geological FacultySaint Petersburg State UniversitySaint PetersburgRussia

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