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Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 1918–1926 | Cite as

Early Paleogene stratigraphic sequences, mammalian evolution and its response to environmental changes in Erlian Basin, Inner Mongolia, China

  • YuanQing Wang
  • Jin Meng
  • Christopher K. Beard
  • Qian Li
  • XiJun Ni
  • Daniel L. Gebo
  • Bin Bai
  • Xun Jin
  • Ping Li
Research Paper

Abstract

Paleogene strata in the Huheboerhe area, Erlian Basin, Inner Mongolia, China have been subdivided into three lithological units: the Nomogen Formation, the Arshanto Formation, and the Irdin Manha Formation. At least 12 mammal-bearing horizons have been recognized in these formations, of which 4 in the Nomogen Formation, 6 in the Arshanto Formation, and 2 in the Irdin Manha Formation. Recent investigation proved that the “Houldjin Formation” recognized in this area by the Central Asiatic Expeditions (CAE) of the American Museum Natural History in the 1920s is actually the Irdin Manha Formation, while the “Irdin Manha Formation” of CAE is the Arshanto Formation. A recent paleomagnetic study suggests that the upper part of the Nomogen Formation is early Eocene in age and the Arshanto Formation is mainly early Eocene rather than middle Eocene as previously thought. The Gashatan, Bumbanian, and Arshantan land mammal ages are correlated respectively to the Thanetian, the early Ypresian, and the middle Ypresian through earliest Lutetian of the Geological Time Scale. These land mammal ages are also correlated with the late Tiffanian through Clarkforkian, the early Wasatchian, and the middle-late Wasatchian and most of the Bridgerian of the North American Land Mammal Ages. During the early Paleogene, the mammalian history of the Erlian Basin was dominated by the appearance of new mammalian families and the replacement of a variety of genera and species, corresponding to the gradual climatic changes during this time period. The abrupt emergence of several modern mammalian orders at the beginning of the Eocene is probably related to extreme climatic warming in relation to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

Keywords

Erlian Basin Paleogene mammal faunal turnover biochronology environmental response 

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • YuanQing Wang
    • 1
  • Jin Meng
    • 2
  • Christopher K. Beard
    • 3
  • Qian Li
    • 1
  • XiJun Ni
    • 1
  • Daniel L. Gebo
    • 4
  • Bin Bai
    • 1
  • Xun Jin
    • 1
  • Ping Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Division of PaleontologyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Section of Vertebrate PaleontologyCarnegie Museum of Natural HistoryPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of AnthropologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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