Swiss Journal of Palaeontology

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 51–60 | Cite as

Tupaiine tree shrews (Scandentia, Mammalia) from the Yuanmou Lufengpithecus locality of Yunnan, China

  • Xijun NiEmail author
  • Zhuding Qiu


Tree shrew fossils are extremely rare. Here, we report two new tupaiine tree shrews, Prodendrogale engesseri sp. nov. and Tupaia storchi sp. nov., discovered from the late Miocene deposits of Yuanmou Lufengpithecus locality of Yunnan Province in China. P. engesseri is very close to the slightly younger species P. yunnanica Qiu (Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 24: 308–319, 1986) from the Lufeng Lufengpithecus locality of Yunnan Province. Relatively lower crowns and less trenchant tooth cusps of P. engesseri show that P. engesseri is more primitive than P. yunnanica. Tupaia storchi is a species larger than Palaeotupaia sivalicus Chopra and Vasishat, 1979, T. minor Günther, 1876 and T. javanica Horsfield, 1822, but smaller than all the other extant species of Tupaia and T. miocenica Mein and Ginsburg, 1997. The mesiobuccal side of the lower molar of this species develops a very strong cingulid. It should be interpreted as a primitive condition. Discovery of diverse tree shrew fossils in Yunnan suggests that multiple evolutionary lineages of tree shrews must have coexisted in a very large area in East Asia.


Prodendrogale Tupaia Scandentia Late Miocene Baodean 



We thank Professors Qi Guoqin, Pan Yuerong, Dr. Zhao Lingxia, Messrs. Zheng Liang, Gao Feng, Ji Xueping, Liu Jianhui, Jiang Chu, and Zhang Jiahua for their assistance in the field. Ms. Wang Guizhen sorted the concentrates. Mr. Zhang Wending took the SEM photos. We extend our gratitude to the anonymous reviewers for providing helpful comments and suggestions. This project has been financially supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Young Scholar Project, CAS 100-Talent Project, CAS Fossil Excavation and Preparation Fund, National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB821904) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 40672009, 40872032).


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Copyright information

© Akademie der Naturwissenschaften Schweiz (SCNAT) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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