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The early Pliocene micromammalian fauna of bilike, Inner Mongolia, China (Mammalia: Lipotyphla, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Lagomorpha)

Die unterpliozäne kleinsäugerfauna von bilike, innere mongolei, china (Mammalia: Lipotyphla, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Lagomorpha)

Abstract

Excavations at the fossil site Bilike, Huade County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in 1986 and 1991 produced the most diverse and abundant micromammalian fauna known from the Pliocene of China. A total of 6.500 specimens is described and referred to 50 species from 41 genera and 13 families of insectivores, bats, rodents, hares, and pikas. Described as new areParasoriculus tongi n. g., n. sp.,Prospermophilus n. g.,Sinozapus volkeri n. g., n. sp.,Allorattus engesseri n. g., n. sp.,Petenyia katrinae n. sp.,Sulimskia ziegleri n. sp.,Sicista wangi n. sp.,Sinocricetus progressus n. sp.,Kowalskia zhengi n. sp.,Aratomys bilikeensis n. sp.,Apodemus lii n. sp.,Orientalomys sinensis n. sp.,Chardinomys bilikeensis n. sp.,Trischizolagus mirificus n. sp. New for the Chinese fossil record are the generaPetenyia, Sulimskia, andAratomys.

The fauna is characterized by the predominance of myomorph rodents and the high diversity and abundance of insectivores; the voleAratomys predominates with 31% of the specimens. It includes both a strong endemic East/Central Asian component and a marked correspondence with European Mio/ Pliocene genera. Obviously faunal exchanges between East Asia and Europe were rather significant during the late Neogene. On the basis of the appearance or evolutionary state of various taxa, Bilike is younger than Ertemte, Inner Mongolia, of latest Miocene (late Baodean) age but older than Gaozhuang, Shanxi, of early Pliocene (early Yushean) age and thus referred to the early Pliocene (early Yushean = early Ruscinian, MN 14 equivalent). The Bilike micromammals mirror a temperate environment of steppe or grassland, interspersed with local forests, dense thickets, and freshwater bodies. Faunal changes from Ertemte to Bilike indicate an environmental change to drier, more steppic conditions.

This study is part of the Sino-German scientific cooperation in vertebrate palaeontology.

Kurzfassung

Ausgrabungen bei Bilike, Huade County, Innere Mongolei, in den Jahren 1986 und 1991 erbrachten die mit Abstand reichste pliozäne Kleinsäugerfauna Chinas. Es werden 6.500 Fossilfunde berücksichtigt und 50 Arten, 41 Gattungen und 13 Familien von Insektenfressern, Fledermäusen, Nagetieren und Hasen zugeordnet. Als neu beschrieben werden die TaxaParasoriculus tongi n. g., n. sp.,Prospermophilus n. g.,Sinozapus volkeri n. g., n. sp.,Allorattus engesseri n. g., n. sp.,Petenyia katrinae n. sp.,Sulimskia ziegleri n. sp.,Sicista wangi n. sp.,Sinocricetus progressas n. sp.,Kowalskia zhengi n. sp.,Aratomys bilikeensis n. sp.,Apodemus lii n. sp.,Orientalomys sinensis n. sp.,Chardinomys bilikeensis n. sp. undTrischizolagus mirificus n. sp. Neu für China sind die Nachweise der GattungenPetenyia, Sulimskia undAratomys.

Die Fauna zeichnet sich durch die Dominanz von myomorphen Nagern und die Häufigkeit und Diversität von Insektenfressern aus; vorherrschend ist die WühlmausAratomys bilikeensis mit 31% der Funde. Die Fauna besitzt eine stark endemische, ost-und zentralasiatische Komponente, weist andererseits aber auch deutliche Beziehungen zu europäischen mio/pliozänen Taxa auf. Offensichtlich gab es im späten Neogen bedeutende Faunenaustausche zwischen Ostasien und Europa. Nach dem Vorkommen und dem Evolutionsniveau verschiedener Kleinsäugertaxa ist Bilike jünger als Ertemte, Innere Mongolei (oberstes Miozän) und älter als Gaozhuang, Shanxi (unteres Pliozän); die Fauna wird dementsprechend in das frühe Pliozän (unteres Yusheum = unteres Ruscinium, MN 14-Äquivalent) eingestuft. Die Kleinsäuger spiegeln gemäßigte Umweltverhältnisse mit Grasfluren und Steppen sowie lokalen Waldgebieten, dichten Buschzonen und Gewässern wider. Der Faunenwandel vom Obermiozän (Ertemte) zum Unterpliozän (Bilike) belegt Umweltveränderungen zu trockeneren, mehr steppenartigen Verhältnissen.

Diese Arbeit ist Teil der chinesisch-deutschen wissenschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit in der Wirbeltierpaläontologie.

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Qiu, Z., Storch, G. The early Pliocene micromammalian fauna of bilike, Inner Mongolia, China (Mammalia: Lipotyphla, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Lagomorpha). Senckenbergiana lethaea 80, 173–229 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03043669

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Key words

  • Mammalia
  • Lipotyphla
  • Chiroptera
  • Rodentia
  • Lagomorpha
  • Taxonomy
  • Miocene
  • Pliocene
  • Inner Mongolia
  • China