The Hamsters of Yushe Basin

  • Wen-Yu Wu
  • Lawrence J. Flynn
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)


Fossil hamsters are a minor but constant microfauna component in the succession of Yushe Basin deposits. They indicate considerable hamster diversity for North China during the late Neogene, with at least six genera and eight species recorded from late Miocene to early Pleistocene assemblages. Neocricetodon is a long-ranging late Neogene hamster, with closely related species widespread throughout Europe and Asia. Yushe Basin famously produced the type material of Neocricetodon grangeri, which we show to come from the late Miocene Mahui Formation south of the town of Yushe. Neocricetodon grangeri ranges from late Miocene (6.3 Ma) to early Pliocene (4.7 Ma) deposits. Later long-ranging Pliocene hamster lineages are Allocricetus and Cricetinus, for each of which we define a new species. Joining the latter two genera during the Late Pliocene, the living Cricetulus brings to three the number of coeval hamster genera. Finally, by the early Pleistocene, the modern genus Phodopus appears and coexists with Cricetulus in Yushe Basin.


Yushe Basin North China Late Neogene Hamsters Cricetidae 



Gratitude is expressed to Dr. Solweig Stuenes of the Paleontological Museum of Uppsala University for her generous assistance in allowing W.-Y. Wu the opportunity to study the holotype of Neocricetodon grangeri. Staff of the Zoological Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, kindly enabled our comparisons with extant hamsters. The careful reviews of Everett Lindsay, Hans de Bruijn, and Jon Baskin led to significant improvements of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of PaleomammalogyInstitute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and EthnologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUK

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