Lagomorpha (Mammalia) from the Pliocene‐Pleistocene locality of Ahl al Oughlam, Morocco - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments Year : 2023

Lagomorpha (Mammalia) from the Pliocene‐Pleistocene locality of Ahl al Oughlam, Morocco

Sevket Sen

Abstract

The exceptionally rich vertebrate locality of Ahl al Oughlam near Casablanca (Morocco) yielded abundant remains of Lagomorpha, composed of cranial and postcranial bones and many isolated teeth. They represent a new species of Prolagidae, Prolagus migrans n. sp., and two new Leporidae, Trischizolagus meridionalis n. sp. and Afrolagus pomeli n. g., n. sp. The main characters of the new Prolagus species are the large and anteriorly curved mesial hyperloph on P2, the lack of crochet, and the protoconulid isolated in most p3s. Trischizolagus meridionalis n. sp. is smaller than the common European species T. dumitrescuae, and differs in having in most p3 a massive outlined trigonid, mesofossetid and paraflexid. The second leporid Afrolagus pomeli n. g., n. sp. displays a unique p3 pattern not seen in the Old World leporids with the hypoflexid penetrating more than two thirds of the total width; it is probably formed by the fusion of hypoflexid and mesofosssetid, but leaves a wide lingual connection between the trigonid and talonid. Its upper molariform teeth have strongly wrinkled enamel along the edges of the hypoflexus. Despite these differences, it also shares several dental features with both the African genus Serengetilagus and the European genus Oryctolagus, to which it is compared. Prolagus and Trichizolagus are both well-known European genera. Their occurrence in the Plio-Pleistocene of Morocco is certainly due to a dispersal event thanks to terrestrial connection between the Iberian Peninsula and the Moghreb. In the light of recent faunal, biogeographic and chronological data, the beginning of mammalian exchanges in both directions dates from about 6.2 Ma. The locality of Ahl al Oughlam, although much younger, with an age estimated to 3.0-2.5 Ma, retains taxa resulting from this dispersal event, including the lagomorphs described here.

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Paleontology
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hal-04016979 , version 1 (16-03-2023)

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Sevket Sen, Denis Geraads. Lagomorpha (Mammalia) from the Pliocene‐Pleistocene locality of Ahl al Oughlam, Morocco. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 2023, ⟨10.1007/s12549-022-00569-5⟩. ⟨hal-04016979⟩
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