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Description of a new species of Cynodictis Bravard & Pomel, 1850 (Carnivora, Mammalia) from the Quercy Phosphorites with comments on the use of skull morphology for phylogenetics

Kévin LE VERGER, Floréal SOLÉ & Sandrine LADEVÈZE

en Geodiversitas 42 (16) - Pages 239-255

Published on 25 June 2020

This article is a part of the thematic issue Memorial to Stéphane Peigné – Carnivores (Hyaenodonta and Carnivora) of the Cenozoic

Amphicyonidae Trouessart, 1885 are among the oldest known carnivoran groups, with the oldest representatives in Europe belonging to the genus Cynodictis Bravard & Pomel, 1850. This genus, discovered in the middle of the 19th century, presents a particularly confusing taxonomic history. Early on it was subject to taxonomic inflation, but now its diversity is reduced to six species. It is therefore interesting to question the relevance of dental characteristics, knowing that these structures have, very often, been the only anatomical elements used for the description of extinct mammalian taxa. Thanks to the several deposits of the Quercy Phosphorites, many crania of Cynodictis are available, allowing us to address this issue. In this comparative study, several skulls belonging to this genus are compared. Finally, we describe a new species, Cynodictis peignei n. sp., and discuss the relevance of cranial characters in comparison with dental characters and the ecological information from these structures.


Keywords :

Caniformia, Paleogene, Europe, cranium, osteology, new species

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