The Oligocene and Miocene fossil lizards (Reptilia, Squamata) of Central Mongolia

Andrej ČERŇANSKÝ & Marc Louis AUGÉ

en Geodiversitas 41 (24) - Pages 811-839

Published on 12 December 2019

This article is a part of the thematic issue Memorial Jean-Claude Rage: A life of paleo-herpetologist

Lizard material from the early Oligocene and early and late Miocene of the Valley of Lakes, Central Mongolia is described. Besides the Oligocene fossorial squamate published elsewere, the material can be allocated to several major clades: Agamidae, Lacertidae and Anguidae (Glyptosaurinae). The presence of Pseudotinosaurus Alifanov, 1991 in early and late Rupelian localities shows that this taxon has a continuous history in this area from the Eocene to the Oligocene. The same is true for the clade Glyptosaurinae, represented by isolated osteoderms in the early Oligocene locality Hsanda Gol. This might suggest that the Eocene-Oligocene transition did not have such a strong or rapid impact in East Asia, in contrast to the Grande Coupure in Europe, at least among some lizard clades. The early Oligocene (early Rupelian) lacertids from Taatsiin Gol, Hsanda Gol and Tatal Gol represent one of the oldest evidences of Asiatic dispersal of this clade. It might reflect the dispersal pathways after closure of the Turgai Strait between Europe and Asia. Some of the material closely resembles the common European Oligocene taxon Lacerta s.l. filholi Augé, 1988. In the early Miocene locality Olon Ovoony Khurem, two clades can be recognized – Lacertidae and a scincoid with a specialized dentition (family indeterminate). The clade Lacertidae forms a dominant component of the late Miocene lizard fossils in Mongolia. The material from the locality Builstyn Khudag shows differences compared to the early Miocene lacertids and represents the oldest evidence of the tribe Eremiadini in this area.


Asia, Paleogene, Neogene, Squamata, lizards

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