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Evidence for a pre-PETM dispersal of the earliest European crocodyloids

Abstract : Crocodyloid remains from the late Paleocene of Mont de Berru (France) hosted in the collections of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France) and in the Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique (Brussels, Belgium) are described for the first time. This material, although fragmentary, can be clearly referred on a morphological basis to Asiatosuchus depressifrons (Blainville, 1855), a species previously reported from several Eocene Belgian localities thanks to abundant material including a nearly complete skeleton. The Paleocene material shares with A. depressifrons the number of alveoli involved in the dentary symphysis, the exclusion of the splenials from the symphysis, and the presence of a distinct depression on the jugal. The fossil remains from Berru represent the oldest European crocodyloid. Along with the alligatoroid Diplocynodon remensis Martin, Smith, de Lapparent de Broin, Escuillie and Delfino, 2014, previously reported from the same locality, the crocodyloid A. depressifrons indicates that these genera reached Europe before the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Although more complete remains from outside Europe are needed to refine phylogenetic hypotheses, according to the currently established fossil record the forerunners of diplocynodontids likely dispersed from North America, whereas those related to Asiatosuchus likely dispersed from Asia.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 2:48:44 PM
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Massimo Delfino, Jeremy E. Martin, France de Lapparent De Broin, Thierry Smith. Evidence for a pre-PETM dispersal of the earliest European crocodyloids. Historical Biology, 2019, 31 (7), pp.845-852. ⟨10.1080/08912963.2017.1396323⟩. ⟨hal-02329280⟩



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