Geologica Belgica

1374-8505 2034-1954

 

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Pieter MISSIAEN, Florence QUESNEL, Christian DUPUIS, Jean-Yves STORME & Thierry SMITH

The earliest Eocene mammal fauna of the Erquelinnes Sand Member near the French-Belgian border.

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Mots-clés : Belgium, France, MP7 reference level, “Late Landenian”, Tienen Fm

Abstract

The earliest Eocene Erquelinnes site was discovered in 1880, but its mammal fauna has been frequently ignored. This paper provides the first detailed overview of the Erquelinnes mammals since 1929. The new faunal list doubles the known diversity at Erquelinnes to a total of 16 species, now also including amphilemurids, hyaenodontids, mesonychids, louisinids, equids and diacodexeids. The majority of the Erquelinnes species is also present in the earliest Eocene Dormaal MP7 reference fauna, with as most notable exceptions the presence of a potentially dwarfed specimen of Dissacus, and of two perissodactyl taxa at Erquelinnes. The ceratomorph perissodactyl Cymbalophus cuniculus is also known from the earliest Eocene of England, but a specimen identified as cf. Sifrhippus sandrae is closely similar to contemporaneous primitive North American equids. This specimen represents the oldest unambiguous European equid and highlights faunal similarities between Europe and North America during this period. Faunal differences between Erquelinnes and Dormaal seem mostly due to depositional differences, and the Erquelinnes fauna represents a typical earliest Eocene fauna, closely similar to other MP7 and PEI faunas in Europe.

To cite this article

Pieter MISSIAEN, Florence QUESNEL, Christian DUPUIS, Jean-Yves STORME & Thierry SMITH, «The earliest Eocene mammal fauna of the Erquelinnes Sand Member near the French-Belgian border.», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], volume 16 (2013), number 4 - Dispersal of continental vertebrates during the Paleogene, 262-273 URL : http://popups.ulg.ac.be/1374-8505/index.php?id=4288.

About: Pieter MISSIAEN

Research Unit Palaeontology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, S8, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. E-mail: pieter.missiaen@ugent.be

About: Florence QUESNEL

Department of Paleontology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: thierry.smith@naturalsciences.be

About: Christian DUPUIS

BRGM (French Geological Survey), DGR/GAT, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans cedex 2, France. and UMR 7327 du CNRS/Université d'Orléans/BRGM, 1A rue de la Férollerie, F-45071, Orléans, France. E-mail: f.quesnel@brgm.fr

About: Jean-Yves STORME

UMons, Faculté Polytechnique GFA, Rue de Houdain 9, B-7000 Mons, Belgium. E-mail: christian.dupuis@umons.ac.be

About: Thierry SMITH

FUNDP, University of Namur, Department of Geology, Rue de Bruxelles 61, B-5000 Namur, Belgium. E-mail: jean-yves.storme@fundp.ac.be