Geologica Belgica

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Thierry SMITH & Richard SMITH

A land micro-mammal fauna from the Early Eocene marine Egem deposits (NP12, Belgium) and the first occurrence of the peradectid marsupial Armintodelphys outside North America

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Mots-clés : North Sea Basin, Ypresian, MP8+9 reference level, Tielt Formation

Abstract

Dental remains of land mammals are sometimes discovered in shallow marine Paleogene deposits of the North Sea Basin. Such is the case for eleven specimens we describe here from the Early Eocene Egemkapel Clay Member in the middle part of the Tielt Formation, found in Ampe quarry at Egem in Northwestern Belgium. The small fauna consists of 6 taxa, including the neoplagiaulacid multituberculate Ectypodus, the erinaceomorph insectivore Macrocranion, the nyctitheriid Leptacodon, an eochiropteran bat possibly belonging to a palaeochiropterygid, an unidentified perissodactyl possibly belonging to an equoid, and a new species of the peradectid marsupial Armintodelphys. The latter represents the first European occurrence of the genus, which was previously only known from the North American late Early and early Middle Eocene of the Wind River and Green River basins in Wyoming and the Uinta Basin in Utah. Biogeographic and biostratigraphic analyses of peradectid marsupials suggest that Armintodelphys dispersed between North America and Europe around the time of the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum. The Egemkapel Clay Member has been dated as middle NP12, early late Ypresian, whereas the Egem mammal fauna can be correlated to the fauna of Avenay from the Paris Basin, which is the international reference-level MP8+9 of the mammalian biochronological scale for the European Paleogene.

To cite this article

Thierry SMITH & Richard SMITH, «A land micro-mammal fauna from the Early Eocene marine Egem deposits (NP12, Belgium) and the first occurrence of the peradectid marsupial Armintodelphys outside North America», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], volume 16 (2013), number 4 - Dispersal of continental vertebrates during the Paleogene, 302-310 URL : http://popups.ulg.ac.be/1374-8505/index.php?id=4309.

About: Thierry SMITH

O.D. Earth and History of Life, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: thierry.smith@naturalsciences.be

About: Richard SMITH

O.D. Earth and History of Life, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: richardsmithpal@hotmail.com