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New fossils of Sirenia from the Middle Eocene of Navarre (Western Pyrenees): the oldest West European sea cow record

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2010

H. ASTIBIA*
Affiliation:
Universidad del País Vasco/EHU, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
N. BARDET
Affiliation:
CNRS UMR 7207, Département Histoire de la Terre, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CP 38, 8 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
X. PEREDA-SUBERBIOLA
Affiliation:
Universidad del País Vasco/EHU, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
A. PAYROS
Affiliation:
Universidad del País Vasco/EHU, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
V. DE BUFFRÉNIL
Affiliation:
CNRS UMR 7207, Département Histoire de la Terre, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CP 38, 8 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
J. ELORZA
Affiliation:
Universidad del País Vasco/EHU, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Departamento de Mineralogía y Petrología, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
J. TOSQUELLA
Affiliation:
Universidad de Huelva, Departamento de Geodinámica y Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Campus de El Carmen, 21071 Huelva, Spain
A. BERRETEAGA
Affiliation:
Universidad del País Vasco/EHU, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
A. BADIOLA
Affiliation:
Grupo Aragosaurus-IUCA, Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza, Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
*
Author for correspondence: humberto.astibia@ehu.es

Abstract

Postcranial remains of Sirenia from the early Middle Eocene (late Lutetian) Urbasa-Andia Formation of Navarre (Western Pyrenees) are described. The material consists of two partial atlas vertebrae, one humerus and several dorsal ribs (from Arrasate, Urbasa plateau), and partial dorsal ribs (from Lezaun, Andia plateau). The morphology of the fossils is consistent with referral to Dugongidae, the only sirenian clade known so far in the Middle Eocene of Europe. Moreover, the histological study of the ribs shows that the pachyosteosclerosis of extant Sirenia was definitively present by the early Middle Eocene. The oldest sirenian remains reported to date in the Pyrenean Realm were assigned to the Biarritzian, a regional stage that is currently ascribed either to the middle or to the lower–middle Bartonian. Therefore, the sirenian remains of Lezaun, reliably dated as late Lutetian (SBZ16 zone) in age, are definitively the earliest sirenian fossils known in Western Europe and are among the oldest sea cow records of Europe.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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New fossils of Sirenia from the Middle Eocene of Navarre (Western Pyrenees): the oldest West European sea cow record
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