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

  • H. ASTIBIA (a1), N. BARDET (a2), X. PEREDA-SUBERBIOLA (a1), A. PAYROS (a1), V. DE BUFFRÉNIL (a2), J. ELORZA (a3), J. TOSQUELLA (a4), A. BERRETEAGA (a1) and A. BADIOLA (a5)...
Abstract
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.

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Author for correspondence: humberto.astibia@ehu.es
References
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