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Antunes M.T.,Academia das Ciencias de Lisbon | Antunes M.T.,European Academy of science | Balbino A.C.,University of Evora
Revista Espanola de Paleontologia

Fossil great white shark Carcharodon carcharias has been recognized for the frst time in Portugal near Marinha Grande in Pliocene sediments. This occurrence further broadens its already huge distribution. It is indeed the frst Pliocene shark so far identifed in Portugal. The great white shark is represented but by a single upper right lateral tooth lost after use from a ca. 4 m TL, adult individual. The presence is very much in agreement with all known data about Iberian Peninsula, where it really has never been found in Miocene units but becomes common in lower Pliocene levels in Spain. Although the evidence is typical, it is too scarce to allow much speculation on the species numerical importance. If however we take into account that no other shark teeth are known in the concerned sediments it can provisorily be accepted that its occurrence would be rather common. This new record for the Pliocene in Portugal underlines the closeness of the frst known occurrences for the eastern Atlantic, both in its northern (as this is the case) and southern parts as shown by the referred Pliocene fauna of Farol das Lagostas, Angola. Source

Adnet S.,Montpellier University | Balbino A.C.,Universitade Of Evora | Antunes M.T.,Academia das Ciencias de Lisbon
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen

We report here supplementary fossil evidence from Guardamar del Segura (south-eastern Spain) that the White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias inhabits the Mediterranean since the Early Pliocene. Moreover, new fossils reveal that the body size of this great predator probably exceeded 6.7 m in total length, a rare size in fossil record and never verified for living specimens to date as discussed in regard of material and methods. A review of fossil evidences of the largest sharks in the Western Mediterranean at the Mio-Pliocene seems to display a gradual ecological replacement of the giant fossil Megatooth shark ("M." megalodon) by the modern C. carcharias beyond the dramatic marine environnemental crisis that underlines the Miocene/Pliocene boundary in the Mediterranean. © 2009 Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany. Source

Tabuce R.,Montpellier University | Clavel J.,Montpellier University | Antunes M.T.,Academia das Ciencias de Lisbon

A new mammal, Mondegodon eutrigonus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the earliest Eocene locality of Silveirinha, Portugal. This species shows dental adaptations indicative of a carnivorous diet. M. eutrigonus is referred to the order Acreodi and considered, along with the early Paleocene North American species Oxyclaenus cuspidatus, as a morphological intermediate between two groups of ungulate-like mammals, namely, the triisodontids and mesonychians. Considering that triisodontids are early to early-late Paleocene North American taxa, Mondegodon probably belongs to a group that migrated from North America towards Europe during the first part of the Paleocene. Mondegodon could represent thus a relict genus, belonging to the ante-Eocene European mammalian fauna. The occurrence of such a taxon in Southern Europe may reflect a period of isolation of this continental area during the Paleocene/Eocene transition. In this context, the nonoccurrence of closely allied forms of Mondegodon in the Eocene North European mammalian faunas is significant. This strengthens the hypothesis that the mammalian fauna from Southern Europe is characterized by a certain degree of endemism during the earliest Eocene. Mondegodon also presents some striking similarities with an unnamed genus from the early Eocene of India which could represent the first Asian known transitional form between the triisodontids and mesonychians. © Springer-Verlag 2010. Source

Antunes M.T.,Academia das Ciencias de Lisbon | Antunes M.T.,New University of Lisbon | Taquet P.,Academia das Ciencias de Lisbon | Taquet P.,French Natural History Museum | And 2 more authors.

Pierre Auguste Broussonet appears to be the first researcher engaged in the study of the fishes from the Portuguese collections on Natural History, and especially the Royal Museum of Ajuda collections, including the utmost important one collected in Brazil by Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira. He also dealt with the collection of fishes from the Royal Academy of Sciences, the institution that supported him during his stay of approximately four months in Lisbon, where he arrived sometime in September or October 1794. An experienced Naturalist, especially on Ichthyology, he produced a pioneer work on an entirely unknown collection, that of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon. This collection had certainly been transferred from the Royal Natural History Museum at Ajuda. Our present status of knowledge is largely based on documents from the Bibliothèque Centrale of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. The document on fishes from the Academy's Museum (Table 3) is evidence for the intervention of Broussonet. This document is therefore and by far the more important one as far as Broussonet's intervention is concerned. Broussonet is thus a remarkable pioneer of the scientific cooperation between Portugal and France. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. Source

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