Jurassica Museum

Fontenais, Switzerland

Jurassica Museum

Fontenais, Switzerland
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Harzhauser M.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Daxner-Hock G.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Lopez-Guerrero P.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Lopez-Guerrero P.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 9 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2016

Central Asia is a key area to study the impact of Cenozoic climate cooling on continental ecosystems. One of the best places to search for rather continuous paleontological records is the Valley of Lakes in Mongolia with its outstandingly fossil-rich Oligocene and Miocene terrestrial sediments. Here, we investigate the response by mammal communities during the early stage of Earth's icehouse climate in Central Asia. Based on statistical analyses of occurrence and abundance data of 18608 specimens representing 175 mammal species and geochemical (carbon isotopes) and geophysical (magnetic susceptibility) data we link shifts in diversities with major climatic variations. Our data document for the first time that the post-Eocene aridification of Central Asia happened in several steps, was interrupted by short episodes of increased precipitation, and was not a gradual process. We show that the timing of the major turnovers in Oligocene mammal communities is tightly linked with global climate events rather than slow tectonics processes. The most severe decline of up 48% of total diversity is related to aridification during the maximum of the Late Oligocene Warming at 25 Ma. Its magnitude was distinctly larger than the community turnover linked to the mid-Oligocene Glacial Maximum.


Hugueney M.,CNRS Geological Laboratory of Lyon: earth, planets and environment | Maridet O.,Jurassica Museum | Maridet O.,University of Fribourg
Historical Biology | Year: 2017

New material recovered in the Oligocene locality St-Martin-de-Castillon (Vaucluse, France; MP24) provides a better knowledge of the characteristics of the species vauclusensis in its type-locality, hitherto assigned to the genus Myxomygale (Talpinae, tribe Urotrichini). In Europe, the species assigned to Myxomygale range from Late Eocene/Early Oligocene to the end of the Middle Miocene (MN 7/8). However noticeable differences can be observed in mandibles of these taxa, sometimes even coexisting in the same localities. We propose for the plesiomorphic branch (including M. vauclusensis and M. minor) a new genus, Percymygale, closely related to Myxomygale. Percymygale is consequently also assigned to the tribe Urotrichini. Today, the tribe Urotrichini (American and Japanese shrew-moles) is composed of terrestrial, semi-fossorial species, not well adapted to digging but able to climb small bushes, and foraging in grasslands, forests and covered landscapes. As a result, their limbs protrude laterally from the body (unlike in moles) and their humeri are usually longer with very limited adaptations to digging. Humeri are poorly known for Myxomygale and only fragmentary humeri are known for Percymygale n. gen. making comparisons difficult. However the muzzle development in Percymygale and Myxomygale suggests that Myxomygale was perhaps a better burrower than Percymygale. http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:E0BDC0FC-ABA2-4A84-AE76-06B3433B432E http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:17E4DD37-24A4-4C7A-A7FEB421CF90F89C © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


Puntener C.,Section darcheologie et paleontologie | Anquetin J.,JURASSICA Museum | Anquetin J.,University of Fribourg | Billon-Bruyat J.-P.,Section darcheologie et paleontologie
PeerJ | Year: 2017

Background: During the Late Jurassic, several groups of eucryptodiran turtles inhabited the shallow epicontinental seas of Western Europe. Plesiochelyidae are an important part of this first radiation of crown-group turtles into coastal marine ecosystems. Fossils of Plesiochelyidae occur in many European localities, and are especially abundant in the Kimmeridgian layers of the Swiss Jura Mountains (Solothurn and Porrentruy). In the mid-19th century, the quarries of Solothurn (NW Switzerland) already provided a large amount of fossil turtles, most notably Plesiochelys etalloni, the best-known plesiochelyid species. Recent excavations in the Porrentruy area (NW Switzerland) revealed new fossils of Plesiochelys, including numerous well-preserved shells with associated cranial and postcranial material. Methods/results: Out of 80 shells referred to Plesiochelys, 41 are assigned to a new species, Plesiochelys bigleri n. sp., including a skull-shell association.We furthermore refer 15 shells to Plesiochelys etalloni, and 24 shells to Plesiochelys sp. Anatomical comparisons show that Plesiochelys bigleri can clearly be differentiated from Plesiochelys etalloni by cranial features. The shell anatomy and the appendicular skeleton of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni are very similar. However, a statistical analysis demonstrates that the thickness of neural bones allows to separate the two species based on incomplete material. This study furthermore illustrates the extent of intraspecific variation in the shell anatomy of Plesiochelys bigleri and Plesiochelys etalloni. © 2017 Püntener et al.


Cernansky A.,Comenius University | Vasilyan D.,JURASSICA Museum | Vasilyan D.,University of Fribourg | Georgalis G.L.,University of Fribourg | And 4 more authors.
Swiss Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2017

Fossil anguine lizard specimens from several Turkish localities are described in this paper. The material comes from ten different localities, spanning a large geographic area consisting of both parts of the European Turkey and Anatolia, and ranging in age from the Oligocene to the Late Miocene. In certain cases, the generic determination was possible and, accordingly, members of Ophisaurus and Anguis were identified and described in detail. The specimens of Anguis, found in different, Middle and Late Miocene localities from Anatolia, represent two of only a few fossil occurrences of this taxon. Moreover, the material reported herein represents the oldest occurrences of anguine lizards, not only from Turkey, but from southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean basin as a whole. These rare records provide important information about the dispersal routes of anguines from Europe to Asia and significantly enhance our understanding of their biogeography. © 2017 Swiss Geological Society


Kocsis L.,University of Lausanne | Ozsvart P.,MTA MTM ELTE Research Group for Paleontology | Becker D.,Jurassica Museum | Ziegler R.,Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Stuttgart | And 2 more authors.
Geology | Year: 2014

Terrestrial climatic data reflect variable and often conflicting responses to the global cooling event at the Eocene-Oligocene transition (ca. 34 Ma). Stable isotopic compositions of the tooth enamel of large, water-dependent, herbivorous terrestrial mammals are investigated here to better understand the European continental climate during the late Eocene- early Oligocene. High δ18OPO4 and δ13C values reflect a semiarid climate and ecosystem in the late Eocene. In the west-southwest region of Europe, these conditions prevailed until at least 33 Ma, after which it became more humid. A similar change was recorded north of the Alpine thrust, but it occurred 2 m.y. earlier. The north and west-southwest regions show a significant offset in δ18OPO4 composition between 35 and 31 Ma, indicating the influence of different air trajectories with different moisture sources (Atlantic versus Tethys). This also marks the presence of an orographic height in central Europe from the latest Eocene. After 31 Ma, a large drop in δ18OPO4 is registered, explained by altitude-induced fractionation on meteoric water isotopic composition. The related paleoaltitude change is estimated to be 1200 m, and the uplift could have taken place along the Alpine-Dinaridic orogenic system. © 2014 Geological Society of America.


Bokma F.,Umeå University | Godinot M.,EPHE Paris | Maridet O.,Jurassica Museum | Ladeveze S.,CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | And 6 more authors.
Systematic Biology | Year: 2016

Whether or not evolutionary lineages in general show a tendency to increase in body size has often been discussed. This tendency has been dubbed "Cope's rule" but because Cope never hypothesized it, we suggest renaming it after DepCrossed D signret, who formulated it clearly in 1907. DepCrossed D signret's rule has traditionally been studied using fossil data, but more recently a number of studies have used present-day species. While several paleontological studies of Cenozoic placental mammals have found support for increasing body size, most studies of extant placentals have failed to detect such a trend. Here, we present a method to combine information from present-day species with fossil data in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. We apply the method to body mass estimates of a large number of extant and extinct mammal species, and find strong support for DepCrossed D signret's rule. The tendency for size increase appears to be driven not by evolution toward larger size in established species, but by processes related to the emergence of new species. Our analysis shows that complementary data from extant and extinct species can greatly improve inference of macroevolutionary processes. © 2015 The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.


PubMed | EPHE Paris, CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences, Umeå University and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Systematic biology | Year: 2015

Whether or not evolutionary lineages in general show a tendency to increase in body size has often been discussed. This tendency has been dubbed Copes rule but because Cope never hypothesized it, we suggest renaming it after Depret, who formulated it clearly in 1907. Deprets rule has traditionally been studied using fossil data, but more recently a number of studies have used present-day species. While several paleontological studies of Cenozoic placental mammals have found support for increasing body size, most studies of extant placentals have failed to detect such a trend. Here, we present a method to combine information from present-day species with fossil data in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. We apply the method to body mass estimates of a large number of extant and extinct mammal species, and find strong support for Deprets rule. The tendency for size increase appears to be driven not by evolution toward larger size in established species, but by processes related to the emergence of new species. Our analysis shows that complementary data from extant and extinct species can greatly improve inference of macroevolutionary processes.


Scherler L.,Montpellier University | Tutken T.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Becker D.,JURASSICA Museum
Quaternary Research (United States) | Year: 2014

Fossils of megaherbivores from eight late Pleistocene 14C- and OSL-dated doline infillings of Ajoie (NW Switzerland) were discovered along the Transjurane highway in the Swiss Jura. Carbon and oxygen analyses of enamel were performed on forty-six teeth of large mammals (Equus germanicus, Mammuthus primigenius, Coelodonta antiquitatis, and Bison priscus), coming from one doline in Boncourt (~80ka, marine oxygen isotope stage MIS5a) and seven in Courtedoux (51-27ka, late MIS3), in order to reconstruct the paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions of the region. Similar enamel δ13C values for both periods, ranging from -14.5 to -9.2‰, indicate that the megaherbivores lived in a C3 plant-dominated environment. Enamel δ18OPO4 values range from 10.9 to 16.3‰ with a mean of 13.5±1.0‰ (n=46). Mean air temperatures (MATs) were inferred using species-specific δ18OPO4-δ18OH2O-calibrations for modern mammals and a present-day precipitation δ18OH2O-MAT relation for Switzerland. Similar average MATs of 6.6±3.6°C for the deposits dated to ~80ka and 6.5±3.3°C for those dated to the interval 51-27ka were estimated. This suggests that these mammals in the Ajoie area lived in mild periods of the late Pleistocene with MATs only about 2.5°C lower than modern-day temperatures. © 2014 University of Washington.


PubMed | University of Graz, Russian Academy of Sciences, Jurassica Museum and Natural History Museum Vienna
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Central Asia is a key area to study the impact of Cenozoic climate cooling on continental ecosystems. One of the best places to search for rather continuous paleontological records is the Valley of Lakes in Mongolia with its outstandingly fossil-rich Oligocene and Miocene terrestrial sediments. Here, we investigate the response by mammal communities during the early stage of Earths icehouse climate in Central Asia. Based on statistical analyses of occurrence and abundance data of 18608 specimens representing 175 mammal species and geochemical (carbon isotopes) and geophysical (magnetic susceptibility) data we link shifts in diversities with major climatic variations. Our data document for the first time that the post-Eocene aridification of Central Asia happened in several steps, was interrupted by short episodes of increased precipitation, and was not a gradual process. We show that the timing of the major turnovers in Oligocene mammal communities is tightly linked with global climate events rather than slow tectonics processes. The most severe decline of up 48% of total diversity is related to aridification during the maximum of the Late Oligocene Warming at 25Ma. Its magnitude was distinctly larger than the community turnover linked to the mid-Oligocene Glacial Maximum.


This article presents a detailed palaeontological and biostratigraphical study of the lower freshwater Molasse (USM), Oligocene-earliest Miocene, located in Western Switzerland between the "Plateau vaudois" and the first anticline of the Jura Mountains. Recent data on mammals (based mainly on isolated teeth) and charophytes allow determining the age of these USM deposits, which ranges from the base of the Rupelian (MP20-21) to the early Aquitanian (MN1). The "Marnes rouges" Member (MP22-23) in the lower part of the series shows almost no outcrops in the studied area and remains to be investigated. Among the mammals, rodents (Rodentia) are best represented with, by order of abundance, Theridomyidae, Cricetidae, Eomyidae, Gliridae, Melissiodontidae, Sciuridae, Aplodontidae and Castoridae. Many other groups of small mammals are also present with lagomorphs, marsupials (Didelphidae), insectivores (Soricidae, Talpidae, Erinaceidae) and bats. The remains of large mammals are much more uncommon with plant-eaters such as perissodactyls (Rhinocerotidae : Molassitherium albigense, Rhinocerotidae indet.) and artiodactyls (Ruminantia : Iberomeryx sp., Bachitherium curtum, Bachitherium insigne, Mosaicomeryx quercyi ; Suidae indet. ; Cainotheriidae ; Dichobunidae ; Anthracotheriidae), as well as indeterminate carnivores. Concerning the charophytes, the first occurrence in the Oligocene (late Chattian, MP 28-30) of Stephanochara gr. praeberdotensis and Nitellopsis (Tectochara) ginsburgi is noteworthy because both taxa were considered so far to be restricted to the Miocene.

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