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Daia Română, Romania

Venczel M.,Tarii Crisurilor Museum | Hir J.,Municipal Museum Paszto
Geobios | Year: 2015

We report herein an early middle Miocene (MN 6) assemblage of lissamphibians and squamate reptiles from the Pannonian region, Northern Hungary. The localities of Litke 1 and 2, of about 15.2-14.8 Ma, have produced at least 18 different taxa, originate mainly from terrestrial habitats. The faunal composition with a number of thermophilous taxa, including agamids, varanids and erycine boids, indicates moderately warm climatic conditions with relatively low level of mean annual precipitations. Common elements with those known from the late early Miocene to early/middle Miocene transition of Central and Western Paratethys suggest close biogeographic relationships between the western and eastern parts of the European continent. However, typical groups of the "Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum" are unknown from Litke localities, suggesting altered palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental conditions for the eastern region of Central Paratethys at that time. © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

Cernansky A.,Co Menius University in Bratislava | Venczel M.,Tarii Crisurilor Museum
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen | Year: 2011

The paper deals with the first occurrence of amphisbaenid lizard from the Early Miocene (Eggenburgian, MN 3a) locality Merkur-North (Northwest Bohemia). Amhisbaenids include about 200 species located in six families and are distributed across Africa, South America, Caribbean Islands, North America, Europe and the Middle East. However, many aspects of their evolutionary biology are still poorly understood. The material, which consists of one isolated left dentary Ah-771 SGDB, is determined as Blanus sp. However, the posterior part of the dentary differs completely from all the specimens previously described, due to its extremely short and low coronoid process. In Blanus (both fossil and recent specimens), the coronoid process is distinctly longer and slanting posterodorsally and the dorsoposterior limit of the coronoid process is always higher than the apices of the largest mandibular teeth. Consequently, this specimen may represent a new species, but the material is too fragmentary to demonstrate it completely. In any case, the new materarial extends our knowledge about a morphology, evolution and geographic range of this group. ©2011 Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany. Source

Venczel M.,Tarii Crisurilor Museum | Szentesi Z.,Eotvos University and ELTE Research GRomaniap for Paleontology
Hantkeniana | Year: 2012

The Iharkút lissamphibian assamblage consists of a mixture of autochthonous Laurasian taxa [albanerpetontid allocaudatans, discoglossid {Bakonybatrachus) and pelobatid anurans] along with those of Gondwanan origin (the neobatrachian Hungarygarobatrachus). Functional anatomical interpretations of the preserved iliac structures and taphonomical observations were used in the reconstruction of the paleoecological conditions. Different paleoecological circumstances of these gRomaniaps are indicated by the attachment surfaces of locomotory muscles in the preserved iliac bones of Bakonybatrachus and Hungarygarobatrachus and compared to recent representatives of discoglossid and ranid frogs (i.e. Discoglossus and Rana). Large insertion surfaces for m. gluteus maximus and for the m. iliacus externus pars externa indicates that Bakonybatrachus had good jumping and swimming abilities pointing to a periaquatic life-style, whereas the large m. iliacus externus and m. ilifibularis-iliofemoralis combined with a huge interiliac tubercle, suggest that Hungarygarobatrachus was a strong jumper, swimmer or both. Source

Szentesi Z.,Eotvos Lorand University | Venczel M.,Tarii Crisurilor Museum
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen | Year: 2010

A new anuran genus and species is described based on isolated ilia and tibio-fibulae from the Iharkút locality (Late Cretaceous, Santonian), Hungary, in the Csehbánya Formation. The distinctive ilium exhibits at least two autapomorphies: (1) an iliac crest that is heavily built, extremely high, and sculptured laterally by longitudinal grooves and bony ridges that anastomose posteriorly and (2) an interiliac tubercle that is huge and medially bears an extensive sutural surface developed at the level of the preacetabular region. Details of the iliac crest and ilioischiadic junction argue for the Hungarian frog being a member of the Neobatrachia and, possibly, closely related to ranoids. Based on ilial features, the Hungarian frog is interpreted as an aquatic form that descended from a more terrestrial, jumping ancestor. Assuming its higher level affinities are correct, the new Hungarian frog documents a significant temporal extension for neobatrachians in Europe from the late Palaeocene back into the Santonian. © 2010 Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany. Source

Maddin H.C.,University of Calgary | Venczel M.,Tarii Crisurilor Museum | Gardner J.D.,Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology | Rage J.-C.,CNRS Center for Research on Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology | Year: 2013

The Albanerpetontidae, small salamander-like tetrapods from the Middle Jurassic-Neogene of Laurasia and northern Africa, are widely considered to be lissamphibians; however, relationships among major lissamphibian clades are unresolved. A recently identified, isolated, and three-dimensionally preserved neurocranium (early Pliocene, Hungary) referred to Albanerpeton pannonicum is described, incorporating information gained from the application of micro-computed tomography. It is revealed that the neurocranium is a robust, box-like structure composed of the coossification of the parasphenoid, otic capsules, and occipital elements. The otic capsule endocast reveals the morphology of the endosseous labyrinth, complete with well-defined endosseous semicircular canals and a modestly developed ventral endosseous auditory region; however, details of the individual auditory organs are not discernable from the endocast. Features of the neurocranium and endosseous labyrinth are consistent with the hypothesis that A. pannonicum, and albanerpetontids in general, were somewhat fossorial. The neurocranium and endosseous labyrinth exhibit a mosaic of anuran, urodele, and apodan traits, thus precluding refinement of the phylogenetic position of albanerpetontids. In general, the neurocranium and endosseous labyrinth appear most similar to urodeles, and similarities with apodans and anurans may be due to convergent evolution resulting from similar habits and responses to inner ear stimulation. This new neurocranium represents the best-known specimen of its kind for albanerpetontids, and the data presented here combined with future comparative studies will contribute to a better understanding of the biology and evolution of this group. © 2013 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Source

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