Aliveria mojmiri sp. nov. among other flying and ground squirrels (Rodentia, Mammalia) from the early Miocene of Mokrá-Quarry sites (Moravia, Czech Republic)

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Historical Biology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Sciuridae; flying squirrels; postcranial; locomotion; Burdigalian; Moravian Karst
Description This article focuses on the sciurid (Rodentia, Sciuridae) remains from the early Miocene (MN4) Mokrá-Quarry sites, Moravia, Czech Republic. The sciurid assemblage in the different fissures ranges from one genus in MWQ4/2018 to three different genera in MCQ3/2005. Regarding subfamily Sciurinae, the dentognathic remains are referred to Palaeosciurus aff. fissurae, which shows an intermediate stage of evolution between Palaeosciurus fissurae and Palaeosciurus sutteri according to the development of conules in both upper and lower molars. Although the sciurid postcranial remains are left unassigned, several calcanei show strong morphological features belonging to ground squirrels, and, are therefore attributed to cf. Palaeosciurus. As for Pteromyinae subfamily, three genera were recovered (Miopetaurista, Blackia and Aliveria), including a new species: Aliveria mojmiri sp. nov. The new species shows a more specialised dental pattern and could further represent the ancestral species from which several middle Miocene genera evolved. Furthermore, some of the recovered calcanei have been here identified as cf. Aliveria, representing the first postcranial remains ever belonging to the genus, and confirm its attribution as a flying squirrel. The presence of both ground and flying squirrels is in concordance with an open landscape with patches of woodland proposed for Mokrá-Quarry sites.
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