This study compares footprints made by modern horses with two fossil trackways. One shows a Pleistocene horse in a gallop of 9 m/s, perhaps fleeing predators or migrating. More intriguing is the trackway of a Miocene horse with diagonal couplets in a gait of 2 m/s. This best matches the artificial gait of the rack/tölt only found in breeds such as the Saddlebred, Icelandic, and Paso, providing more evidence that early horses possessed a greater variety of useful gaits than most modern horses.
Dascillidae are a species-poor beetle group with a scarce fossil record. Here, we used light microscopy and X-ray microtomography to describe Baltodascillus serraticornis gen. et sp. nov. based on a well-preserved specimen from Eocene Baltic amber. We tentatively place this species in the subfamily Karumiinae. This is the first representative of the Dascillidae formally described from Baltic amber and the first described fossil member of the subfamily Karumiinae.
Palaeatalasis monrosi gen. at sp. nov. belonging to the subfamily Sagrinae (Chrysomelidae) is described from the Green River Formation (age 53.5–48.5 Ma). The new genus is similar to Atalasis Lacordaire, 1845 from Argentina. It also differs from the Eocene Eosagra Haupt, 1950 and the Paleocene Gallopsis Legalov, Kirejtshuk et Nel, 2019. It is the first record of the Sagrinae from North America and the fourth known species of the family Chrysomelidae from the Green River.
A new polycentropodid caddisfly species is described from Miocene Dominican amber. The family Polycentropodidae is therefore represented in the Dominican amber with two species belonging to the genus Cernotina: C. pulchra Wichard, 2007, and C. fossilinova sp. nov. The endemic C. danieli Flint & Sykora, 2004, is the only representative of the genus occurring on Hispaniola today and is similar to the two fossil species.
Baltocar sontagae sp. nov. and Pseudomesauletes lobanovi sp. nov. from the family Rhynchitidae are described from Eocene Baltic amber. It is the first record of Pseudomesauletes from Baltic amber. Keys to species of the genus Baltocar and to the Eocene species of the genus Pseudomesauletes are given. Assumed trophic relationships of the genus Baltocar with Cupressaceae and Pseudomesauletes lobanovi sp. nov. with Rosaceae are discussed.
The Chehrabad area, NW Iran, is known as the historical site of Saltmen mine dated to the Achaemenid and Sassanid eras. We, however, discovered animal footprints in NW Chehrabad (ca. 3 km NW of the Saltmen mine) on a very large slab. These footprints belong to the Miocene age and include canid, felid and bird tracks as old as 10.7 Ma. The canid footprint record establishes the late Miocene presence of canids on the Iranian Plateau as part of the Eurasia-wide “Eucyon event”.
Clown beetles (Histeridae) are insufficiently studied in fossil resins. The aim of the present research is to describe a new species of Bacaniini from Eocene Baltic amber. The specimen is studied using X-ray micro-computed tomography, imaged and compared with fossil and extant related beetles. A mixed sporophagous–predaceous diet in rotten wood of fallen and standing trees was assumed to be the ecological niche for the fossil species.
Whereas true dolphins (Delphinidae) are the most diversified family of cetaceans today, their evolutionary history remains poorly known due to a relatively patchy fossil record. Based on a fossil skull discovered in early Pliocene (5 to 4.4 million years ago) marine sediments from Antwerp (Belgium), we describe here a new genus and species of small dolphin, Pliodelphis doelensis. This is the first delphinid species to be recorded from the early Pliocene in the North Sea.
The 296 million year old rocks of Odernheim (Germany) preserve numerous fossils of fishes and amphibians (temnospondyls) of Permian age. This site is exceptional for yielding two large temnospondyl predators: the 2 m long Sclerocephalus nobilis and 1.5 m long Glanochthon lellbachae. A revision of G. lellbachae reveals that it forms the most ancient relative of the genus Glanochthon, a gracile fish eater, and that the origin of this group can be traced back to the genus Sclerocephalus.