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New Hystrix (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the late Miocene/early Pliocene of Myanmar

Yuichiro Nishioka, Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein, Naoko Egi, Takehisa Tsubamoto, Takeshi Nishimura, Tsuyoshi Ito, Thaung-Htike, Masanaru Takai

A new species of large fossil porcupine (Mammalia, Rodentia, Hystricidae), Hystrix paukensis, was discovered from the Upper Miocene to Lower Pliocene Irrawaddy sediments in Chaingzauk locality of central Myanmar. The specimen consists of a left mandible with p4 and an apical part of the lower incisor. H. paukensis is one of the largest species among currently known Hystrix species with semihypsodont cheek teeth. It differs from other species in having very deep mandibular body, relatively horizontal diastema, a mental foramen located below p4, a p4 mesial margin that inclines posteriorly. The semihypsodonty and large p4 of H. paukensis suggest that it is morphologically closer to the Mio-Pliocene H. depereti of Europe than to any Hystrix species of Asia. The presence of a semihypsodont Hystrix possibly indicates that an environmental transition to dryer conditions in central Myanmar took place in the late Miocene/early Pliocene, being consistent with the composition of the mammal fauna and with stable isotope data on mammalian materials.

Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Vol. 31 (4), pp.919-924

JUL/18/2011

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