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New dental material and redescription of Agerinia roselli (Primates, Adapiformes) from Les Saleres (early Eocene, NE Iberian Peninsula)

Joan Femenias-Gual, Raef Minwer-Barakat, Judit Marigó, and Salvador Moyà-Solà

Plain Language Abstract

The study of Eocene primates is especially significant for understanding the first steps of primate evolution. In the Iberian Peninsula, early Eocene primate remains are scarce and were mostly described in relatively old works. For this reason, a revision of classical collections is necessary in order to emend some inaccuracies made in their first studies. Moreover, the advances in the knowledge about the first members of the order Primates made in the last decades allow an exhaustive comparison of this classical material with recent findings and a better understanding of the relationships between different taxa.

In this work, new remains of Agerinia roselli, an early primate belonging to the group of the Adapiformes, are described. The material consists of several lower teeth recovered from Les Saleres, an early Eocene fossil site from Northeastern Spain. In addition, a detailed description of all the previously studied material of A. roselli from that locality is also provided, which has pointed out some inaccuracies made in the first descriptions of this species made in the 1960 decade. The body mass of this primate is also estimated on the basis of the size of its lower teeth (it weighted between 650 and 900 g). Finally, a detailed comparison with other Eocene primates has revealed marked differences with all of them, demonstrating that A. roselli is a valid species clearly distinguishable from other cercamoniines.

Resumen en Español

Nuevo material dental y redescripción de Agerinia roselli (Primates, Adapiformes) de Les Saleres (Eoceno temprano, NE de la Península Ibérica)
Joan Gual-Femenias, Raef Minwer-Barakat, Judit Marigó y Salvador Moyà-Solà

En este trabajo se describe nuevo material dental de Agerinia roselli procedente de su localidad tipo, Les Saleres (NE de España). Se proporciona una diagnosis enmendada de la especie, junto con una nueva descripción del hipodigma completo de esa localidad, lo cual era necesario debido a algunas imprecisiones en las descripciones precedentes. El material estudiado incluye 12 dientes (de P3 a M3); las raíces de los premolares anteriores que se han conservado en un fragmento de mandíbula son presentadas por primera vez. Se han identificado algunas características no descritas anteriormente, después del nuevo análisis de este material, tal como son el P4 con distintivos hipocónido y entocónido y el pequeño paracónido en el M1. Se ha realizado una comparación detallada con otros cercamoniines. Se ha estimado la masa corporal de A. roselli, la cual abarca de 650 a 900 gr.

La presencia de un paracónido minúsculo en el M1 es el criterio más fiable para distinguir este molar de M2. Esto es apoyado por la total ausencia de paracónido en cuatro M2 conservados en fragmentos de mandíbula. La longitud del trigónido parece ser menos fiable para distinguir el M1 del M2, debido a su alta variabilidad en esta especie. En conclusión, este estudio actualiza el conocimiento sobre la anatomía dental de A. roselli y demuestra que se trata de un taxón válido claramente distinguible de otros cercamoniines.

Palabras clave: Adapiformes; Notharctidae; Cercamoniinae; Paleógeno; España

Traducción: Enrique Peñalver (Sociedad Española de Paleontología)

Résumé en Français

Nouveau matériel dentaire et redescription d'Agerinia rosella (Primates, Adapiformes) de Les Saleres (Éocène ancien, nord-est de la péninsule Ibérique)

Dans ce travail, du nouveau matériel d'Agerinia roselli provenant de sa localité-type, Les Saleres (nord-est de l'Espagne), est décrit. Une diagnose émendée de l'espèce est fournie, avec une redescription de la totalité de l'hypodigme de cette localité, nécessaire en raison de certaines imprécisions des descriptions précédentes. Le matériel étudié inclut 12 dents (de P3 à M3) ; les racines des prémolaires antérieures préservées dans un fragment de mandibule sont décrites pour la première fois. La nouvelle analyse de ce matériel a permis d'identifier certains traits qui n'avaient pas été décrits jusqu'à présent, comme la P4 avec un hypoconide et un entoconide distincts et le paraconide minuscule de la M1. Une comparaison détaillée avec les autres cercamoniinés a été conduite. La masse corporelle d'A. roselli, comprise entre 650 g et 900 g, a également été estimée.

La présence d'un minuscule paraconide sur la M1 est le critère le plus fiable pour distinguer cette molaire de la M2. Cela est soutenu par l'absence complète de paraconide sur les quatre M2 préservées dans des fragments de mandibule. La longueur du trigonide semble être moins fiable pour distinguer la M1 de la M2, en raison de sa grande variabilité chez cette espèce. En conclusion, cette étude remet à jour la connaissance de l'anatomie dentaire d'A. roselli et démontre que ce taxon est valide et clairement distinguable des autres cercamoniinés.

Mots-clés : Adapiformes ; Notharctidae ; Cercamoniinae ; Paléogène ; Espagne

Translator: Antoine Souron

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

Neues Zahnmaterial und Neubeschreibung von Agerinia roselli (Primaten, Adapiformes) aus Les Saleres (frühes Eozän, nordöstliche Iberische Halbinsel)

In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird neues Zahnmaterial von Agerinia roselli aus der Typlokalität Les Saleres (Nordost-Spanien) beschrieben. Zusammen mit einer Neubeschreibung des gesamten Hypodigmas dieser Lokalität, welche wegen einiger Ungenauigkeiten vorheriger Beschreibungen notwendig geworden war, wird eine emendierte Diagnose der Art vorgelegt. Das untersuchte Material umfasst 12 Zähne (von P3 zu M3); die Wurzeln der anterioren Prämolaren in einem Unterkieferfragment werden zum ersten Mal erfasst. Einige zuvor nicht beschriebene Merkmale wurden nach der neuen Analyse des Materials identifiziert wie der P4 mit einem unverwechselbaren Hypoconid und Entoconid und das kleine Paraconid auf dem M1. Es wurde ein detaillierter Vergleich mit anderen Cercamoniines vorgenommen. Die Körpermasse von A. roselli (von 650 bis 900g) wurde ebenfalls kalkuliert.

Das Vorhandensein eines winzigen Paraconids auf dem M1 ist das verlässlichste Kriterium diesen von M2 zu unterscheiden. Diese Annahme wird unterstützt durch die komplette Abwesenheit eines Paraconids auf vier M2 aus Mandibelfragmenten. Die Länge des Trigonids scheint weniger geeignet zur Unterscheidung von M1 und M2 zu sein, da die Variabilität innerhalb dieser Art sehr groß ist. Zusammenfassend aktualisiert diese Untersuchung das Wissen über die Zahnanatomie von A. roselli und zeigt, dass es sich als valides Taxon klar von anderen Cercamoniinen unterschieden lässt.

Schlüsselwörter: Adapiformes; Notharctidae; Cercamoniinae; Paleogen; Spanien

Translator: Eva Gebauer

Arabic

Translator: Ashraf M.T. Elewa

 

 

FIGURE 1. Map showing the main Tertiary basins of the Iberian Peninsula with the location of Les Saleres (LS) fossil site (modified from Antunes et al., 1997).

figure1 

FIGURE 2. Agerinia roselli from Les Saleres. IPS-2543, left mandible fragment with P3 and P4 in occlusal (1 ), buccal (3), lingual (5), and mesial (7) views; enlarged images of mesial roots of the same specimen in occlusal (2 ), buccal (4), lingual (6), and mesial (8) views; white arrows indicate the position of the most mesial root; black arrows indicate the position of the root immediately mesial with respect to the P3. Scale bar represents 3 mm in both cases.

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FIGURE 3. Agerinia roselli from Les Saleres. IPS-82793, isolated right M1 in occlusal (1), buccal (2) and lingual (3) views. IPS-82816, isolated right M1 in occlusal (4), buccal (5) and lingual (6) views. IPS-2542, left mandible fragment with M2 in occlusal (7), buccal (8) and lingual (9) views. IPS-82794, right mandible fragment with M2 in occlusal (10), buccal (11) and lingual (12) views. IPS-1981, holotype, left mandible fragment with M2 and M3 in occlusal (13), buccal (14) and lingual (15) views. IPS-2541, right mandible fragment with M2 and M3 in occlusal (16 ), buccal (17) and lingual (18) views. IPS-82795, right mandible fragment with M3 in occlusal (19), buccal (20) and lingual (21) views. IPS-82790, left mandible fragment preserving part of the ramus mandibularis and a fragment of the M3 in occlusal (22), buccal (23) and lingual (24) views. Scale bar represents 3 mm.

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FIGURE 4. Body mass estimate regressions for Agerinia roselli. 1, derived from the area of the M1; 2, derived from the area of the M2. Black dots represent different molars of A. roselli. Black line indicates regression based on extant prosimian data from Egi et al. (2004).

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FIGURE 5. Radiograph represented with inverted colours (1) and ESEM micrograph (2) of the left mandible fragment of Agerinia roselli (IPS-2543) in buccal view. White arrows indicate the position of the most mesial root; black arrows indicate the position of the root immediately mesial with respect to the P3. Scale bars represent 3 mm.

figure5

 

 

TABLE 1. Teeth measurements (in mm) of Agerinia roselli (Crusafont-Pairó, 1967) from Les Saleres.

Catalogue number Tooth Length Width Height
IPS-2543 P3 2.27 1.43 2.65
P4 2.77 1.70 2.66
IPS-82793 M1 3.24 2.72 -
IPS-82816 M1 3.24 2.50 -
IPS-2542 M2 3.26 2.61 -
IPS-82794 M2 3.51 3.06 -
IPS-1981 M2 3.31 2.66 -
M3 3.93 2.29 -
IPS-2541 M2 3.28 2.73 -
M3 3.24 2.11 -
IPS-82790 M3 - ≥1.97 -
IPS-82795 M3 3.97 2.42 -
 

author1Joan Femenias-Gual. Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Degree in Biology (2011) at Universitat de les Illes Balears. M.Sc. in Palaeontology (2012) at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat de Barcelona; Since 2012 Predoctoral researcher (Ph.D. student) at Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Paleoprimatology and Human Paleontology Department.
His main research line is the taxonomy of early Primates from the Iberian Peninsula based on the study of its dentition. 

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author2Raef Minwer-Barakat. Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Raef Minwer-Barakat is an experienced researcher in several fields of Vertebrate Paleontology. His PhD (University of Granada, Spain) was focused on the study of Neogene small mammals (rodents and insectivores) from southern Spain. In 2008 he got a position in the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (Barcelona, Spain), changing his main research line to the study of the early primates (Omomyiformes, Adapiformes, Plesiadapiformes) from the Spanish Paleogene. In addition, he continues the research on Cenozoic rodents, including systematic and biostratigraphic studies. 

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author3Judit Marigó. UMR 7207 CR2P - C.N.R.S., M.N.H.N., U.P.M.C.-Paris6. Département Histoire de la Terre, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

M.Sc. (2008) in Palaeontology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat de Barcelona; Since 2008 Predoctoral researcher (Ph.D student) at Institut Català de Paleontologia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Paleoprimatology and Human Paleontology Department. Ph.D. in Biodiversity (2013); Postdoctoral Associate in Duke University (Durham, NC, USA) from September 2013 until December 2014. Human Gross Anatomy and Advanced Anatomy instructor in Duke University from September to December 2014. Postdoctoral researcher at Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris since January 2015.

The main focus of her research during her Ph.D. were the dental-based systematics and taxonomy of the Eocene primates from the Iberian Peninsula, as well as inferences on paleobiology. After the completion of her Ph.D. she has continued her systematics work on fossil teeth, and she has also taken up a line of investigation regarding undescribed postcranials attributable to the fossil primates whose teeth she studied during her PhD, in order to infer their locomotor behavior and to assess the phylogenetic information contained in this aspect of their anatomy. 

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author4Salvador Moyà-Solà. ICREA at Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ph.D. in Geology (1983) at Universitat de Barcelona. Researcher (1984-2006) at Institut de Paleontologia de Sabadell. Currently, he is an ICREA research professor, director of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) and, since 2006, associate professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is author of more than 300 works published in scientific journals and books; he teaches in different masters of Paleontology and Human Biology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat de Barcelona.

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