Fossil lagomorphs from the Potwar Plateau, northern Pakistan
Siwalik Group sediments on the Potwar Plateau have yielded approximately 20 cranial and postcranial remains of leporids from nine localities. The oldest dental remains (late Miocene, 7.4-6.5 Ma) are from the Hasnot area, Dhok Pathan Formation. These specimens are assigned to Alilepus elongatus, sp. nov. Alilepus elongatus is diagnosed in part by a p3 with the anterior end elongated, posteroexternal and posterointernal reentrants each extending approximately halfway across the tooth, thick enamel on posterior border of trigonid smooth to heavily crenulated in posterointernal reentrant, and thin enamel on anterior border of talonid lightly to heavily crenulated. The p4 to m2s may have an anteroexternal reentrant and crenulations on the anterior end of the talonid. Three teeth dating to the Pliocene (ca. 3.5 Ma) are assignable only to Leporidae. The youngest specimen from the Potwar Plateau is a single incomplete m1 or m2 from the Pabbi Hills, Soan Formation (early Pleistocene, ca. 1.7 Ma). Its incompleteness could allow referral to Pliopentalagus sp., Pliosiwalagus sp. or Caprolagus sp. All postcranial remains from the Potwar Plateau date from the late Miocene. They are not identified specifically, but are likely referable to A. elongatus. The paucity of lagomorphs recovered from the Siwalik Group, northern Pakistan, may reflect a predator bias, as thousands of other small mammals have been collected.
KEY WORDS: new species; Lagomorpha, Leporidae: Pakistan; Neogene; Pleistocene;
PE Article Number:
Copyright: Society of
Vertebrate Paleontology November 2011
Submission: 15 June 2007. Acceptance: 10 April 2011