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New Early Miocene Material of Iberictis, the Oldest Member of the Wolverine Lineage (Carnivora, Mustelidae, Guloninae)

AuthorsValenciano, Alberto CSIC ORCID; Abella, Juan CSIC ORCID; Alba, David M.; Robles, Josep M.; Álvarez-Sierra, M. Ángeles; Morales, Jorge CSIC ORCID CVN
Issue Date31-Jul-2020
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationJournal of Mammalian Evolution 27: 73-93 (2020)
AbstractWe describe new dental remains of the genus Iberictis (Carnivora: Mustelidae) from the late early Miocene of the Iberian Peninsula. The new fossils of Iberictis azanzae from Artesilla (16.5–16.3 Ma, MN4; Calatayud-Teruel Basin, Zaragoza, Spain) add important morphological information about this species. Material from another species, Iberictis buloti, is described from els Casots (16.5–16.3 Ma, MN4; Vallès-Penedès Basin, Barcelona, Spain). This material constitutes the most complete sample of Iberictis and the first record of I. buloti in the Iberian Peninsula. Our analyses confirm the taxonomic validity of both species, and confirm the more plesiomorphic status of I. buloti compared to I. azanzae. Re-examination of large mustelid Miocene genera (Dehmictis, Ekorus, Eomellivora, Hoplictis, Iberictis, Ischyrictis, and Plesiogulo) and their inclusion for the first time in a cladistic analysis indicate that Iberictis is the sister taxon of Plesiogulo, and that these genera constitute the sister group of the extant wolverine (Gulo gulo). Our analysis thus confirms a close relationship between the early Miocene Iberictis, the late Miocene Plesiogulo, and the Plio-Pleistocene Gulo. Iberictis is the oldest member of Gulonini, the total clade of wolverines, thereby tracking the fossil record of this clade back to the early Miocene. We further propose a new systematic arrangement for the aforementioned large Miocene mustelids into the subfamilies Guloninae, Mellivorinae, and Mustelinae.
Publisher version (URL)10.1007/s10914-018-9445-x
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10914-018-9445-x
issn: 1573-7055
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