An ailuravine rodent from the lower Eocene Cambay Formation at Vastan, western India, and its palaeobiogeographic implications
A new ailuravine rodent, Meldimys musak sp. nov. (Mammalia: Rodentia, Ischyromyidae), is recorded from the lower Eocene lignites of western India. It is the oldest record of Rodentia from India. M. musak is more derived than the earliest Eocene ailuravine Euromys cardosoi from Portugal and more generalized than late early Eocene E. inexpectatus and Ailuravus michauxi from France. Its dental morphology closely corresponds to the middle early Eocene species M. louisi, which lived about 52 Ma in Western Europe. Meldimys was previously known only from Europe, and ailuravines were previously reported only from Europe and North America. Its occurrence in India allows the first direct correlation between the early Eocene land mammal horizons of Europe and India, and raises the possibility of a terrestrial faunal exchange between India and Eurasia close to the Palaeocene-Eocene transition.
Key words: Mammalia, Ailuravinae, Rodentia, palaeobiogeography, Eocene, India.
Rajendra S. Rana email@example.com and Lachham Singh firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Geology, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar 246 175 UA, India; Kishor Kumar email@example.com, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 33 General Mahadeo Singh Road, Dehradun 248 001 UA, India (corresponding author); Gilles Escarguel firstname.lastname@example.org, UMR CNRS 5125 Paléoenvironnements & Paléobiosphčre, France; Université Lyon 1, Campus de la Doua, Bât. Géode F-69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France; Ashok Sahni email@example.com, Department of Geology, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160 014, India; Kenneth D. Rose firstname.lastname@example.org, Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore MD 21205, USA; Thierry Smith Thierry.Smith@naturalsciences.be, Department of Paleontology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium; Hukam Singh email@example.com, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow 226 007 UP, India.