Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Basicranial morphology and phylogenetic position of the upper Eocene carnivoramorphan Quercygale

Gina D. Wesley-Hunt and Lars Werdelin

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 50 (4), 2005: 837-846

Quercygale angustidens is a small, early carnivoramorphan from the upper Eocene of northwest Europe including the Phosphorites du Quercy, France. Although there is extensive material of the genus, very little has been published on the auditory region which is an important character complex for taxonomy and phylogenetic studies. This paper presents a detailed description of the basicranium of an undistorted partial skull of Quercygale. The new data form the basis for a phylogenetic analysis of Quercygale in the context of basal carnivoramorphan interrelationships. Quercygale has a mix of derived and plesiomorphic characters. The promontorium is highly derived, and unlike that of any other 'miacoid'. Yet, based on the evidence from surrounding bones the bulla does not appear to be as expanded as in other closely related miacids. In the phylogenetic analysis Quercygale is the sister-taxon to Nimravidae and crown-group Carnivora, and it appears to be the most derived of the stem-group Miacidae. We discuss the implications that the position of Quercygale has on carnivoramorphan phylogenetics.

Key words: Mammalia, Miacidae, Miacoidea, Quercygale, carnivoran phylogeny, basicranium, Eocene, Quercy.

Gina D. Wesley−Hunt [], Department of Palaeozoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, S−104 05 Stockholm, Sweden; present address: [], Department of Paleobiology, MRC NHB 121, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, USA; Lars Werdelin [], Department of Palaeozoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, S−104 05 Stockholm, Sweden.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (for details please see, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.