Early Eocene lagomorph (Mammalia) from Western India and the early diversification of Lagomorpha.

Abstract

We report the oldest known record of Lagomorpha, based on distinctive, small ankle bones (calcaneus and talus) from Early Eocene deposits (Middle Ypresian equivalent, ca 53 Myr ago) of Gujarat, west-central India. The fossils predate the oldest previously known crown lagomorphs by several million years and extend the record of lagomorphs on the Indian subcontinent by 35 Myr. The bones show a mosaic of derived cursorial adaptations found in gracile Leporidae (rabbits and hares) and primitive traits characteristic of extant Ochotonidae (pikas) and more robust leporids. Together with gracile and robust calcanei from the Middle Eocene of Shanghuang, China, also reported here, the Indian fossils suggest that diversification within crown Lagomorpha and possibly divergence of the family Leporidae were already underway in the Early Eocene.

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1661

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Cite this paper

@article{Rose2008EarlyEL, title={Early Eocene lagomorph (Mammalia) from Western India and the early diversification of Lagomorpha.}, author={Kenneth D. Rose and Valerie B DeLeon and Pieter Missiaen and Rajendra S. Rana and Ashok Sahni and Lachham Singh and Thierry Smith}, journal={Proceedings. Biological sciences}, year={2008}, volume={275 1639}, pages={1203-8} }