Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

A new genus of eomyid rodent from the Miocene of Nevada

Kent S. Smith, Richard L. Cifelli, and Nicholas J. Czaplewski

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 51 (2), 2006: 385-392

The description of a new genus (Apeomyoides) of eomyid rodent from the Miocene of Nevada increases the diversity of known taxa, enhances the geographic range, and extends the biochronology for the Apeomyinae (Eomyidae). Three groups of Eomyidae are known from the fossil record of North America. Of the three groups, Neogene taxa include four genera representing the Eomyinae and two genera representing the Apeomyinae; no genera of the subfamily Yoderimyinae are known from the Neogene of the continent. This diversity represents a significant reduction of eomyid taxa compared to the Paleogene, from which 17 genera of eomyines and three genera of yoderimyines are known. In Eurasia, 11 genera of eomyids occurred during the Neogene, with a few taxa that persisted until about 2 million years before present. At present, there are no known eomyids from the last 4.5 million years of the Neogene in North America. Apeomyoides savagei is referable to the subfamily Apeomyinae based on several key structures of the teeth and mandible. This new eomyid is part of the Eastgate local fauna, collected from volcanic ash deposits of the Monarch Mill Formation, Churchill County, Nevada. Apeomyoides has an occlusal pattern that shares characteristics of apeomyines from both North America (Megapeomys and Arikareeomys) and Eurasia (Apeomys and Megapeomys). The unique occlusal pattern and large size of Apeomyoides demonstrates that not all eomyids from North America were small or that their lineages decreased in size through time. Apeomyoides also may provide evidence, which challenges the hypothesis that eomyids within a single lineage from North America became more lophodont in geologically younger genera.

Key words: Rodentia, Eomyidae, Apeomys, Apeomyoides, Megapeomys, Miocene, Barstovian, Nevada.

Kent S. Smith [ ], Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74107, and Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, Oklahoma (corresponding author); Richard L. Cifelli [ ] and Nicholas J. Czaplewski [ ], Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73072.

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