The Leporid Datum: A late Miocene biotic marker

Lawrence J. Flynn, Alisa J. Winkler, Margarita Erbaeva, Nadia Alexeeva, Ulrike Anders, Chiara Angelone, Stanislav Čermák, Florian A. Fladerer, Brian Kraatz, Luis A. Ruedas, Irina Ruf, Yukimitsu Tomida, Kristof Veitschegger, Zhaoqun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares and pikas) have a long evolutionary history in Eurasia and Africa, including primitive genera of Eurasia historically considered assignable at the family level to Leporidae, the predecessors of modern rabbits were absent throughout this vast region for most of the Miocene until late in that epoch. During the early and middle Miocene, crown group Leporidae differentiated in North America, then dispersed to northern Asia in the late Miocene around 8Ma (million years before present) and afterward. They then spread widely and apparently rapidly throughout Eurasia, reaching South Asia by 7.4Ma and penetrating Africa about 7Ma. The apparently abrupt introduction of Leporidae is a striking late Miocene event that we call the Leporid Datum. Perceived in terms of biochrons, the Leporid Datum includes localities in Europe and western Asia of late MN11 (Mammifères Néogènes system) age and younger, and precedes by less than one million years the Bahean-Baodean land mammal age boundary in China. The late Miocene spread of Leporidae throughout Eurasia was a successful invasion in terms of the numerous occurrences and abundant fossils preserved. Where dating is sufficiently robust, the Leporid Datum is late Miocene, nowhere certainly more than ∼8Ma. In contrast to this sudden and widespread invasion, rare older finds suggest two possible refinements to this scenario: stem lagomorphs close to modern Leporidae may have lingered into the middle Miocene of Eurasia, or an independent, unsuccessful leporid invasion from North America may have preceded the 8Ma datum. The Leporid Datum marks an important palaeoecological event for the Old World and complements the significance of molecular dates for origins of modern genera.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-176
Number of pages13
JournalMammal Review
Volume44
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Fingerprint

Leporidae
Lagomorpha
Eurasia
Miocene
rabbits
Ochotonidae
North America
South Asia
hares
Western Asia
lagomorph
Northern Asia
tree crown
Rabbits
Hares
complement
fossils
marker
mammals
Crowns

Keywords

  • Dispersal
  • Immigration
  • Late Neogene
  • Molecular tree
  • Palaeoecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Flynn, L. J., Winkler, A. J., Erbaeva, M., Alexeeva, N., Anders, U., Angelone, C., ... Zhang, Z. (2014). The Leporid Datum: A late Miocene biotic marker. Mammal Review, 44(3-4), 164-176. https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12016

The Leporid Datum : A late Miocene biotic marker. / Flynn, Lawrence J.; Winkler, Alisa J.; Erbaeva, Margarita; Alexeeva, Nadia; Anders, Ulrike; Angelone, Chiara; Čermák, Stanislav; Fladerer, Florian A.; Kraatz, Brian; Ruedas, Luis A.; Ruf, Irina; Tomida, Yukimitsu; Veitschegger, Kristof; Zhang, Zhaoqun.

In: Mammal Review, Vol. 44, No. 3-4, 01.10.2014, p. 164-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Flynn, LJ, Winkler, AJ, Erbaeva, M, Alexeeva, N, Anders, U, Angelone, C, Čermák, S, Fladerer, FA, Kraatz, B, Ruedas, LA, Ruf, I, Tomida, Y, Veitschegger, K & Zhang, Z 2014, 'The Leporid Datum: A late Miocene biotic marker', Mammal Review, vol. 44, no. 3-4, pp. 164-176. https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12016
Flynn LJ, Winkler AJ, Erbaeva M, Alexeeva N, Anders U, Angelone C et al. The Leporid Datum: A late Miocene biotic marker. Mammal Review. 2014 Oct 1;44(3-4):164-176. https://doi.org/10.1111/mam.12016
Flynn, Lawrence J. ; Winkler, Alisa J. ; Erbaeva, Margarita ; Alexeeva, Nadia ; Anders, Ulrike ; Angelone, Chiara ; Čermák, Stanislav ; Fladerer, Florian A. ; Kraatz, Brian ; Ruedas, Luis A. ; Ruf, Irina ; Tomida, Yukimitsu ; Veitschegger, Kristof ; Zhang, Zhaoqun. / The Leporid Datum : A late Miocene biotic marker. In: Mammal Review. 2014 ; Vol. 44, No. 3-4. pp. 164-176.
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