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Les amphicyons des phosphorites du Quercy



Les amphicyons des phosphorites du Quercy



Annales de Paleontologie Vertebres



Six Oligocene species belonging to the Amphicyon group are described from the phosphatic siderolites at Quercy (France): Pseudocyonopsis antiquus n. sp., P. ambiguus, P. quercensis, Cynelos piveteaui, C. crassidens, Brachycyon palaeolycos (including the new variety B. p. reyi), Pseudamphicyon lupinus, and Sarcocyon ferox n. sp. Detailed study of the identified specimens shows that the Amphicyon line is more closely related to the ursids than to the canids. The auditory region in the amphicyons is definitely arctoid in structure and characteristically ursoid. The skeletons are also suggestive of the ursids. The height variations observed within a single species reaches considerable proportions--up to 20% between the largest males and the smallest females. Only the dentition gives an indication of canid affinities, although precise measurement of the alpha and beta angles of Crusafont and Truyols (1956) place them in the ursid group. On the basis of this study, three stages separated by major periods of mammal migrations are recognized in the development of the ursids. The first extends from the Bartonian to the end of the Oligocene; the second begins with the Burdigalian migration, and the third with the Pontian migration. The amphicyons of France developed along two lines, one from Pseudocyonopsis antiquus, the other from Simamphicyon helveticus and Pseudamphicyon lupinus.

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