Abstract

A long hiatus encompassing most of the Eocene (end of the Ypresian to the early Priabonian) breaks up the proboscidean evolutionary history, which is otherwise documented by a rich fossil record. Only two post-Ypresian localities from West Africa (Mali and Senegal) have yielded scarce Moeritherium-like dental remains. Here, we study one of these remains from Senegal and name a new genus and species, Saloumia gorodiskii. This taxon, confidently mid-Lutetian in age, evokes Moeritherium and elephantiforms with its wrinkled enamel, lack of centrocrista, and strong lingual cingulum. However, due to its pronounced bunodonty, which departs from the bunolophodonty of both Moeritherium and elephantiforms, we cannot exclude the possibility that Saloumia documents an early experiment in dental diversity among Paleocene–Eocene proboscideans, without direct relationships with later proboscideans.

UUID: http://www.zoobank.org/0b6b83f8-817d-498c-a672-8ffa8f81a978

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