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A partial skull of Dremotherium feignouxi from the Aquitanian of France (MN2, Saint-Gérand-le-Puy, Allier)

Keywords: Ruminantia , Miocene , Dremotherium , systematics , France

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Abstract:

An unpublished skull of the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene antlerless ruminant Dremotherium is described. It brings complementary information on the skull anatomy of this abundant but rather poorly known genus. It is confirmed that Dremotherium feignouxi had the combination of a single lacrimal orifice together with a lacrimal fossa. This particular configuration, not very common in fossil or recent ruminants is discussed. The ear region of Dremotherium feignouxi is well-preserved on the skull described here. It shows a tympanohyal vagina which is laterally enclosed by a strong lamina vaginalis. The tympanohyal vagina is not centrally placed like on Hispanomeryx. And together with the moderately inflated bulla, the overall shape of the ear region recalls that of cervids or moschids rather than that of bovids. After the study of this skull, the phylogenetic affinities of Dremotherium feignouxi are still difficult to establish, but future analysis of internal characteristics, beyond the scope of this contribution, should help to tackle this question.

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