Several artiodactyls , such as the pig Bunolistriodon , the tragulid Dorcatherium , the deer -like Lagomeryx , the bovid -like Amphimoschus , and the first true bovid of Europe, Eotragus , first occur during MN 4. The last occurrence of the primitive ruminant Amphitragulus also falls in this zone. Among carnivorans , the first occurrences of the mustelid Leptoplesictis and the saber-toothed Prosansanosmilus fall in MN 4. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Categories : Miocene Regional geologic time scales Biostratigraphy.
Nor is this an exhaustive account of all Asian sites, although most of the well-known sites are included. Such an exercise in- variably fails to capture the complexities and nuances of the regions being depicted, and readers are urged to ex- amine the original sources and citations within for each locality or basin. In many basins, controversies exist for faunal interpretations, in some cases, with discrepan- cies of millions of years.
In presenting individual strati- graphic columns, we did not attempt to analyze each re- gional scheme, although we did occasionally reinterpret magnetic correlations. The intention of this exercise is to put together, for the first time, all major fossil-mammal- producing regions in a series of charts, to draw attention to the different conceptual frameworks and different constructions of faunal relationships.
MN 4 (biostratigraphy)
We hope this will serve as a starting point to integrate various stratigraphic schemes. It is also immediately clear that there is much uneven- ness in concepts and in practices. At the conceptual level, countries in the former Soviet Union such as Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Russia or those influenced by the Soviet Union Mongo- lia, and China to a lesser extent have used stratigraphic schemes combining various notions of litho- or biochro- nology.
When western concepts of separation of litho- and biostratigraphy are applied to some of the areas, ma- jor discrepancies can occur that are difficult to reconcile, such as in the Aktau Mountain area Kordikova and Ma- vrin ; Lucas et al. As a result, our summaries for these countries are often not strictly comparable to those found elsewhere see figure I. These are areas that can benefit greatly by applications of consistent criteria to evaluate the strati- graphic schemes. In practical correlations, the European MN system continues to exert influences in many areas.
In some cases, such as countries in the former Soviet Union and western Asian countries, the MN units sometimes have been directly projected to the local strata. This basin was considered to have a late Early Miocene small mammal fauna or even as earlier Miocene MN 4 , but ongoing work has benefitted from paleomagnetic data Chaima- nee et al. Ex- amples like these highlight the perilous nature of long- distance correlation to a European system that is itself full of uncertainties and ambiguities and the importance of establishment of an indigenous biostratigraphy.
In stratigraphic resolution, existing Asian frameworks span a full spectrum of resolving power of continental bio- stratigraphy. Such a remarkable precision is pushing the resolving power in terrestrial sed- imentation to the limits Barry et al. At the other end of the spectrum, however, crude biochronologic characterizations, often withoutanyindependentcalibrations,arestillwidelyprac- ticed, which is the norm in many Asian countries.
Although a true sense of biostratigraphy for individual taxa within reasonably fossiliferous spans is emerging for a number of basins e. More inclusive terms, such as chronofauna or faunistic complex can be useful con- cepts to construct ideas of larger biota that span greater geographic and temporal ranges. From the perspective of geologic time represented in various Asian regions, our charts show that Early Mio- cene has the largest gaps in the fossil records of almost every region in Asia.
This is especially true for the begin- ningoftheMiocene 23—20Ma ,duringwhichpreciously few localities have any records and those that have some data are represented by mostly small mammals. Another conspicuous gap in the Chinese coverage has somewhat unexpectedly turned out to be the early part of the Late Miocene, the temporal equivalent of the Eu- ropean Vallesian Plate tectonics along the India-Asia collision zone and its resulting uplift of the Himalayan Range and Tibetan Plateau are thus critical factors imposing a first-order organization of the Asian continent.
This pattern of modern zoogeographic division can be traced back in deep time at least to the early Neogene, if not earlier, based on fossil mammals Qiu and Li , ; Flynn , consistent with the early attainment of a high Tibet e. Climatic differentia- tions are similarly recorded by Neogene mammal rec- ords Fortelius et al. Given such complexity in ge- ography and climate, questions naturally arose during the workshops as to the feasibility of devising an Asia-wide land mammal age system that can work across major zoo- geographic boundaries.
Since the disappearance of the epi- continental Turgai Sea by about early Oligocene, Europe and Asia have been a single connected landmass. Despite this continuity during the Neogene, however, distant fau- nas from the extreme ends in western Europe and eastern Asia show marked Early Miocene differences, although there is a tendency for increased similarity through time Mirzaie Ataabadi et al.
Fossil Mammals of Asia | Columbia University Press
A cli- matic gradient is likely, since sheer distance alone proba- bly cannot fully account for such faunal differences. This is in contrast to the north—south axis, which entails the crossing of climatic zones. By this argu- ment, western Europe and eastern China, both of similar latitudes, should share more faunal similarities despite their vast geographic distance.
Existence of distinct fau- nas from Europe and eastern Asia thus indicates climatic differentiations wetter Europe vs. Faunal dis- tinction through much of the Neogene few species in common is the strongest rationale for an Asian land climate history of East Asia. Recent fieldwork has re- vealed that several key Chinese Late Miocene localities aresignificantlyyoungerthanpreviouslyassumed Zhang et al.
However, while rich in large mammals, much of the fauna represents an endemic Tibetan Plateau assemblage that is not easily re- lated to faunas elsewhere. It has also recently become clear that the general trend of climate change in China during the Late Miocene is the opposite of the global trend of increasing aridity seen in Europe and North America and that faunal evolution in China accordingly follows a different path e.
Evidence from multiple sources now shows that China instead became gradually more humid during this interval, most probably as a result of a strengthened summer monsoon Fortelius et al. In this perspec- tive, the potential for establishing a long stratigraphic sequence from Lingtai takes on a special importance, and it will therefore be of considerable interest and im- portance to see whether future fieldwork will verify the tentative Vallesian correlations suggested by Deng et al.
With vast latitudinal, longitudinal, and altitu- dinal spans, as well as the attendant climatic zonations, zoogeographic differentiations are profound figure I. In other words, northern Asia and Europe are zoogeographically more similar to each Such a widespread biome of long duration has been termed the Pikermian chronofauna Eronen et al. As demonstrated by Mirzaie Ataabadi et al. Such diachrony has obvious implications for correlation, a case in point being the car- nivore genus Dinocrocuta, which in Europe and western Asia is a good indicator of early Late Miocene age and has been used to support a Vallesian correlation of Bahean mammal age system independent of the European MN units.
This is in contrast to North America, which has a much narrower longitudinal span, and its paleofaunas have even narrower distributions within the western half of North America eastern North America is poorly fos- siliferous. Despite east—west faunal differentiations, however, broad faunal similarities can be recognized in much of western and Central Asia at select time periods.
For ex- ample, the notion of a Pikermian paleobiome recognizes a wide swath of Eurasia during the late Miocene that is dominated by dry climate, increasingly open environ- ments, and seasonally adapted mammals Bernor et al. Europe—East Asia faunal inter- change entails largely the same latitudes in the east—west direction; the main barrier is the Tibetan Plateau and adjacent arid regions of Central Asia. Thin air and high mountains present formidable barriers along the southern slopes of the Himalaya, which form a sharp zoogeographic boundary; to the east along the east coast of China, however, the boundary becomes fuzzy and a transitional zone shifts through time along with climate changes.
Africa—Asia connection is intermittent during the Neogene. Width of arrows is suggestive of magnitude of terrestrial dispersals. The Bering Land Bridge undoubtedly acts as a filter that allows fau- nas in the Arctic realm to pass freely but severely limits those from middle or lower latitudes. Because of this lim- ited faunal exchange, correlations of Asian and North American land mammal ages, which are entirely based on mid-latitude faunas, are not easy, and the NALMA did not have much influence on the developments of the Asian mammal system. Contributions of Asia—North America faunal exchange are often asymmetrical; a large number of immigrant events have been recorded in North America, but far fewer mammals made it to Asia.
Tedford et al. With the exception of horses Anchitherium, Hipparion, Equus , camels Paracamelus , dogs Eucyon, Nyctereutes, Vulpes , and several small mammals the rabbit Alilepus, squirrels like Marmota, beavers, and birch mice [see Kimura, chapter 30, this volume] , mammals that dispersed from North America did not exert a corresponding presence in Asia. Although such a discrepancy potentially may be ac- counted for by sampling effects, at least in the Pliocene Flynn et al.
One striking ex- ample is an early Pliocene Arctic North American fauna that shares close similarity with contemporaneous fau- nas from North China Tedford and Harington Embedded within the overall balance of exchange favoring entry of Asian forms into North America is a striking, apparently climate-driven exception. The disper- sal of Eurasian ungulates into North America was dis- continuous, greatly declining during the later Miocene. Between 15 and 5 million years ago only four ungulate genera of Eurasian origin are known from North Amer- ica: Pseudoceras, Neotragoceros, Platybelodon, and Tapirus Tedford et al.
In contrast to the successful dis- persal of horses and camels in the opposite direction dur- ing this interval, none of the new arrivals diversified after age localities in China. Recent studies suggest, however, that Dinocrocuta has a primarily or even exclusively? Turolian age range in China, with the best-dated records so far clustering around 8 Ma Zhang et al. Such a clear distinction is rooted in the following two interrelated processes: erec- tionofaformidablegeographicbarrierinTibet-Himalaya and its lateral extensions, and formation of summer mon- soons in South and East Asia and winter westerlies and northwesterlies in northern China and central Asia.
This factor, coupled with major west—east river systems, dis- tinguishes much of China. Fur- thermore, in contrast to increasing faunal homogeneity between east and west Eurasia during the Neogene, the north—south faunal division became progressively more clearly delineated through time as Tibet was being up- lifted and its climatic effects became more pronounced. The above process thus presents the biggest obstacle in the establishment of a truly Asia-wide land mammal age system.
Being in similar latitudes and warm climates, the main control of Africa—South Asia dispersal was by intermittent land corridors. It is thus not surprising that South Asia often has the largest number of African elements outside of Africa, and an Ethiopian- Oriental connection seems to be recognizable Flynn Onceagain,fossilmammalsofferdirectevidencefor this profound change.
Furthermore, as consumers of veg- etation, mammalian ungulates are also invaluable for as- sessing plant compositions. Isotope ratios of dental enam- els, hypsodonty indices, microwear, and mesowear have become critical means to deduce plant coverage, paleo- temperature, and precipitation. The Institute of Vertebrate Pale- ontology and Paleoanthropology provided logistic sup- port in the two Beijing workshops, and we thank the numerous graduate students from the IVPP for their help andparticipation. We also appreciate the valuable comments and suggestions by two anonymous volume reviewers.
We are grateful to Alexey Tesakov for his review of a late draft of this chapter and for providing important Russian literature on several localities. This book and its com- panion workshops in Beijing and Los Angeles benefited from financial support from the Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology program of the National Science Foun- dation U. In connection to these fi- nancial assistances, we would like to acknowledge Ray- mond L. Bernor, H. Richard Lane, and Lisa Boush, whose sustained support are keys to our success in putting to- gether the largest gathering of mammalian paleontolo- gists working on Asian continental biostratigraphy.
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology made it possible for three young scholars to attend. Eronen et al. That the result is not due to sampling er- ror is testified by continued successful dispersal of Eur- asian carnivores into North America during the same in- terval, and by the fact that ungulate dispersal into North America resumed when the climatic imbalance disap- peared in the Plio-Pleistocene.
The goal is to address critical transitions in geologic history that profoundly af- fect biological and environmental evolution on global scales. Once again, Asia, by its unique geographic posi- tion and geologic history, has much to offer in our un- derstanding of global environmental changes. Mammal distributions in space zoogeography and time biostra- tigraphy and geochronology are two key components in any attempt to formulate ideas about paleoenvironmen- tal change. In many ways, mammal biostratigraphy by it- self offers evidences of critical transitions.
In that sense, we hope this volume will provide the initial dataset and encouragement to stimulate further research on the vari- ous critical transitions. Looming large among Asian Cenozoic geologic events is the rise of the Himalayan and Tibetan highlands and effects on the initiation of Indian and East Asian mon- soon climates. Without doubt, Himalaya-Tibet, as an im- posing physical entity in central Asia, is a first-order cli- mate maker. Much debate, however, is centered on the timing and process of the coupling of mountain uplift and climate change and their feedback on erosion and weathering e.
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