A new species of Amynodontopsis (Perissodactyla: Amynodontidae) from the Middle Eocene
of Jiyuan, Henan, China
WANG Xiao-Yang, WANG Yuan-Qing, ZHANG Rui, ZHANG Zhong-Hui, LIU Xiao-Ling, REN Li-Ping
Abstract An adult amynodont skull, collected from the Middle Eocene Niezhuang Formation of Jiyuan Basin (Henan, China), is recognized as a new species Amynodontopsis jiyuanensis sp. nov. The specimen possesses the typical features of the genus Amynodontopsis, such as a dolichocephalic skull with elevated roof, premaxilla-nasal contact, large preorbital fossa extending posteriorly medial to the orbit, inner surface of anterior orbital bar concave in continuation with the preorbital fossa, antecrochet usually presented on M1, and metastyle of M3 strongly deflected labially. A. jiyuanensis is diagnosed by a combination of the following characters: long nasals, nasal process of premaxilla extending far back laterally below the nasal and excluding the maxilla from the border of external nares, nasal notch above the post-canine diastema, more transverse and proportionally longer protoloph and metaloph on upper molars. Comparison with known species of Amynodontopsis indicates that it is the most primitive one in the genus, due to the possession of primitive characters. Associated fossil mammals support a correlation of the strata bearing A. jiyuanensis with the Shara Murun Formation of the Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol, China, namely the Middle Eocene Sharamurunian Asian Land Mammal Age (ALMA), prior to all other known Amynodontopsis species. The earlier geologic age and primitive morphological features of A. jiyuanensis suggest that Amynodontopsis has an Asian origin in the Middle Eocene and later immigrated into North America.