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A grazing Gomphotherium in Middle Miocene Central Asia, 10 million years prior to the origin of the Elephantidae
Wu, Yan1,2; Deng, Tao1,2,3; Hu, Yaowu1,7; Ma, Jiao1,7; Zhou, Xinying1,2; Mao, Limi (毛礼米)4; Zhang, Hanwen5,6; Ye, Jie1; Wang, Shi-Qi1,2,3
2018-05-16
Source PublicationSCIENTIFIC REPORTS
ISSN2045-2322
Volume8Pages:8
Abstract

Feeding preference of fossil herbivorous mammals, concerning the coevolution of mammalian and floral ecosystems, has become of key research interest. In this paper, phytoliths in dental calculus from two gomphotheriid proboscideans of the middle Miocene Junggar Basin, Central Asia, have been identified, suggesting that Gomphotherium connexum was a mixed feeder, while the phytoliths from G. steinheimense indicates grazing preference. This is the earliest-known proboscidean with a predominantly grazing habit. These results are further confirmed by microwear and isotope analyses. Pollen record reveals an open steppic environment with few trees, indicating an early aridity phase in the Asian interior during the Mid-Miocene Climate Optimum, which might urge a diet remodeling of G. steinheimense. Morphological and cladistic analyses show that G. steinheimense comprises the sister taxon of tetralophodont gomphotheres, which were believed to be the general ancestral stock of derived "true elephantids"; whereas G. connexum represents a more conservative lineage in both feeding behavior and tooth morphology, which subsequently became completely extinct. Therefore, grazing by G. steinheimense may have acted as a behavior preadaptive for aridity, and allowing its lineage evolving new morphological features for surviving later in time. This study displays an interesting example of behavioral adaptation prior to morphological modification.

DOI10.1038/s41598-018-25909-4
Language英语
WOS KeywordUngulate Mammals ; Dental Microwear ; Oxygen Isotopes ; Feeding Ecology ; Opal Phytoliths ; Tooth Calculus ; Proboscideans ; Evolution ; Diet ; Reconstruction
Funding ProjectNational Natural Science Foundation of China[41472145] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41372001] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41625005] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China[41430102] ; Strategic Priority Cultivating Research Program, CAS[XDA20070203] ; Strategic Priority Cultivating Research Program, CAS[XDPB05] ; National Basic Research Program of China[2015CB953803] ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences[2018099]
WOS Research AreaScience & Technology - Other Topics
WOS SubjectMultidisciplinary Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000432271700007
Funding OrganizationNational Natural Science Foundation of China ; Strategic Priority Cultivating Research Program, CAS ; National Basic Research Program of China ; Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.nigpas.ac.cn/handle/332004/18718
Collection中国科学院南京地质古生物研究所
其他
Corresponding AuthorWang, Shi-Qi
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Vertebrate Paleontol & Paleoanthropol, Key Lab Vertebrate Evolut & Human Origins, Beijing 100044, Peoples R China
2.CAS Ctr Excellence Life & Paleoenvironm, Beijing 100044, Peoples R China
3.CAS Ctr Excellence Tibetan Plateau Earth Sci, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Inst Geol & Palaeontol, Key Lab Econ Stratig & Palaeogeog, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
5.Univ Bristol, Sch Earth Sci, Life Sci Bldg,24 Tyndall Ave, Bristol BS8 1TQ, Avon, England
6.Nat Hist Museum, Earth Sci Dept, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD, England
7.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Dept Archaeol & Anthropol, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Wu, Yan,Deng, Tao,Hu, Yaowu,et al. A grazing Gomphotherium in Middle Miocene Central Asia, 10 million years prior to the origin of the Elephantidae[J]. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS,2018,8:8.
APA Wu, Yan.,Deng, Tao.,Hu, Yaowu.,Ma, Jiao.,Zhou, Xinying.,...&Wang, Shi-Qi.(2018).A grazing Gomphotherium in Middle Miocene Central Asia, 10 million years prior to the origin of the Elephantidae.SCIENTIFIC REPORTS,8,8.
MLA Wu, Yan,et al."A grazing Gomphotherium in Middle Miocene Central Asia, 10 million years prior to the origin of the Elephantidae".SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 8(2018):8.
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