Microtine rodents in the Frick Collection from Yushe Basin,
Shanxi Province, China
Charles A. Repenning probably examined every fossil microtine collection in the United States and most of them across the globe. The American Museum of Natural History, New York, holds significant specimens that attracted his attention. The Frick Collection of the American Museum is well known for its carnivoran and ungulate samples, but Frick collectors also managed to "squirrel" micromammals into the crates that came back from the field. Two interesting microtines accompanied diverse fossils from the Pliocene age deposits of Nan Zhuang Gou, Yushe Basin, Shanxi Province, China, and came to be recognized in the collection in the 1980s. As study of the American Museum specimens progressed under the direction of Richard H. Tedford, Rep and I determined that they represent two distinct taxa. Subsequent field work in Yushe Basin showed that one species, Mimomys gansunicus, is well represented in late Pliocene fluvio-lacustrine deposits. The other, Mimomys orientalis, is clearly older but not yet duplicated in modern collections of fossils from Yushe. Its affinity lies with Mimomys recovered from Yushe localities of about 3.3 Ma. The assemblage from Nan Zhuang Gou is a composite of material spanning at least one million years and probably acquired over a large part of the local subbasin.
KEY WORDS: China; Yushe Basin; microtines; Pliocene; Mimomys; Cromeromys
PE Article Number:
Copyright: Society of
Vertebrate Paleontology November 2011
Submission: 15 June 2007. Acceptance: 16 March 2011