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Article: The first pre‐Quaternary fossil record of the clade Mabuyidae with a comment on the enclosure of the Meckelian canal in skinks

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 7 Issue 1 - Cover
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 7
Part: 1
Publication Date: Febuary 2021
Page(s): 195 215
Author(s): Andrej Čerňanský, and Elena V. Syromyatnikova
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1279
Addition Information

How to Cite

ČERňANSKý, A., SYROMYATNIKOVA, E.V. 2021. . Papers in Palaeontology, 7, 1, 195-215. DOI: /doi/10.1002/spp2.1279

Author Information

  • Andrej Čerňanský - Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology Department of Ecology Faculty of Natural Sciences Comenius University in Bratislava Mlynská dolina 84215 Bratislava Slovakia
  • Elena V. Syromyatnikova - Borissiak Paleontological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences Profsoyuznaya 123 117997 Moscow Russia
  • Elena V. Syromyatnikova - Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences Universitetskaya emb. 1 199034 St. Petersburg Russia

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 08 March 2021
  • Manuscript Accepted: 19 March 2019
  • Manuscript Received: 09 October 2018

Funded By

Vedecká Grantová Agentúra MŠVVaŠ SR a SAV. Grant Number: 1/0209/18
Russian Science Foundation. Grant Number: 18‐74-10081
RFBR. Grant Number: 19‐04-00514

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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Abstract

We here describe the first Neogene record of the squamate clade Mabuyidae. Although this clade has a cosmopolitan distribution today, no pre‐Quaternary fossil record of these reptiles has so far been documented. The material comes from the locality Solnechnodolsk (Russia) and is dated to the late Miocene (MN 13). Although it comprises only jaw elements, it constitutes the first evidence of the occurrence of fossil skinks around the area of the Black Sea. The material is identical to Heremites vittatus, showing the existence of this lineage as early as the late Miocene. Thus, it may be used as a potential calibration point for further studies. The comparative anatomy of the structures of lower jaw in selected scincomorph taxa with a special reference to Mabuya group is presented. The closure of the Meckelian canal is the condition at the basal node of the clade Sphenomorphidae + Eugongylidae + Egerniidae + Mabuyidea, whereas the closed canal in Acontias (Acontidae) evolved independently. However, Sphenomorphidae (Asymblepharus and Scincella) + Eugongylidae (Ablepharus) retain a large anterior opening of the Meckelian canal, whereas only a small opening characterizes the basal node of Egerniidae and Mabuyidae, except for H. vittatus and H. septemtaeniatus. The closure of the Meckelian canal in these two taxa is less well developed in comparison with other mabuyid skinks. Thus, a heterochronic pedomorphic process might have played a role in the evolution of these skinks. The Meckelian canal condition supports the monophyly of Heremites.

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