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Peramelemorphian diversity of the Etadunna and Wipajiri Formation, late Oligocene to early-middle Miocene, South Australia.

K. J. TRAVOUILLON [1*], R.M.D. BECK [2] & J. A. CASE [3]


The oldest fossils referrable to the marsupial order Peramelemorphia (which includes modern bandicoots and bilbies) dates to the late Oligocene of Australia. The earliest geologically speaking of these are from the Etadunna Formation in central Australia. Here we describe additional peramelemorphian material from the Etadunna Formation, as well as specimens from the Namba and Wipajiri Formations. The new material fills gaps in the evolutionary history of the order showing that peramelemorphians were present in every faunal zones of the Etadunna Formation, and demonstrating for the first time the presence of Peramelemorphian in the Namba Formation. We describe three new species of Bulungu, including the oldest peramelemorphian known to date (from Faunal Zone A of Etadunna Formation) and a new genus and species of the family Thylacomyidae (which includes modern bilbies), which is ~10 million years older than the previous earliest thylacomyid known. We also present a phylogenetic analysis that helps clarify the evolutionary relationships of the new taxa described here.




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Australian Journal of 




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