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The 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)

Abstract:

The oldest record of fossil bandicoots and bilbies (Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia) dates back to the late Oligocene of Australia. The earliest fossils came from the Etadunna Formation in central Australia. Here we describe additional material from the Etadunna Formation, as well as specimens from the Namba and Wipajiri formations. The new material fills gaps in the early evolutionary history of this order of marsupials, with species of peramelemorphian present in every faunal zones of the Etadunna Formation, and the first peramelemorphian reported from the Namba Formation. We present a phylogenetic analysis, which helped to classify the new taxa described here. We describe three new species of Bulungu, including the oldest peramelemorphian to date (Faunal Zone A of Etadunna Formation) and a new genus and species of the thylacomyid (bilby), about 10 million years older than the previous thylacomyid known.

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