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  • Pholidocercus hassiacus von Koenigswald & Storch, 1983


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    oilshale

    Taxonomy

    Elephant Shrew

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia Linnaeus 1758
    Order: Macroscelidea Butler 1956
    Family: Amphilemuridae Hill 1953
    Genus: Pholidocercus
    Species: Pholidocercus hassiacus
    Author Citation von Koenigswald & Storch, 1983

    Geological Time Scale

    Eon: Phanerozoic
    Era: Cenozoic
    Period: Paleogene
    Sub Period: None
    Epoch: Eocene
    International Age: Lutetian

    Stratigraphy

    Messel Formation

    Provenance

    Collector: T. Bastelberger
    Date Collected: 06/01/1974
    Acquired by: Field Collection

    Dimensions

    Length: 35 cm

    Location

    Messel Pit
    Darmstadt-Dieburg District
    Hessia
    Germany

    Comments

    Generally, the genus is assigned to the family Amphilemuridae, which according to some researchers is more closely related to today's hedgehogs (Erinaceidae). According to other studies, a closer relationship to the elephant shrews (family Macroscelididae) is also considered for the family.

     

    Taxonomy according to Fossilworks.

     

    Diagnosis for Pholidocercus hassiacus von Königswald & Storch 1983 (translated from German by oilshale): “A stout, ground-dwelling animal of a good 35 cm total length (head trunk just under 20 cm, tail a good 15 cm). In biological adaptation type, it is comparable to recent hair urchins (Echinosoricinae). Scaly dermal ossifications in the tail region; long bristly dorsal hair; probably possession of a horny plate over the forehead, the extension of which is indicated by deep vascular grooves on the skull roof; split terminal phalanges. I1/, C1/ and the persistent dP/1 relatively enlarged: C/1 premolariform; P/4 with dominant inflated protoconid, very small metaconid, and short broad talonid process; paraconulus and metaconulus of upper molars not connected by shelves to their respective outer styli, and paraconulus not connected to paraconid; lophid-shaped paraconid of lower molars reaches approximately lingual margin of teeth; hypoconulid of lower molars reaches approximately lingual margin of teeth; hypoconulid of lower molars located approximately median and somewhat prominent distally. See also emended family diagnosis.”

     

    Identified by von Königswald and Storch 1983 (this is one of the paratypes in their publication).

     

    In 1978, the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt organized a special exhibition "Fossils from the Messel Pit". The same fossil was in many exhibits that the museum had which included fossils borrowed from other amateur collectors.

     

    Reference:

    von Königswald, W. & Storch, G. 1983: Pholidocercus hassiacus, ein Amphilemuride aus dem Eozän der "Grube Messel" bei Darmstadt (Mammalia, Lipotyphla). Senckenbergiana Lethaea 64, pp. 447-495, 27 text-figs.

     

    Novacek, M. J.,  Bown, T. M.  and Schankler. D.  (1985). On the classification of early Tertiary Erinaceomorpha (Insectivora, Mammalia). American Museum Novitates 2813: pp. 1-22.

     

    Hooker, J. J. and Russell, D. E. (2012). Early Palaeogene Louisinidae (Macroscelidea, Mammalia), their relationships and north European diversity. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 164: pp. 856-936.

     

    von Königswald, W. & Storch, G. 1983: Pholidocercus hassiacus, ein Amphilemuride aus dem Eozän der "Grube Messel" bei Darmstadt (Mammalia, Lipotyphla). Senckenbergiana Lethaea 64, pp. 447-495, 27 text-figs.

     

    Novacek, M. J.,  Bown, T. M.  and Schankler, D.  (1985). On the classification of early Tertiary Erinaceomorpha (Insectivora, Mammalia). American Museum Novitates 2813: pp. 1-22.

     

    Hooker, J. J. and Russell, D. E. (2012). Early Palaeogene Louisinidae (Macroscelidea, Mammalia), their relationships and north European diversity. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 164: pp. 856-936.

     

     

     



    User Feedback


    FossilDAWG

    Posted

    Amazing!! Incredible!!  :default_faint::default_faint::default_faint:

     

    Don

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    DPS Ammonite

    Posted

    This is probably one of the finest and most important fossils in Collections. It is a paratype for the species. Paratypes in private collections are very rare.

     

    We need a new category (not really): Fossils that should have won the Fossil of the Month or Year, but are not eligible.

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    Greg.Wood

    Posted

    Wow that is incredible

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    Purty dang amazing!!!

     

    RB

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    oilshale

    Posted (edited)

    On 4/12/2021 at 1:01 AM, DPS Ammonite said:

    ....

    We need a new category (not really): Fossils that should have won the Fossil of the Month or Year, but are not eligible.

    Thanks my friends!
    I could try it with another piece from Messel - a 60 cm long and complete alligator (Diplocynodon deponiae = Baryphracta deponiae). Also found in early 1970, but still unprepared. If I finally prepare it now, the fossil might comply with the statutes: found by myself and substantial preparation in the month of submission. At the moment it is still covered by a thick limonite-sand layer (very bad stuff - hard to remove!). That would be only 50 years after the finding date. :heartylaugh:

     

    Edited by oilshale

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    1 minute ago, oilshale said:

    Thanks my friends!
    I could try it with another piece from Messel - a 60 cm long and complete alligator (Diplocynodon deponiae). Also found in early 1970, but still unprepared. If I finally prepare it now, the fossil might comply with the statutes: found by myself and substantial preparation in the month of submission. At the moment it is still covered by a thick limonite-sand layer (very bad stuff - hard to remove!). That would be only 40 years after the finding date. :heartylaugh:

     

     

    Be sure to take photos of it now...before prep.  ;)

     

    Thomas, can you share more on the discovery of this incredible "elephant shrew"?

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    oilshale

    Posted

    8 minutes ago, JohnJ said:

     

    Be sure to take photos of it now...before prep.  ;)

     

    Thomas, can you share more on the discovery of this incredible "elephant shrew"?

    No problem - I can tell something about the history, the golden times in Messel (for collectors) and about the discovery of the preparation method.  But for that I need some time (which I unfortunately don't have at the moment). But promised!

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    1 minute ago, oilshale said:

    No problem - I can tell something about the history, the golden times in Messel (for collectors) and about the discovery of the preparation method.  But for that I need some time (which I unfortunately don't have at the moment). But promised!

    That would be awesome!

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