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First fossil representative of the salamander crown-group from a Gondwanan continent:Pleurodeles cf. waltl from the Quaternary of Morocco

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
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  • 1 CNRS UMR 7205-7194, Département Systématique et Evolution, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, CP 51, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France
  • | 2 CNRS UMR 7209-7194, Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, CP 55, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France;, Email: salvador.bailon@mnhn.fr
  • | 3 CNRS UMR 7207, Département Histoire de la Terre, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, CP 38, 8 rue Buffon, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France
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Abstract

No fossil belonging to the Caudata crown-group has been hitherto described from a former Gondwanan continent. We report the first known extinct member of the caudate crown-clade from Africa, i.e. a Gondwanan territory. It belongs to the Recent genus Pleurodeles (Salamandridae) and is referred to as Pleurodeles cf. waltl. The fossils come from the Pleistocene of Morocco. They show that Pleurodeles (likely P. waltl) has been present in Africa for at least two million years and that anthropogenic dispersal is not the cause of its presence in this continent.

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