Tortugas pleurodiras de la República Democrática del Congo en el Turtle Evolution Symposium 2021

Otro de los trabajos presentados en el recientemente celebrado Turtle Evolution Symposium por parte de investigadores del Grupo de Biología Evolutiva de la UNED analizaba el registro de tortugas pleurodiras, del linaje al cual pertenece la actual Erymnochelys, proveniente del Mioceno de la República Democrática del Congo.

Su resumen es el siguiente:

The lineage of podocnemidid pleurodiran turtles Erymnochelyini, of African origin, is known from the Late Cretaceous. However, no member of this group has been defined at pre-Eocene levels. The extant Erymnochelys madagascariensis is the only representative of Erymnochelyini that is part of the current biodiversity. Knowledge about many of the Erymnochelyini representatives has improved remarkably throughout the last decade, through the description of new species, as well as new genera. On the one hand, the genus Eocenochelus, which groups three species identified in the Eocene record of Europe (the lower Eocene Eocenochelus lacombiana, the middle Eocene Eocenochelus eremberti, and the upper Eocene Eocenochelus farresi), was established in 2007. On the other hand, the oldest genera of Erymnochelyini currently defined for the African record have been proposed in 2021: the early Oligocene Shetwemys (known through the Egyptian species Shetwemys fajumensis) and the early Miocene Apeshemys (known through the Egyptian species Apeshemys aegyptiaca). Two other species are identified for Erymnochelyini, both defined at late Miocene sites: Kenyemys williamsi and Turkanemys pattersoni. Both species are recognized at both late Miocene and Pliocene levels, being exclusive to the Kenyan fossil record. Erymnochelyini material with uncertain systematic attribution is identified in several Neogene areas of Africa. Among them, this lineage is represented in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, only the presence of Erymnochelys sp. has been referred in the fossil record of that country, based on scarce material attributable to Erymnochelyini. Abundant specimens from the Democratic Republic of Congo, including well-preserved cranial material, belonging to several individuals, are recognized. All of them are compatible with a single species. Its attribution to the genus Erymnochelys cannot be supported. The Erymnochelyini material from the Democratic Republic of Congo is here analyzed in order to establish if the paleobiogeographic and/or biostratigraphic distribution of a previously defined taxon is increased, or if it is attributable to a new form.
  • Referencia: Pérez-García, A. 2021. The Erymnochelyini (Pleurodira, Podocnemididae) fossil record of the Democratic Republic of Congo. PE-APA 21(R2) – Book of Abstracts, R40.
  • Imagen: Imagen tomada durante la exposición del trabajo.

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