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The Chinese Hipparionine Fossils - Palaeontologia Sinica (New Series C,Whole Number 175,No.25)
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The Chinese Hipparionine Fossils - Palaeontologia Sinica (New Series C,Whole Number 175,No.25)
中国的三趾马化石
Language:  Chinese with English summary
Author:  Qiu Zhanxiang & Huang Weilong
Pub. Date:  1987-12 Weight:   kg ISBN:  7030001192
Format:  Hardcover Pages:  248 pages+ 47 plates
Subject:  Paleontology > Vertebrate
Series:  Palaeontologia Sinica, New Series C Size:  180x260mm
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Hipparion is one of the few fossil vertebrate genera that were recognized by pioneer paleontologists while paleontology was still in its infancy. The ubiquitous nature of the hipparionine fossils gave rise to the term "Hipparion fauna"in the Old World. On the other Hand, the earlier evolutionists, like T. H. Huxley and B. O. Kovalewsky, found in them an ideal form linking the existing horse with its five-toed progenitor. Both brought great fame to Hipparion Paradoxically, the richness of the fossils caused later much confusion and uncertainty in understanding of that particular group of animal. In result, after the first outburst of excitement, the enthusiasm seemed to fade gradually. One of the remarkable effects of the postwar scientific boom is the revival of the interest in many of such unsolved problems. A glance over the recent literature will suffice to show how fast the interest in hipparionine studies has been growing during the last 20 years. China made its important contribution to the study of the hipparionine horses in the first decades of the present century, but, unfortunately, it now lags far behind. The confusion caused by Sefve's erection of 11 roughly contemporary species remains as annoying as it was half a century ago. None of the Chinese vertebrate paleontologists will feel at ease until this matter is properly solved. Bearing the matter in mind, the senior author of the present memoir found the hipparionine material of the Licent's collection very suitable for a start in that direction, while he visited the Tianjin Natural Museum in 1979. The specimens are well preserved. Most of them are skulls with associated lower jaws and metapodials. What is more important is the fact that there are some new forms evidently from the post-pomtian and pre-nihewanian time period. As is well known, the hipparionine fossils from this period are seldom encountered in the Old World. From literature we know that this collection may be part of the material that Teilhard de Chardin planned to study and publish in "Paleontologica Sinica"during the forties of the present centure, but he failed in fully realizing it. He succeeded in finishing the study of the proboscideans, artiodactyls (without suines),mustelines, felines, siphnines and castorids. Among the remainder of this collection the hipparionines remain untouched. In view of the importance of the material, we agreed to initiate immediately a joint plan to study it. Originally the authors of the present memoir did have the intention to confine their study to the specimens of the Licent's collection kept now in the Tianjin Natural History Museum. As a matter of fact, the work had been almost completed when the senior author of the present memoir took his two-years' leave for West Germany. While staying in Europe, the senior author had the opportunity to visit Uppsala and saw Sefve's original specimens. Since then it has been clear that, without a revision of the Sefve's much confused species, the hipparionines from Yushe can not be properly understood. After returning to China, the scope or the work was considerably widened, so that all the available unstudied materials have been included in the present volume. Practically, the work turns now to be a general review and revision of all available Chinese hipparionine materials, which are partly new, partly previously described. The specimens to be studied here total 358, among which 60 are well preserved skulls and jaws, The geographic distribution of these specimens in localities is as follows:

 

 






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