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GENUS Eozapus

Author:Preble, 1899.
Citation:N. Am. Fauna, 15: 37.
Type Species:Zapus setchuanus Pousargues, 1896.
Comments:Oldest record is from early Miocene of Mongolia represented by E. prosimilis (Lopatin and Zazhigin, 2000). Eozapus similis from late Miocene sediments in Nei Mongol (Ertemte and Harr Obo, N China) may be ancestral to living E. setchuanus (Fahlbusch, 1992), and extinct E. intermedius (type species of Protozapus) from late Miocene strata in Europe. Protozapus, proposed by Bachmayer and Wilson (1970) and documented from the late Miocene of Spain, Austria, and Poland (R. A. Martin, 1994; van de Weerd, 1976), has been considered a junior synonym of either Eozapus (van de Weerd, 1976) or Sminthozapus (Farjanel and Mein, 1984). Van de Weerd’s allocation of Protozapus has been endorsed by Fahlbusch (1992), who also noted that molar occlusal patterns of Polish janossyi, the type species of Sminthozapus (Pliocene), closely resemble those of Eozapus, that many late Miocene European samples identified as Sminthozapus are examples of Eozapus, and that Sminthozapus may be another synonym of Eozapus. Daxner-Höck (1999) followed Fahlbusch and considered European Eozapus (containing E. intermedius and E. sp.) to be restricted to the late Miocene, but Fahlbusch and Bolliger (1996) extended the time range to early Pliocene. Qiu and Storch (2000:188) regarded the early Pliocene Sinozapus from Nei Mongol sediments to be a sister group to "the Eozapus-Sminthozapus complex and not a descendent of the late Miocene E. similis from the same general region." The significance of these new discoveries and reidentifications is revealed within an evolutionarily and biogeographic context: the extant Chinese E. setchuanus, which is relictual in its primitive molar morphology and geographic distribution, is the only living representative of a clade containing other species of Eozapus that is rooted in the early Miocene of Central Asia and once ranged from Europe to eastern Asia during later Miocene times.


SPECIES setchuanus


    Protozapus Bachmayer and Wilson, 1970

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