Title

Le prétendu rhinocéros de Nouvelle Calédonie est un marsupial (Zygomaturus diahotensis nov. sp.). Solution d'une énigmeet conséquences paléogéographiques

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-1981

Abstract

The first mammalian remain ever found in NewCaledonia is an upper tooth found by golddiggers in the Plio-Pleistocene terrace from the Diahot river. This tooth, given to the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (Paris) in 1876, was determined as a rhinoceros tooth and then completely forgotten. Its detailed study shows that it belongs to Zygomaturus, a large marsupial diprotodontid genus whose story is rather complicated. The Diahot tooth represents a new species of Zygomaturus, Z. diahotensis nov. sp., close to Z. trilobus from the Australian Pleistocene. That kinship suggests a Plio-Pleistocene land connection between Australia and New Caledonia, whereas till now New Caledonia was supposed to be separated from Australia since the end of the Cretaceous, because of the total absence of indigenous mammals, fossil or recent, in New Caledonia. The latest geological studies in the East Pacific do not contradict our hypothesis. © 1981.

Publication Title

Geobios

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