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ZHELESTIDS: STEM EUTHERIANS OR BASAL LAURASIATHERIANS, BUT NO EVIDENCE FOR PLACENTAL ORDERS IN THE CRETACEOUS
 

Summary: ZHELESTIDS: STEM EUTHERIANS OR BASAL LAURASIATHERIANS, BUT NO
EVIDENCE FOR PLACENTAL ORDERS IN THE CRETACEOUS
J. David Archibald, Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego,
California 92181-4614, U.S.A. & Alexander O. Averianov, Zoological Institute, Russian
Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia
Zhelestidae are best known by as many as ten species from the Cenomanian through
Turonian of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. At the best-known sites at Dzharakuduk, four
species are known (Aspanlestes aptap, Parazhelestes mynbulakensis, P. robustus, and
Zhelestes temirkazyk) and an additional very small and very large species may be present.
At the Cenomanian Sheikhdzheili sites to the west, two (Eozhelestes mangit and
Sheikhdzheilia rezvyii) and maybe three species are present. These are the oldest
published zhelestids. "Sorlestes" kara from Kazakhstan is Turonian in age. Other
species from the Coniacian through Paleocene of Japan ("Sorlestes" mifunensis), Europe
(Lainodon orueetxebarriai, Labes quintanillensis, L. garimondi), and North America
(Alostera saskatchewanensis, Gallolestes pachymanibularis, G. agujaensis, Avitotherium
utahensis) have been ascribed to this clade. Most taxa are known from fragmentary
dental remains, but some of those from Uzbekistan are now known from associated
cranial and dental remains. From the same localities ear regions and referred tarsal
elements are known, although there is debate as to which tarsal elements belong to
zhelestids. In all but a few phylogenetic analyses zhelestids cluster with early Tertiary

  

Source: Archibald, J. David - Department of Biology, San Diego State University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Geosciences