The late middle Miocene Mae Moh Basin of northern Thailand: the richest Neogene assemblage of Carnivora from Southeast Asia and a paleobiogeographic analysis of Miocene Asian carnivorans. (American Museum novitates, no. 3952)

The late middle Miocene fossil-bearing lignite zones of the Mae Moh Basin, northern Thailand, have yielded a rich vertebrate fauna, including two species of Carnivora described thus far: the bunodont otter Siamogale thailandica (known from over a 100 specimens) and the large amphicyonid Maemohcyon potisati. Here we describe additional carnivoran material from Mae Moh comprising new remains of Maemohcyon potisati as well as remains of seven new carnivorans belonging to at least four families: a new species of Siamogale (S. bounosa), a new species of another otter (Vishnuonyx maemohensis), one representative of the genus Pseudarctos (a small amphicyonid), a new genus of Asian palm civet, Siamictis, one representative of another civet (cf. Viverra sp.), a new species of mongoose (Leptoplesictis peignei) and a Feliformia indet. This carnivoran assemblage constitutes one of the richest for the middle Miocene of eastern Asia and by far the richest for the Neogene of Southeast Asia. While the presence of new species indicates a certain degree of endemism for the Mae Moh Basin, paleobiogeographic cluster analyses conducted on carnivoran faunas from the middle and late Miocene of Asia indicates that a southern Asian biogeographic province, analogous to the current Oriental Realm, has existed since at least the middle Miocene. These results strengthen the observation that the Himalayan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau constitute significant physical barriers as well as an important climatic barrier (through the strengthening of monsoon systems) preventing north-south mammal dispersals in Asia since at least the middle Miocene.
57 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm.
Paleontology--Miocene--Thailand, Northern., Paleontology--Neogene--Thailand, Northern., Carnivora, Fossil--Thailand, Northern., Carnivora, Fossil--Southeast Asia--Geographical distribution., Paleobiogeography--Southeast Asia., Mammals, Fossil--Thailand, Northern.