An exceptional large sample of the early Miocene ctenodactyline rodent Sayimys giganteus, specific variation and taxonomic implications


An assemblage of the early Miocene Sayimys giganteus (Ctenodactylinae, Rodentia) from its type locality Keseköy, and smaller assemblages of Yapıntı and Horlak (Anatolia, Turkey) are described. Almost all Sayimys species are known from small collections of isolated cheek teeth. The very large assemblage from Keseköy is of special interest, because it allows the study of the intra-specific variation of dental morphology: size, the morphological changes through wear and the criteria for recognition of the tooth position of molars. The results have been used to review the formally named Sayimys species and to evaluate the dental features used to define the species. The review of the early and middle Miocene succession of Sayimys in the Siwaliks (Pakistan) resulted in the resurrection of S. minor; S. baskini is considered to be a junior synonym of S. minor. S. sivalensis and S. obliquidens are nomina dubia, and restricted to their holotypes, S. hintoni n. sp. is established for medium-sized Sayimys from the Kamlial, lower Chinji and Manchar Formations and S. chinjiensis is resurrected for Sayimys from the upper Chinji and Nagri Formations. It is suggested that the middle Miocene species Sayimys intermedius and S. assarrarensis from Saudi Arabia are synonymous.

Key words

Anatolia, Pakistan, Siwaliks, fossil rodents, Ctenodactylidae, revision Sayimys, synonymy, new species