New suoid fossils (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from the Miocene of Moghara, Egypt, and Gebel Zelten, Libya: biochronological implications


Some undescribed suoid specimens from early and middle Miocene deposits at Moghara, Egypt, and Gebel Zelten, Libya, are of interest for biochronology. The fossils comprise maxillae and mandibles with incomplete dentitions, which are described and illustrated in detail. Three species of suids and one sanithere occur at Moghara. A huge edentulous suid mandible was collected at Gebel Zelten in 1997 during the Spanish-Libyan Palaeontology Expedition. In January, 2020, additional sanithere fossils were collected from Moghara by a team from Cairo University and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris. A suid mandible with four teeth collected from Moghara in 1994, and now curated at the Cairo Geological Museum, confirms the presence of the species Libycochoerus massai at the site, previously represented by an isolated upper molar and two canines. A talus previously thought to be from Moghara is now known to have been collected at Wadi Natrun (late Miocene) and thus probably represents a tetraconodont rather than a kubanochoere. The age of the Moghara deposits is estimated to span the period ca. 19.5–16.5 Ma (late early Miocene, Faunal Sets PII–PIIIa) and the Zelten sequence is most likely to span the period ca. 17–14.5 Ma (late early Miocene to basal middle Miocene, Faunal Sets PIIIa–PIIIb).

Key words

Suoidea, early Miocene, middle Miocene, biochronology, North Africa