Data from: New material of Gobicyon (Carnivora, Amphicyonidae, Haplocyoninae) from northern China and a review of Aktaucyonini evolution
Jiangzuo, Qigao et al. (2019), Data from: New material of Gobicyon (Carnivora, Amphicyonidae, Haplocyoninae) from northern China and a review of Aktaucyonini evolution, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p8n6q5m
The aberrant carnivore Gobicyon has been known for more than 80 years, but the evolutionary position and taxonomic diversity of this animal remain unclear due to the paucity of the known fossils. Here, we report a much richer and better preserved assemblage of Gobicyon material from Tongxin and Hezheng areas, northern China. Two new species, Gobicyon yei sp. nov. from the early Middle Miocene in Tongxin area and Gobicyon acutus sp. nov. from the late Middle Miocene in Hezheng area were recognised. Much better material of Gobicyon macrognathus and one isolated tooth of Gobicyon zhegalloi from Tongxin area are also described in detail. Gobicyon is recognised as a derived haplocyonid. A phylogenetic analysis of Gobicyon and related taxa was performed for the first time. The phylogenetic tree suggests a close relationship of Aktaucyon and Gobicyon (Aktaucyonini). Among the taxa traditionally included in haplocyonids, Haplocyonopsis is the closest to Aktaucyonini, as supported by its centrally located M1 protocone and a uniformly distributed M1 lingual cingulum. The most significant evolutionary trends of Gobicyon are the reduction of the posterior molars (M2 and M3) and the strengthening of P4 and M1, suggesting a forward shift of crushing function along the tooth row.