New species of Rotundomys (Cricetinae) from the Late Miocene of Spain and its bearing on the phylogeny of Cricetulodon and Rotundomys

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 12;9(11):e112704. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112704. eCollection 2014.


The material of Rotundomys (Rodentia, Cricetinae) from the Late Miocene fossiliferous complex of Cerro de los Batallones (Madrid, Spain) is described and compared with all species currently placed in the genera Rotundomys and Cricetulodon. Both the morphology and size variation encompassed in the collection of specimens from Batallones suggest they belong to a single taxon different from the other known species of these genera. A new species Rotundomys intimus sp. nov. is, therefore, named for it. A cladistic analysis, which is the first ever published concernig these taxa, has been conducted to clear up the phylogenetic position of the new species. Our results suggest that Rotundomys intimus sp. nov. inserts between R. mundi and R. sabatieri as a relatively primitive taxon inside the clade Rotundomys. The new taxon is more derived than R. mundi in having a transversal connection between the metalophulid and the anterolophulid on some m1 but more primitive than R. sabatieri and the most evolved species of Rotundomys (R. montisrotuni +R.bressanus) in its less developed lophodonty showing distinct cusps, shallower valleys, and the presence of a subdivided anteroloph on the M1. The species of Cricetulodon do not form a monophyletic group. As a member of Rotundomys, Rotundomys intimus sp. nov. is more derived than all of these taxa in its greater lophodonty and the complete loss of the anterior protolophule, mesolophs, and mesolophids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae*
  • Fossils*
  • Phylogeny
  • Spain

Grants and funding

This is a contribution to the research projects CGL2008-05813-CO2-01, CGL2011-25754, CGL2011-24829, and CGL2011-28877 (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Madrid) and the Research Group UCM 910607. RLA has been supported by the RamÃ3n y Cajal Program from 2009 until 2014 and by the Marie Curie Actions since then. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.