An international team of researchers led by Isaac Casanovas, from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), describes in eLife journal the first fossil skeleton of a flying squirrel. It belongs to the species Miopetaurista neogrivensis, it is 11.6 million years old and is the oldest-known flying squirrel. The fossil remains were found at Can Mata Landfill (els Hostalets de Pierola, Catalonia, Spain), one of the most important Miocene sites in the world that in recent years has provided several exceptional fossils of primates, elephants and giant tortoises, among other faunal groups.

The scientific journal on paleontology Comptes Rendus Palevol has published a thematic issue that includes several articles on Oligocene and Miocene faunas from different regions of Eurasia. Isaac Casanovas, researcher at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), is one of the guest editors of this special volume that contains up-to-date information on relevant localities such as the Vallès and Penedès (Catalonia, Spain), Siwaliks (in Pakistan) or the Vienna Basin (Austria), which are very interesting from the scientific point of view to study small-scale evolution.

Stuffed specimen of a giant flying squirrel from Japan (Petaurista leucogenys) at the Naturalis Museum in Leiden (Netherlands). (Isaac Casanovas).

Five species of flying squirrels that coexisted in the Vallès-Penedès basin during the Miocene, about 9.7 million years ago, have been described in the site known as Can Llobateres (in Sabadell, Catalonia). The finding, headed by Isaac Casanovas, researcher at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont , has been published in an special issue devoted to the Dutch paleontologist Albert J. Van der Meulen in the scientific journal Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments.


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