New specimens of Eucricetodon are described from the Late Oligocene Tieersihabahe Formation of the Junggar basin, northern Xinjiang, China. The relatively abundant material documents the morphological variation within Asian species of the genus. The taxon, identified as E. aff. E. caducus, is similar to E. caducus from the Oligocene of Kazakhstan and China and E. occasionalis from the Early Miocene of Kazakhstan. It also shows noticeable resemblances to E. longidens from the Late Oligocene of Europe whose origin is currently in debate. The study confirms the strong morphological affinity between Asian and European species of Eucricetodon and suggests that the evolutionary trends among paracricetodontines are probably more complex than previously assumed, especially with the new forms discovered from the last decade. A systematic revision of Eurasian paracricetodontines at species level is needed to understand their evolutionary history.
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Vol. 2009 • No. 3665