Paleontological Society International Research Program (PalSIRP)

Sepkoski Grants

The Paleontological Society is pleased to announce continuation of its expanded small grants program for paleontologists living in Eastern Europe and republics of the former Soviet Union, Central and South America and island nations of the Caribbean (excluding possessions and territories of the USA and western Europe), Africa, southern Asia (excluding Japan, North and South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar,  Israel, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria), and island nations of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (excluding Australia and New Zealand). 

For 2020, the Paleontological Society will award up to 25 grants of US $1000. These grants will be made directly to individuals and not to institutions.  Grantees will be selected by a committee of the Paleontological Society based on the quality and feasibility of the proposed research.  Grants will be awarded to paleontologists at levels ranging from graduate students to professionals and to active retirees. 

PalSIRP Sepkoski Grants are named in honor of Dr. J. John Sepkoski, Jr., founder of the program.  Dr. Sepkoski died at age 50 in 1999.

Applications for a PalSIRP Sepkoski Grant must include the following four items, all typed in English:  

  1. The Cover sheet (downloaded from the Sepkoski Grants announcement available at the website) completely filled out and sent with the rest of the application.  
  2. Cover letter, stating the applicant’s full name as it appears on the applicant’s passport, passport number, date of birth, institutional affiliation, address, telephone number, FAX number, and especially the e-mail address.  The letter should also provide names and addresses of paleontologist’s familiar with the applicant’s research and exclusive of the applicant’s country of origin. These persons will be used as referees and will be contacted by the Sepkoski Grants Committee
  3. Research proposal, no longer than two pages, single-sided divided into the following sections:
    I.     Project title
    II.   Brief description of proposed research
    III. The significance of the research, both regionally and globally, and

    IV.  The intended uses of funds from the Sepkoski Grant 

    The subject matter covered by grant proposals may be in any field under the discipline of paleontology/paleobiology. Applicants should look over the Journal of Paleontology as a guide to acceptable topics. Appropriate uses of Sepkoski Grant funds include (but are not limited to) salary support, domestic and foreign travel, and equipment purchase. Requests for field expenses, publication costs, attendance at scientific meetings, and aspects related to any of these areas is acceptable. If you receive a grant we ask that a brief accounting of how the funds were spent be sent a year after the grant is received. Also, as a part of this section please include a statement telling us how you can receive payment, if awarded a grant, in US dollars. We suggest that you confer with your bank on this. For example, it may be recommended by your bank to use a wire transfer.

  4. Curriculum vitae (C.V.), listing birth date, education, current professional position, and all published papers, articles, and books.  Additional information, such as employment history, awards, participation in international conferences and projects, etc., may be included.
  5. PS Professional Conduct Form.  Please submit a PS Professional Conduct Self-Reporting Form as prescribed in the Paleontological Society Policy on Non-Discrimination and Member Code of Conduct. If, for any reason, you are uncomfortable about completing the form, you are welcome to contact a member of the ethics committee for a confidential conversation in advance.

The cover sheet and items (2-4) must be sent by e-mail (in Microsoft Word or plain- text)  as a single attachment, (not multiple attachments), to this address.                      

Proposals must be received by April 1, 2020 to be considered for 2020 funding.  Proposals received after that date will not be considered. Proposals not written in English will be returned without consideration.

Paleontologists living in the following countries are currently eligible for PalSIRP Sepkoski Grants: all republics of the former Soviet Union, including the Baltic States, Mongolia, and nations in Eastern Europe (other than East Germany), including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia, countries of Central America, Countries of South America, and island nations of the Caribbean (excluding possessions’ and territories’ of the USA and western European countries), the continent of Africa, southern Asia (excluding Japan, North and South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar,  Israel, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria), and island nations of the Indian and Pacific Oceans (excluding Australia and New Zealand). 

There is no limit to the number of times a paleontologist may apply for a PalSIRP Sepkoski Grant but only one application will be considered in a given year.  Awards are usually made in June or July, but may extend as late as September or October.

Applicants should contact their potential referees by e-mail to determine their willingness to act as recommenders. It is also suggested that applicants send a copy of their proposal to their referees for informational purposes. We stress this in the strongest terms.  

The Paleontological Society asks all colleagues for their assistance in advertising PalSIRP Sepkoski Grants.  Please circulate this grant application information to your colleagues in the aforementioned regions.

Dr. Ronald L. Parsley,
PalSIRP Sepkoski Grants
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118 USA

Awardees for 2018

Alexander F. Bannikov, Leading ResearcherBorisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Russia, Research on the Eocene marine fishes: field excavations in the North Caucasus (Kabardino-Balkaria),Russia

Jiří Bek, principal scientistInst. of Geology, Acad of Sci., Czech Republic,  Reproductive organs of sphenopsid, noeggerathialean and filicalean plants and their in situ spores from the lowermost Permian of Wuda, Inner Mongolia, China, Czech Republic

Gábor Botfalvai, Associate ResearcherHungarian Natural History Museum, Living alone or moving in herd? Determination of the social behavior of ankylosaurs. Hungary

Darja Dankina-Beyer, PhD student, Vilnius UniversityThe microstruicture and histological composition of the actinopterygian and chondrichthyan fish fossils…Late Permian..Zechstein Basin, Lithuania

Tatiana S. Foraponova, Undergraduate Student, Dept. of Biological Evolution, Lomonosov University, Variability of peltaspermalean pollen organs from the middle Permian of the Russian Platform, Russia

Jana Frojdová, Post-doc, Dept. of Paleobiology and Paleoecology, Inst. of Geology, Czech Acad. of Sciences, Comparison of Zelleria delicatula (Sternberg) kidson from the Pennsylvanian of the Czech Republic and United Kingdom using whole plant concept. Czech Republic

Esteben M. Hechenleitner, Post Doc. Fellow, Centro Regional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Transferencia Tecnologia de La Rioja, Upper Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of Cienaga del Rio Huaco Formation (La Rioja, Argentina): diversity and paleobiogeographic implications, Argentina

Leonardo Kerber, Paleontologist (researcher)Centro de Apoio a Pesquisa da Quarta Colonia, In the Shadow of early dinosaurs- CT Scanning a small non-mammalian cynodont from the Upper Triassic of southern Brazil, Brazil

Anton V. Kolesnikov, PhD StudentTrofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophyysics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, A reassessment of the problematic Ediacarian genus Palaeopascichnus Palij 1976, Russia

Agustina Lecuona, Post Doc, Research Institute of Paleobiology and GeologyUniv. Nacional de Rio Negro, Appendicular myology and locomotion inferences in Mesozoic crocodyliforms, Argentina

Agustín G. Martinelli, Senior Researcher, Seccion Paleontologia de Vertebrados, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Fieldwork at a new Late Triassic continental locality in the high Central Andes od Argentina: a new window to improve the origin of mammals and dinosaurs outside traditional basins, Argentina

Konstantin E. Mikhailov, Senior Researcher, Paleontological Institute, RASStructural divergence of hard eggshell in the Mesozoic: identification and analysis of coincidences and incongruities with the basic dinosaur phylogeny, Russia

Guillermo Oñate Angulo, PhD Student, National; Autonomous University of Mexico,  Environmental and climatic changes during the Mexican Late Quaternary inferred using small mammal faunas, Mexico

Evangelina E. Palópolo, PhD student, Instituto de Investicaciones en Paleobiologia y Geologia, Systematic and biogeography of Eocene Ophiuroids from Patagonia and Argentina, Argentina

Damián E. Pérez, Post Doc., Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardo Rivadavia”, Phylogenetic relationships and macroevolutionary trends of family Carditidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia): A Southern Perspective, Argentina

Celeste M. Pérez Ben, Postdoctoral Researcher, Geology Dept., Univ. of Buenos Aires, Integration and modularity in temnospondyls: understanding the mechanisms of limb morphological evolution over geological time, Argentina

Evgeny V. Popov, Associate Prof., Dept. of Paleontology, Saratov National Research University, Taxonomy and relationships of the Echinochimaera-like holocephalian from the Early Carboniferous of central Russia, Russia

João  Henrique Zahdi  Ricetti, PhD student, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, South American Paleozoic insects: high latitude Carboniferous-Early Permian insect fauna, Brazil

Marco Romano, Post-doctoral fellow, Evolutionary Studies Institute, Univ. of the Witwatersrand, Quantitative analysis of the postcranial skeleton in basal synapsids: a multidisciplinary approach, South Africa

Olev Vinn, Senior Research Fellow, Dept. of Geology, Univ. of TartuEndobiotic symbionts in the Late Devonian stromatoporids from Baltica, Estonia 

Awardees for 2017

Alexander Bannikov, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, The Early/Middle Miocene fishes and insects: field excavations in the North Caucasus (SW Russia).

Roman Croitor, Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, Taxonomy and systematics of the giant deer Megaloceros

Anton Kolesnikov, Trfimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirisk, Russia, What does Orbisiana simplex really look like?

Anna Koromyslova, Borissiak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Ctenostome bryozoans boring the rostra of belemnites from the Campanian-Maastrichtian of the Saratov Volga Region and the Western Kazakhstan: taxonomy, morphological diversity and stratigraphic distribution.

Evgeny Perkovsky, Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, NASU, Kiev, Ukraine, The enigmatic Ugolyak amber insect assemblage: a new window into a late Cretaceous ecosystem of northernmost Asia

Ekaterina Polianskaia-Obraztcova, Dept. Of Herpetology, Zoological Institute, RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia, Cranial morphology of an advanced basal turtle Heckerchelys romani (Middle Jurassic of European Russia) within the context of the evolutionary transition from basal to crown turtles

Evgeny Popov, Dept. of Paleontology, Geological Faculty, Saratov National Research State University

Seratov, Russia, Collecting chondrichthyan fish remains from the Albian-Cenomanian phosphatic sands of Stoilensky quarry, central Russia

Andrey Sennikov, Borssiak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Two stages of mass extinction on land: Comparison of the Middle-Late Permian and Permo-Triassic biotic crises in terrestrial ecosystem of Eastern Europe

Olena Sirenko, Institute of Geological Sciences, NASU, Kiev, Ukraine, Reference geological sections of different facies Upper Cenozoic deposits of Ukraine palynological and lithological characteristics  

Yuliia  Vernyhorova, Dept. of Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Cenozoic Deposits, NASU, Kiev, Ukraine, The Tarkhanian (the lower-middle Miocene) of the Eastern Paratethyes on the Kerch Peninsula (the Southern Ukraine): biostratigraphical and paleontological reconstruction based on foraminifera

Dankina, Darja, Vilnius, Lithuania, The Late Permian (Lopingian Stage) ichthyofaunal record of the Polish–Lithuanian Syncline

Vinn, Olev, Department of Geology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, Trace fossils in the Ordovician and Silurian shells from Estonia

Jiri Bek, Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Palaeoecology, Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic, Participation on 50th Annual AASP Meeting, 3rd-7th September 2017, Nottingham, UK. Paolo Citton, Inst. de Investigacion en Paleobiologia y Geologia, Universidad Nacional de Rio Negro, Rio Negro, Argentina, Revision of therapsid tracks from northern Patagonia

Penélope Cruzado- Caballero, Inst. der. Inverstigacion en Paleobiologia y Geologia – CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Rio Negro,  Rio Negro, Argentina, Patagonian hadrosaurid dinosaurs and the conquest of western Gondwana

Lucas Ernesto Fiorelli, Entre Rios y Mendoza s/n, La Rioja, Argentina, Late Cretaceous dinosaurs from Los Llanos region, La Rioja, NW Argentina

Esteban Martin Hechenleitner, Entre Rios y Mendoza s/n, La Rioja, Argentina, The Upper Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of Cienaga del Rio Huaco Formation (LA Rioja, Argentina): diversity and paleobiogeographic implications

Lea Sylvia Leuzinger, CRILAR, Entre Ríos y Mendoza s/n, 5301 Anillaco, La Rioja, Argentina, Biogeochemical study of Mesozoic Archosauromorpha from the province of La Rioja (NW Argentina): preservation, palaeoenvironment, palaeobiology and palaeoecology

Lilana Londoño- Ortiz, University of Chile, Department of Ecological Sciences, Santiago, Chile, Seeking new clues on the behavior of the atmospheric CO2 concentration during the last glacial-interglacial cycle from a southern South American fossil leaf assemblage

Renato Pereira Lopes, Universidade Federal do Pampa (UNIPAMPA), Campus Cacapava do Sul, Cacapava do Sul, RS- Brazil̀, Paleoecology and extinction of Pleistocene megamammals in Southern Brazil 

Awardees for 2016

Babot, Judith, Instituto de Paleontologia, Fund. Miguel Lilo, Tucumán, Argentina, New stages of exploration in rich mammal-bearing Eocene deposits exposed in Northwest Argentina.

Bannikov, Alexander, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, The Paleocene/Eocene transition in marine fishes: field excavations in the North Caucasus [Kabardino-Bakaria].

Bek, Jiri, Institute of Geology, CAS, Prague, Czech Republic, Lower Permian in situ spores and pollen from the Wuda Coalfield, Inner Mongolia, China.

Cataldo, Cecilia, Dept. Cien. Geol., Inst. de Estudios Andininos Don Pablo Groeber, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Latitudinal gradient in gastropod diversity along the Southeastern Pacific during the Early Cretaceous.

Elgorriaga, Andres, Museu Paleont. Egidio Feruglio, Chubut, Argentina, A picture of the Jurassic gymnosperms from the new hot-spring chert deposit (Patagonia, Argentina).

Ezcurra, Martin, Sec. Paleontologia de Vertebrados, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Assessing the global pattern of the deadliest mass extinction in Earth history: explorations for fossil vertebrates in the Permo-Triassic beds of northern Argentina.

Ferrari, Silvia, Centro Nacional Patagónico, Insti. Patagónico de Geologia y Paleontologia, Puerto Madryn, Argentina, Early Jurassic marine invertebrate faunas from southwestern Patagonia, Argentina: a biostratigraphic framework.

Hoffmann, Carolina, Museum of Science and Technology, Pontifical Catholic University at Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Brain endocasts of basal non-mammalian cynodonts of MCT/PUCRS Fossil Collection: assessing the evolution of neocortex through CT-scanning.

Jimenez, Kevin, Division of Paleontology of Vertebrates, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Museum, National Museum of La Plata, La Plata, Argentina, Late Miocene-Pliocene Xenarthrans from the Old Barrier Zone of the Great America Biotic Interchange.

Kolesnikov, Anton, Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics of Siberian Branch, Russian Academic of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia, The agglutinated nature of Palaeopasichnids: testing the Xenophyphore Hypothesis.

Martinelli, Agustin, Dept. de Paleontologia e Estratigrafia, Univ. Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Fieldwork at the Late Triassic Riograndia Assemblage Zone of southern Brazil: a Rosetta Stone for understanding the origin and early radiation of main modern tetrapod groups.

Martinelli, Julieta, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Aridas, Coquimbo, Chile, Conservation paleobiology in the south Pacific: dating shell assemblages to establish temporal baselines for benthic communities in Chile.

Mirantsev, Georgy, Borissiak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Echinoderms from the Kosherovo Formation (Upper Carboniferous, Gzhelian) of the Moscow Basin: systematics and paleoecology.

Nemyrovska, Tamara, Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, Continuation of work to analyze the conodont succession in the Donets Basin to evaluate potential biostratigraphic markers for GSSP’s at the Bashkirian/Moscovian and Moscovian/Kasimovian (Late Carboniferous) boundaries.

Parras, Ana, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, National University of La Pampa, La Pampa, Argentina, Crassostrea orbignyi (Ihring, 1897) reefs and their sclerobiont communities in the early Miocene of southern Patagonia, Argentina.

Paulina-Carabajal, Ariana, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Téchnicas, Rio Negro, Argentina, Paleoneurology of abelisaurid theropods of Argentina: evolutionary pattern of endocranial morphology based on Jurassic and Late Cretaceous forms.

Perkovsky, Evgeny, Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, NASU, Kiev, Ukraine, The Far-Northern Baikura amber insect assemblage: Where does it fit in the Cretaceous?

Poletaev, Vladislav, Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, Atlas of stratigraphically important species of Carboniferous spiriferids from Eastern Europe (in Russia).

Sennikov, Andrey, Borissiak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Toward the faunistic verification of the Permo-Triassic boundary in continental deposits of Eastern Europe, Cis-Uralian region.

Tolokonnikova, Zoya, Kuban State University, Dept. of Regional and Marine Geology, Krasnodar, Russia, Late Devonian-Early Carboniferous bryozoans from East European Platform (EUP)

Awardees for 2015

Asatryan, Gayane, Institute of Geological Sciences, NASA, Yerevan, Armenia, Study of nassellarian radiolarian lineages based on material from Armenia: systematics and paleogeographic implications.

Bannikov, Alexander, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Revision of the late Ypresian marine bony fish fauna from the richest Cenozoic locality, Monte Bolca (Northern Italy).

Bek, Jiri, Institute of Geology, CAS, Prague, Czech Republic, Carboniferous lycophyte in situ spores from the Czech Republic and UK.

Khramov, Alexander, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, The Early Cretaceous lacewing (Insecta, Neuroptera) faunas of Europe and Asia: the comparative approach.

Konikiewicz, Marta, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland, Terrestrial Parasitengona mites (Arachnida, Prostigmata) in succinate: the case of stem groups within Trombidiodea

Mirantsev, Georgy, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Crinoids from the Kasimovian of the Moscow region.

Panaitescu, Dragos, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania, Jurassic “lost reefs” of the Getic carbonate Platform: a multidisciplinary approach of reef limestone olistoliths from flysch formations of the Southeastern Carpathians, Romania.

Perkovsky, Evgeny, Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, NASU, Kiev, Ukraine, The insect community of a Cretaceous northern amber forest.

Prikryl, Tomas, Institute of Geology, CAS, Prague, Czech Republic, Oligocene teleost fauna of the Eastern Paratrthys – new data from the Ukraine.

Rocek, Zbynek, Institute of Geology, CAS, Prague, Czech Republic, Revision of fossil frogs of the genus Palaeobatrachus.

Sennikov, Andrey, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Newly discovered Sundyr tetrapod fauna fills Efremov’s gap.

Stamberg, Stanislav, Museum of Eastern Bohemia, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, Amblypteridae (Actinopterygi) from the Permo-Carboniferous basins of the Bohemian Massif and their relations to other actinopterygians.

Tekleva, Maria, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Fossil pollen of unknown systematic affinities: a method of the subsequent study of the same pollen in light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy.

Vinn, Olev, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, Crinoid symbionts in the Silurian of Estonia (Baltica).

Volkova, Natalia, Borisyak Paleontological Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia, Neogene geese (Aves: Anserinae) of Central Asia: the fossil record and possible pathways of evolution

Awardees for 2014

Anistratenko, Olga, Dept.Cenozoic Deposits, Inst. of Geological Sciences, Nat. Akad of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev, Sarmatian Patellogastropoda( Mollusca: Gastropoda) in the Eastern Paraththyes:morphology, paleoecology and Biogeography.

Anistrarenko, Vitaliy, Dept. Invertebrate Zoology, Schmalhausen Inst. of Zoology, Nat. Akad. of Sciences of the Ukraine, KievLarval alteration in Maeotian Sea gastropods: a mode of surviving and speciation under decreasing salinity.

Bannikov, Alexander, Borisyak Paleontological Inst., RAS, MoscowField excavations of marine fishes from the Paleocene/Eocene boundary deposits in the North Caucasus.

Borszez, Tomasz, Dept. Marine Ecology, Inst. of Oceanology, Pol. Acad. Sci., Warszawy, SLAB: Slabs with sea urchins as a unique tool for discovering drivers in the macroevolutionary history of echinoderms.

Bratishko, Andriy, Luhansk Taras Shevchenko University, UkraineMiocene teleostean fish  fauna (otoliths) from the Zavetnoe, Crimea, Ukraine.

Fatka, Oldrich, Inst. Geology and Palaeontology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Attendance at the Field Workshop of Subcommission on Cambrian Stratigraphy in Kunming in August, 2014.

Ivanov, Aleksandr, Dept. Sedimentary Geology, Inst. Earth Sciences, St. Petersburg University, Russia, Late Paleozoic neoselachian sharks: dental morphology, diversity, distribution and phylogenetic relationships.

Nemyrovska, Tamara, Inst. Geological Sciences, Nat. Acad. of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev, Analysis of the conodont sucession in the Donets Basin, Ukraine, to evaluate potential biostratigraphic markers for GSSP at the Moscovian/Kasimovia (Middle/Upper Pennsylvanian) boundary.

Novikov, Igor, Borissiak Paleontological Inst., RAS, Moscow, Russia, Differentiation of the amphibian faunas in the Early Triassic of Eastern Europe.

Perkovsky, Evgeny, Schmalhausen Inst. of Zoology, National Acad. of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev, Sakhalinian amber, an exceptional window to the temperate Eocene of Asia (primitive ants vs. advanced dipterans).

Rosina, Valentina, Borissiak Paleotological Inst., Laboratory of Mammals,  RAS, Moscow, Postcranial morphology of bats (Chiroptera, Mammalia) from the Late Eocene localities of Ukraine: implications to paleoecology and evolution.

Sirenko, Olena, Inst. of Geological Sciences, Nat. Acad. Of Sciences of the Ukraine., Kiev, Palynological studies of Sarmatian deposits of Ukraine for purpose of their stratification, correlation and reconstruction of the paleogeographic formation conditions.

Sennikov, Andrey, Borissiak Paleontological Inst., RAS, Moscow, Russia, Coprolites of tetrapods – the window in the Vyaznikovian pre-crisis Terminal Permian continental ecosystem.

Tolokonnikova, Zoya, Kuban State University, Geological Faculty, Regional and Marine Geology, Krasnodar, Russia, Late Devonian-Mississippian Bryozoans from Eurasia.

Wagner, Jan, National Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, Ursine bear origin: phenotypic characteristic and taxonomic status of the earliest representatives of subfamily Ursinae.