A new key locality for the Pliocene vertebrate record of Europe: The Camp dels Ninots maar (NE Spain)

B. Gómez de Soler, G. Campeny Vall-Llosera, J. van der Made, O. Oms, J. Agustí, R. Sala, H. A. Blain, F. Burjachs, J. Claude, S. García Catalán, D. Riba, R. Rosillo

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22 Citations (Scopus)


A new Pliocene Konservat-Lagerstätte in north-eastern Spain is described here for the first time. It is referred to as Camp dels Ninots. The particular geological conditions of the site, which correspond to lacustrine sedimentation in a maar, made it ideal for the preservation of fossils. At present, five large mammal skeletons in anatomical connection have been recovered: three individuals of Alephis tigneresi, one of Stephanorhinus jeanvireti and one of Tapirus arvernenis, as well as isolated remains. A minimum of five individuals of the chelonian Mauremys leprosa have been recovered, some of them in anatomical connection. The rodent Apodemus atavus, the amphibians cf. Pleurodeles sp., Lissotriton aff. helveticus and Pelophylax cf. perezi and freshwater fishes (Leuciscus?) complete the vertebrate assemblage uncovered up to the present time. The coexistence of Stephanorhinus jeanvireti and Alephis tigneresi suggests an age of about 3.2Ma for the Camp dels Ninots, near the MN15-MN16 transition. The Camp del Ninots fossil record enables one to extend the biogeographic range of some vertebrate taxa, such as Stephanorhinus jeanvireti, Tapirus arvernensis or Mauremys leprosa to the Iberian Peninsula. Taphonomic evidences of the skeletal remains indicates minimal (if any) weathering. Deposition at the lake bottom seems to have taken place in oxygen depleted layers. In this way, Camp dels Ninots is comparable to other remarkable maar sites such as Messel, the Eocene site situated in Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalGeologica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2012


  • Amphibians
  • Chelonians
  • Konservat-lagestätte
  • Maar
  • Mammals
  • Pliocene


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