Early Pleistocene environments and vertebrate dispersals in Western Europe: The case of Barranco de los Conejos (Guadix-Baza Basin, SE Spain)

Jordi Agustí, Hugues Alexandre Blain, Marc Furió, Roger De Marfá, Bienvenido Martínez-Navarro, Oriol Oms

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the vertebrate exchanges in the early Pleistocene of the Guadix-Baza Basin, according to the faunal content of the site of Barranco de los Conejos. This site is biostratigraphically placed between the earliest Pleistocene level of Galera 2 and the early Pleistocene site of Venta Micena. Magnetobiostratigraphic correlation indicates a lowermost upper Matuyama age for this site, therefore being almost coeval with the Georgian site of Dmanisi. The vertebrate record of Barranco de los Conejos includes two amphibians (cf. Discoglossus sp. and Pelophylax cf. perezi), three squamates (cf. Chalcides sp., Lacertidae indet. and cf. Coronella sp.), three insectivores (Galemys cf. kormosi, Sorex minutus and Sorex sp.), five rodents (Tibericola vandermeuleni, Tcharinomys oswaldoreigi, Mimomys sp., Castillomys rivas and Apodemus sp.), two lagomorphs (Oryctolagus sp. and Prolagus calpensis) and one bovid (Praeovibos sp.). Presence of taxa such as T. vandermeuleni and Praeovibos sp. indicates faunal exchanges with Western Asia and not with Africa. These dispersal events are probably the result of a trend towards increasing aridity and possibly cooler conditions in the area. Local evolution of endemic lineages is also consistent with this conclusion. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
JournalQuaternary International
Volume295
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2013

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