© 2017 Elsevier B.V. In this paper, we synthesize sedimentological, magnetostratigraphic and paleontological data from the continental vertebrate site of Puerto de la Cadena (Murcia, SE Spain), in order to clarify its age. The study site is located on the northern edge of the Carrascoy mountain range, in the upper part of the Cigarrón Unit. The end-Messinian discontinuity has been detected at the base of this unit, which indicates it has an early Pliocene age. Abundant remains of small and large vertebrates, including rodents, lagomorphs, primates, carnivorans, perissodactyls, artiodactyls, proboscideans, testudines, squamats, and crocodiles, have been found in this area. Some of these elements are of African origin, such as Debruijnimys sp., Macaca sp., and Sivatherium cf. hendeyi, and their presence is related to the Messinian Salinity Crisis. In addition, remains found at this site verify the persistence of Crocodylia in the European record beyond the late Miocene. The association includes typical elements of the early Ruscinian terrestrial record (MN14), like Apocricetus cf. barrierei, Sivatherium, Gazella aff. baturra, and Hipparion fissurae. The Puerto de la Cadena site is located in a reversed geomagnetic chron that has been correlated with C3n.3r (from 4.997 to 4.896 Ma). According to this correlation, the MN13/MN14 boundary has a minimum age of 4.9 Ma.
- Iberian Peninsula
- Messinian Salinity Crisis