Revision of the occurrence of muskox (Ovibos moschatus Zimmermann 1780) from the Gravettian of Arbreda Cave (Serinyà, northeastern Iberian Peninsula): new insights for the study of Iberian cold-adapted faunas

Isaac Rufí*, Dorothée G. Drucker, Hervé Bocherens, Lluís Lloveras, Joan Madurell-Malapeira, Julià Maroto, Joaquim Soler, Narcís Soler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

During the Last Glacial cycle (MIS 4 to MIS 2), the isthmic Pyrenees mountain range acted as a biogeographical barrier, effectively restricting faunal exchanges to its western and eastern terminations. The study of the composition of megaherbivore communities has revealed the transitional character of the Cantabrian region (northwest Iberian Peninsula) during the MIS 3, between western European cold faunas and southern Iberian temperate faunas. In the Catalan area (northeastern Iberian Peninsula), cold-adapted faunas are frequently recorded during the cold pulses of MIS 3 and MIS 2, albeit to a lesser extent. In the present paper, we provide the first direct evidence of a muskox record in the Iberian Peninsula, together with a morphometric study and the results of collagen δ13C and δ15N analysis. The results reveal that the Arbreda specimen fits biometrically within the Late Holocene Umingmak specimens (Banks Island, Canada). Moreover, its isotopic values fall into the range of Late Pleistocene Mammoth steppe muskoxen, which indicates a typical ecological behaviour for muskox. Indeed, it suggests a niche partitioning of this cold-adapted specimen in relation to other Gravettian Iberian fauna. Chronologically, this occurrence is interpreted as an isolated southward expansion of the biogeographical limits of muskox during the Greenland Stadial 4, in the latest MIS 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-872
Number of pages15
JournalBoreas
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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