The carnivorans from Cava Monticino (Faenza, Italy; Messinian) revisited

Saverio Bartolini-Lucenti*, Joan Madurell-Malapeira, Lorenzo Rook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Among the vertebrates found at Cava Monticino, carnivorans are by far the most abundant of all the large mammals. Five different taxa were recovered: one felid, two hyaenids, one canid and one mustelid. The small-sized felid remains can be attributed to Felis christoli and seems to represent one of the earliest records of a true member of the genus Felis in Western Europe. Hyaenids at Cava Monticino are represented by the large wolf-sized and cursorial Lycyaena cf. chaeretis, and by the peculiar small Plioviverrops faventinus, the most abundant taxon of all. The latter is one of the most derived species of the genus and the last to appear in the fossil record of these mongoose-like hyaenids. The medium-sized canid recorded at Cava Monticino, Eucyon monticinensis, represent one of the oldest, certain record in the Old World of the genus Eucyon. It was a mesocarnivorous species that preyed on small vertebrates (abundantly recorded in the area of Cava Monticino during the Late Miocene). Lastly, mustelids are represented by the large relative of the extant honey badger, Mellivora benfieldi, whose record at Cava Monticino represents the northernmost record of the species and, presently, the only record of the genus outside of Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalHistorical Biology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2022


  • Canidae
  • Felidae
  • Hyaenidae
  • Late Miocene
  • Messinian
  • Mustelidae


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