© 2016 Académie des sciences The land mammal record of the Vallès-Penedès Basin (Catalonia, NE Spain) ranges from the early Miocene (Ramblian) to the late Miocene (Turolian), that is from about 20 to 7 Ma. Here we present an updated review of the mammal succession focusing on biochronology as well as on environmental and faunal changes. Based on faunal similarities with central Europe, we interpret this basin as a transitional zone between the forested environments of northern regions and the more arid landscapes of the inner Iberian Peninsula. The quality of the Vallès-Penedès record and its chronostratigraphic control is clearly better for the late Aragonian and the Vallesian (between 12.6–9.0 Ma), especially for small mammals. Therefore, we analyze small mammal diversity dynamics during this interval. Contrary to previous analyses, which found an abrupt extinction event coinciding with the early/late Vallesian boundary (the Vallesian Crisis), our results show that this pattern is due to uneven sampling. Instead, taxonomic richness slowly decreased since the late Vallesian as a result of a series of extinctions that mostly affected forest-dwelling taxa.
- Iberian Peninsula
- Western Europe