The tale of a short-tailed cat: New outstanding Late Pleistocene fossils of Lynx pardinus from southern Italy

Beniamino Mecozzi, Raffaele Sardella, Alberto Boscaini, Marco Cherin, Loïc Costeur, Joan Madurell-Malapeira, Marco Pavia, Antonio Profico, Dawid A. Iurino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pardel lynx Lynx pardinus is today restricted to small populations living in southern Iberian Peninsula. However, this endangered species was widely spread throughout Iberia until historical times and is currently the subject of intense conservation programs. Paleontological data suggest that its past geographical range was much wider, including also southern France and northern Italy. Here, we report exceptionally preserved fossil remains of L. pardinus from the Late Pleistocene (about 40′000 years) of Ingarano (Italy), which represent the largest sample of fossil lynx currently known in Europe. This new evidence allows (1) to revise the taxonomy of European fossil lynxes, (2) to extend far southeast the paleobiogeographical distribution of L. pardinus, and (3) to offer new insights on the evolutionary history (e.g., relationships with other extinct and extant lynx species) and paleobiology (e.g., intraspecific variation, body mass) of this iconic European felid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106840
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume262
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Carnivora
  • Europe
  • Evolution
  • Felidae
  • Lynx
  • Paleobiogeography
  • Paleoecology
  • Pleistocene
  • Taxonomy

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