An early Pliocene anuran assemblage from Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean): palaeobiogeographic and palaeoenvironmental implications
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- Torres-Roig, E., Bailon, S., Bover, P. et al. Palaeobio Palaeoenv (2017). doi:10.1007/s12549-017-0273-4
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A new anuran assemblage from the early Zanclean of Mallorca (Balearic Islands) is described using a set of 47 fossil bones obtained at the deposit of Na Burguesa-1, Mallorca. The assemblage includes four different anuran taxa: Alytes (Baleaphryne) aff. muletensis, Discoglossus sp., an indeterminate Bufonidae, and an indeterminate Ranidae. The record of Alytes and Discoglossus in this site represents the earliest evidence for the presence of their lineages on the Balearic Islands. The remains of the bufonid and the ranid constitute the first fossil record of these families in the Balearics. The discovery of this anuran assemblage has a relevant significance for the knowledge of the vertebrate colonisation of the Balearic Islands during the Messinian Salinity Crisis, especially due to the presence of a ranid and Discoglossus. These two taxa suggest that dispersal via a riparian corridor could have played a significant role in the Messinian colonisation of Mallorca, together with the corridor formed by the subaerial exposition of the Balearic Promontory. The Na Burguesa-1 site furnished one of the most diverse early Pliocene fossil anuran assemblages known so far in the Mediterranean islands.