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Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 529–541 | Cite as

First record of Sorex (Drepanosorex) margaritodon (Mammalia, Soricidae) in Western Europe: biostratigraphy, biogeography and evolution of the species

  • Juan Rofes
  • Gloria Cuenca-Bescós
Research Paper

Abstract

The taxonomy of the extinct European subgenus Drepanosorex (Mammalia, Soricidae) has traditionally been problematic, but it seems to comprise five valid species from the Pleistocene: Sorex (Drepanosorex) praearaneus, S. (D.) savini, S. (D.) margaritodon, S. (D.) austriacus and S. (D.) rupestris. The first record of Sorex (Drepanosorex) margaritodon in Western Europe comes from the Lower Red Unit (levels TE7–14) of Sima del Elefante (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain), which is dated to ca. 1.1–1.5 Ma. Detailed morphological comparisons and morphometric analyses have allowed us to assign the items from Sima del Elefante indisputably to this taxon. Sorex (D.) margaritodon is now firmly dated to the Early Pleistocene of Central Europe and the north of the Iberian Peninsula, which makes it a very useful biochronological tool in the continental context. Sorex (D.) margaritodon and S. (D.) savini could have evolved in Central Europe from the more primitive S. (D.) praearaneus, which could also be the potential ancestor of the Caucasian Sorex (D.) rupestris. Sorex (D.) margaritodon, the Drepanosorex species with the westernmost distribution in Europe, may be regarded as the most probable ancestor of S. (D.) austriacus.

Keywords

Soricinae Systematic palaeontology Pleistocene Iberian Peninsula Morphology Morphometry 

Abbreviations

Institutional

MPZ

Museo Paleontológico de Zaragoza, Universidad de Zaragoza

Fieldwork labels

TE

Sima del Elefante

TE-LRU

Lower Red Unit of TE

Dental terminology and measurements

A

Upper antemolar

P

Upper premolar

M

Upper molar

i

Lower incisor

a

Lower antemolar

p

Lower premolar

m

Lower molar

L

Length

H

Height

W

Width

BL

Buccal length

LL

Lingual length

AW

Anterior width

PW

Posterior width

PE

Posterior emargination

TRW

Trigonid width

TAW

Talonid width

Hm1

Height of mandible below m1 (medial side)

Hm2

Height of mandible below m2 (medial side)

HC

Height of the condyle

WC

Width of the condyle

LUF

Length of the upper facet (of the condyle)

LLF

Length of the lower facet (of the condyle)

Kurzfassung

Die Taxonomie der ausgestorbenen Europäischen Untergattung Drepanosorex (Mammalia, Soricidae) ist von jeher problematisch, aber sie scheint fünf gültige Arten aus dem Pleistozän zu umfassen: Sorex (Drepanosorex) praearaneus, S. (D.) savini, S. (D.) margaritodon, S. (D.) austriacus und S. (D.) rupestris. Die ersten Nachweise von Sorex (Drepanosorex) margaritodon in Westeuropa stammen aus der Lower Red Unit (Ebenen TE7–14) von Sima del Elefante (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spanien), die auf ca. 1,1–1,5 Ma datiert wird. Detaillierte morphologische Vergleiche und morphometrische Analysen haben es uns ermöglicht, die Elemente aus Sima del Elefante unbestritten diesem Taxon zu zuweisen. Sorex (D.) margaritodon ist heute fest dem Frühen Pleistozän Mitteleuropas und dem Norden der Iberischen Halbinsel zugeordnet, was diese Art zu einem sehr nützlichen biochronologischen Werkzeug im kontinentalen Kontext macht. Es ist anzunehmen, dass Sorex (D.) margaritodon und S. (D.) savini in Mitteleuropa von der primitiveren S. (D.) praearaneus abstammen, die auch als Vorfahr der Kaukasischen Sorex (D.) rupestris in Frage kommen könnte. Sorex (D.) margaritodon, die Drepanosorex-Art mit der westlichsten Verteilung in Europa, kann als der wahrscheinlichste Vorfahr von S. (D.) austriacus angesehen werden.

Schlüsselwörter

Soricinae Systematische Paläontologie Pleistozän Iberische Halbinsel Morphologie Morphometrie 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We wish to express our gratitude to the Atapuerca team which has helped with the extraction, sieving and washing of the sediments every year since 1991. Alexandra Houssaye and Julia Schultz of Universität Bonn kindly translated the abstract into German. We received financial support from the Atapuerca Project, CGL2009-12703-C03-03 of the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad de España (MEC) and the EHU 10/32 project of the Universidad del País Vasco UPV-EHU. Juan Rofes has a “Juan de la Cierva” post-doctoral contract (JCI-2010-06148) from the MEC.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencia y TecnologíaUniversidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU)BilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Grupo Aragosaurus-IUCAUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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