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Late Miocene proboscideans from Samos Island (Greece) revisited: new specimens from old collections

Abstract

In this article, we present new proboscidean remains from the late Miocene (Turolian) of Samos Island (Greece), which are stored in the old Samos collections of Darmstadt, Frankfurt a.M. (Germany), Lausanne (Switzerland), and Vienna (Austria), and originate from the excavations or fossil collections that took place on the island at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The specimens belong to juvenile individuals of deinotheres, choerolophodonts and amebelodonts. The deinothere material is attributed to the last European huge-sized deinothere, Deinotherium proavum. The described skull from Samos is currently the most complete specimen of all known Miocene juvenile deinotheres from Eurasia and Africa. The majority of the Samos choerolophodont specimens belong to the advanced morph of Choerolophodon pentelici, whereas one shows more archaic features and belongs to the primitive evolutionary stage of this species. This more primitive morph could originate from the lower fossiliferous horizons of Samos, which are dated to the early Turolian. The third proboscidean is attributed to the tetralophodont shovel-tusker Konobelodon atticus, a rare taxon in the Samos fauna. Together with the previously described zygodont Mammut from Samos, these four proboscideans are typical of the Turolian proboscidean fauna of southeastern Europe. We discuss the biostratigraphy of the Samos proboscideans with the aim of unraveling some aspects of the chronological range of the late Miocene proboscideans, focusing in particular on the Southern Balkans and Turkey.

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(from Kostopoulos et al. 2003, 2009; Koufos et al. 2009)

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank O. Sandrock (HLMD), R. Marchant (MGL), U. Göhlich (NHMW) and R. Brocke (SMF) for allowing us access to the Samos collections, and W. von Koenigswald (Universität Bonn) for directing our attention to the SMF deinothere. We thank also U. Kotthof (GPIH), L. Kordos (HGI), S. Sen and P. Tassy (MNHN), and G. Rössner (SNSB-BSPG) for granting us access to collections at their disposal. G.E.K. was supported by the European-Union-funded Integrated Activities grant SYNTHESYS (AT-TAF-3825, HU-TAF-1683) and by the ERC CoG no. 724703 (CROSSROADS). We thank the reviewers U. Göhlich and M. Gasparik for their constructive comments and suggestions.

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Konidaris, G.E., Koufos, G.D. Late Miocene proboscideans from Samos Island (Greece) revisited: new specimens from old collections. PalZ 93, 115–134 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-018-0432-6

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Keywords

  • Proboscidea
  • Deinotherium
  • Choerolophodon
  • Konobelodon
  • Biostratigraphy
  • Turolian