Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 83–123 | Cite as

Dorcatherium naui and pecoran ruminants from the late Middle Miocene Gratkorn locality (Austria)

  • Manuela Aiglstorfer
  • Gertrud E. Rössner
  • Madelaine Böhme
Original Paper


One of the rare records of a rich ruminant fauna of late Middle Miocene age (Sarmatian sensu stricto; 12.2–12.0 Ma) was discovered at the Gratkorn locality (Styria, Austria). It comprises, besides Micromeryx flourensianus, ?Hispanomeryx sp., Euprox furcatus, Palaeomerycidae gen. et sp. indet., and Tethytragus sp., one of the oldest records of Dorcatherium naui. Gratkorn specimens of the latter species are in metric and morphologic accordance (e.g. selenodont teeth, bicuspid p2, non-fusion of malleolus lateralis and tibia) with type material from Eppelsheim (Germany) and conspecific material from Atzelsdorf (Austria), and do not show an intermediate morphology between Late Miocene Dorcatherium naui and Middle Miocene Dorcatherium crassum, thus enforcing the clear separation of the two species. It furthermore confirms the assignation of Dorcatherium naui to a selenodont lineage (together with Dorcatherium guntianum) distinct from a bunoselenodont lineage (including Dorcatherium crassum). The record of ?Hispanomeryx sp. is the first of this genus in Central Europe. While Tethytragus sp. could also be a new bovid representative for the Sarmatian of Central Europe, Micromeryx flourensianus and Euprox furcatus are well-known taxa in the Middle Miocene of Central Europe, but comprise their first records from Styria. Morphological data from this work in combination with isotopic measurements (δ18OCO3, δ13C; Aiglstorfer et al. 2014a, this issue) indicate a niche partitioning for the ruminants from Gratkorn with subcanopy browsing (Euprox furcatus), top canopy browsing (Tethytragus sp.) and even a certain amount of frugivory (Dorcatherium naui and Micromeryx flourensianus).


Euprox furcatus Micromeryx flourensianus Tethytragus Hispanomeryx Palaeomerycidae Sarmatian Central Europe Styrian Basin Paratethys 



The authors are indebted to P. Havlik for fruitful discussions and correction of the manuscript. M.A. wants to thank S. Kötter, A. Tröscher and A. Beckmann for their help in the search for comparison material. J van der Made, J. Morales, I. Sánchez (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid), E. Heizmann (SMNS), B. Azanza (Universidad de Zaragoza), N. Spassov (NMNHS), N. Heckeberg (SNSB-BSPG and LMU München, Department of Zoology Cambridge), F. Fack, G. Metais, B. Mennecart, M. Pickford (MNHN) and T. Wiedl (University of Graz) are thanked for help and fruitful discussions. D. Vasilyan, J. Prieto (both University Tübingen) and F. Witzmann (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin) are thanked for taking pictures of specimens for comparison. M. Gross (UMJGP), U. Göhlich (NHMW), D. Nagel (IPUW), L. Costeur (NMB), C. Argot (MNHN), G. Scharfe (IGM), D. Alba (ICP), R. Ziegler (SMNS), M. Rummel (NMA), H. Lutz (NHMM), T. Engel (NHMM), H. Stapf (SSN), J. Rösinger and E. Weber (both University Tübingen, Zoological Collection), N. Spassov and L. Hristova (NMNHS), E. Bernard (BMNH), and P. Havlik (GPIT) are thanked for access to comparison material. W. Gerber (University Tübingen) is thanked for taking pictures, P. Havlik, M. Gross, H. Luginsland (GPIT), R. Ellenbracht (GPIT), H. Stöhr (GPIT) N. Winkler (UMJGP), J. Fuß (GPIT) are furthermore thanked for preparation or great support in preparation of the material. This research received support from the SYNTHESYS Project (FR-TAF-1892) which is financed by the European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 “Capacities” Program. B. Azanza and L. Costeur greatly helped to improve the manuscript with careful reviews and helpful advice. And last but not least the authors want to thank students and volunteers from Graz, Munich and Tübingen for their help in excavations from 2005 to 2013.

Supplementary material

12549_2013_141_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (62 kb)
Online Resource 1 References for stratigraphic range of Dorcatherium species in Central Europe and reference localities (PDF 61.8 kb)
12549_2013_141_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (44 kb)
Online Resource 2 Dental and postcranial measurements for Dorcatherium naui from Gratkorn. (PDF 44.4 kb)
12549_2013_141_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (64 kb)
Online Resource 3 Dental measurements for Moschidae from Gratkorn, in comparison to literature data. (PDF 64 kb)
12549_2013_141_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (67 kb)
Online Resource 4 Dental, postcranial and antler measurements for Euprox furcatus from Gratkorn. (PDF 67.3 kb)
12549_2013_141_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (33 kb)
Online Resource 5 Dental and postcranial measurements for Tethytragus sp. from Gratkorn. (PDF 32.9 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Aiglstorfer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gertrud E. Rössner
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Madelaine Böhme
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Fachbereich GeowissenschaftenEberhard Karls Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP)TübingenGermany
  3. 3.SNSB—Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und GeologieMünchenGermany
  4. 4.Department für Geo-und Umweltwissenschaften, Paläontologie & GeobiologieLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchenGermany
  5. 5.GeoBio-Center LMUMünchenGermany

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