Insularity and Its Effect on Mammal Evolution

  • P. Y. Sondaar
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 14)


When the car ferry “Rethymnon” sails from Piraeus towards Crete one can already feel the strong endemic atmosphere of the island. Rethymnon itself is a beautiful historical town on Crete in an area containing many Pleistocene fossil mammal localities which have yielded endemic deer, elephants and murids. A striking thing on board the ferry are notices written in Japanese which suggest that the ship was probably not launched under the name Rethymnon and served in her earlier days on the Japanese islands. For a paleontologist this is a remarkable coincidence since the Pleistocene of Japan has also yielded unbalanced endemic faunas with a very uniform composition of elephant and deer like the fauna of Crete.


Large Mammal Mammalian Evolution Founder Population Large Carnivore Ryukyu Island 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Y. Sondaar
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological InstituteUtrechtNetherlands

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