Pleistocene Calabrian and Sicilian bioprovinces

Federico Masini, Antonella Cinzia Marra, Laura Bonfiglio, Gabriella Mangano, Marco Pavia, Daria Petruso

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Abstract

During the Pleistocene, southern Calabria was the area through which several mammalian taxa dispersed into the Sicilian island via the Straits of Messina. The rich fossil record of Sicily allowed for the construction of a fairly detailed bio-chronological frame that is dated by correlation of vertebrate bearing deposits with marine deposits. At present five Faunal Complexes (F.C.), characterised by the occurrence of different taxa, have been recognised. The two older Faunal Complexes (Monte Pellegrino F.C.'xes Elephas falconeri F.C.) include taxa with differently marked endemic features denoting the occurrence of an insular system made up of geographically isolated small islands, with very difficult and sporadic connections with the mainland. The Lower Pleistocene physiographic evidence fits closely with data coming from palaeontologic evidence. In the younger F.C.'xes (E. mnaidriensis F.C., Pianetti S. Teodoro F.C. and Castello F.C.), faunal composition is becoming more similar to that of the southern Italian peninsula, endemisation is more moderate becoming absent in the youngest assemblages. This behaviour denotes that temporary connections with southern Italy occurred more frequently and extensively during Late Middle Pleistocene and Late Pleistocene. Possibly a sort of filtering barrier affected the dispersals that gave rise to the former phase of population of the E. mnaidriensis F.C. preventing small mammals from the mainland from entering the island. The vertebrate fossil record of southern Calabria is rather poor and no mammal deposit is apparently older than the Late Middle Pleistocene. The occurrence at Bovetto of a continental fallow deer (Dama dama cf. tiberina), closely related to the endemic Sicilian species D. carburangelensis of the E. mnaidriensis F.C., may document the first Pleistocene connection of southern Calabria to the Italian peninsula and the dispersal of the forerunners of mammals of the E. mnaidriensis F.C. in Sicily. The well-diversified continental faunas coming from Archi and from Iannì di S. Calogero, both containing remains of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis , may document a post-Tyrrhenian dispersal event through the Catanzaro isthmus. Data are still lacking for the correlation of these faunal assemblages with the scarcely endemic faunas of the Late Pleistocene Contrada Pianetti-San Teodoro F.C. of Sicily. No record of the mammal assemblages that gave origin to the fauna of the Castello F.C. has been recovered so far in southern Calabria. © 2002 Éditions scientifiques et médicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)29-39
Numero di pagine11
RivistaGeobios
Volume35
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Stratigraphy
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Masini, F., Marra, A. C., Bonfiglio, L., Mangano, G., Pavia, M., & Petruso, D. (2002). Pleistocene Calabrian and Sicilian bioprovinces. Geobios, 35, 29-39.