Reappraisal of some species of the giant galericine Deinogalerix (Mammalia, Eulipotyphla, Erinaceomorpha, Erinaceidae) from the Miocene of south-eastern Italy, with a review of the genus

Antonio Borrani, Federico Masini, Paul P. A. Mazza, Andrea Savorelli

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

Abstract

A revision of the remains of Deinogalerix from the Terre Rosse of Gargano, stored at the Department of Earth Sciences of Florence, improved our knowledge of the genus. The goals of this study are to clear the taxonomic status of the specimens and to tackle several issues connected with the evolutionary relationships of the different species. The sample of dental remains of Deinogalerix freudenthali provides new information, which confirms that this species belongs to the most primitive members of the genus, alongside D. masinii. It is now clear that D. freudenthali is very close to the hypothetical ancestor of all other Gargano species, except D. masinii. Nonetheless, the oldest fissures of the Gargano Terre Rosse contain also primitive species of unsettled taxonomic and phylogenetic position. The present analysis shows the systematic validity of D. minor and D. intermedius, whose status was debated. Moreover, the study verifies the consistency of the two phyletic lineages Deinogalerix minor–D. brevirostris and Deinogalerix intermedius–D. koenigswaldi, as well as the co-occurrence of members of the two lines at least in the most recent Terre Rosse fissures. The enhanced information contributes to our understanding of the genus Deinogalerix and especially of the most ancient phases of colonisation of the Apulia Platform. Nonetheless, the fossil record of the genus remains imperfect, with many gaps blurring the origins of its various evolutionary lines.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine30
RivistaPalaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Geology
  • Palaeontology

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