Original paper

Acanthocardia paucicostata (G. B. Sowerby II 1834) non Acanthocardia echinata (Linnaeus 1758); a Lusitanian marine bivalve in the southern Baltic region (NE Germany, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) during the Eemian interglacial

Meng, Stefan; Menzel-Harloff, Holger; Börner Andreas,


The marine sediments of the Eemian interglacial in the area of the Baltic Sea often contain a wealth of molluscs. In most publications about the Eemian fauna for more than one hundred years, Acanthocardia echinata has been listed almost exclusively. New sampling by the authors in Mecklenburg -Western Pomerania (NE Germany), especially in sediments of the “Warnow Bay” which has been relatively well investigated, has led to the recognition that, during the Eemian interglacial, it was not A. echinata but A. paucicostata which lived in the southern region of the Baltic Sea. The fact that A. paucicostata has also been found in the “Vistula Bay” in northern Poland (Brodniewicz 1960; Makowska 1979), together with indications of further occurrences e. g. in the Eemian section near Stensigmos in the Bælt Sea, make it probable that this species was more widespread in the Baltic Sea region that had been assumed previously. The consequences for the palaeoecological and palaeobiogeographical evaluation of the marine conditions during the Eemian interglacial are also considerable. Acanthocardia paucicostata is a Lusitanian species, prefers shallow water and is frequently found in lagoons. Therefore some lagoon conditions can also be assumed for the “Warnow Bay” and the “Vistula Bay”. The combination of fauna was certainly also encouraged by the higher water temperatures in comparison with the southern Baltic area today.


Acanthocardia paucicostata; marine Eemian deposits; southern Baltic region