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Late Neogene and Quaternary biodiversity and evolution: Regional developments and interregional correlations.

Proceedings of the 18th International Senckenberg Conference (VI International Palaeontological Colloquium in Weimar) Volume I

Ed.: Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke; Lutz Christian Maul; Paul P. Mazza

2006. 347 pages, 258 figures, 37 tables, 6 plates, 21x30cm, 1400 g
Language: English

(Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Band 256)

ISBN 978-3-510-61383-0, paperback, price: 74.80 €

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Keywords

late neogene quaternary biodiversity evolution

Contents

Synopsis top ↑

The 18th International Senckenberg Conference (VI International Palaeontological Colloquium in Weimar) "Late Neogene and Quaternary biodiversity and evolution: Regional developments and interregional correlations" was hosted by the Senckenberg Society, Research Unit of Quaternary Palaeontology Weimar on April 25 to 30, 2004. This conference was dedicated to Hans-Dietrich Kahlke, one of the senior distinguished leaders of interdisciplinary Quaternary palaeontological research in Eurasia. 165 participants from 28 countries presented current topics and results of their research on the evolutionary history of European, Asian, African and American Late Neogene and Quaternary floras and faunas. Scientific problems from the whole northern hemisphere as well as from key regions of the southern hemisphere were discussed. The conclusions of the conference are included in two special proceedings volumes.

This is the first of the two volumes. It starts with H. Hemmer's biographic sketch of Hans-Dietrich Kahlke, followed by 24 papers containing results on the evolution, systematics and palaeoecology of groups of mammals in taxonomic order, with contributions by G. van den Bergh, M. Bukshianidze, E. Cregut-Bonnoure, R. Croitor, T. Deng, M. Dermitzakis, V. Eisenmann, H. van Essen, A. van der Geer, F. Lacombat, G. Lyras, J. van der Made, F. Marcolini, R. A. Martin, C. Najdeck, R. Sardella, A. Siefker, M. Sotnikova, L. M. Takken Beijersbergen, A. Vekua and J. de Vos. Regional studies follow, approximately in stratigraphical order, with contributions by L. Abbazzi, M. T. Alberdi, J. Argant, L. Bishop, B. Blackwell, A. David, E. Debard, E. Delson, S. Elton, M. Faure., J. L. Franzen, A. Garapich, C. Giovinazzo, C. Guerin, W. Harcourt-Smith, L. van den Hoek Ostende, N. Hudackova, V. Konecny, D. S. Kostopoulos, A. Lamb, M. Marchetti, E. Martin-Suarez, F. Masini, P. P. A. Mazza, J. Miroslaw-Grabowska, A. Monguillon, A. Nadachowski, T. Obada, H. O'Regan, M. R. Palombo, F. Parenti, V. Pascaru, J.-F. Pastre, M. Sabol, B. Sala, S. Sen, A. R. Skinner, M. Slamkova, N. Spassov, C. C. Swisher III, Z. Szyndlar, T. Tomek, I. Tunyi, A. Turner, A. M. F. Valli, D. Vass and I. Vislobokova.

Analyse d'ouvrage: Géochronique numéro 102, 6/07, p. 51 top ↑

Le colloque tenu à Weimar en 2004, peu avant le 80e anniversaire de H.-D. Kahlke, figure marquante de la paléontologie du Quaternaire européen, regroupa 165 participants venus de 28 pays. Ce premier volume de communications est consacré aux études systématiques et régionales, le second devant aborder plus spécialement les corrélations interrégionales (le résumé de toutes les communications a été publié en 2004). La grande majorité des articles concernent l'Europe (l'Italie étant particulièrement bien représentée, à la différence notable de la péninsule ibérique), et la presque totalité d'entre eux s'insèrent dans une fourchette chronologique allant du Pliocène au Pléistocène moyen. Les études systématiques dominent, et, parmi elles, la plupart traitent des grands mammifères (11 articles). La description d'un nouveau genre de canidé mongol (M. Sotnikova) est peut-être la contribution la plus notable (saluons à cette occasion la qualité de l'iconographie !). Le groupe prépondérant est celui des ruminants (5 articles), représentés par les Caprinae et surtout les cervidés, avec un accent sur les formes mégacérines, dont une révision du difficile genre Praemegaceros (R. Croitor). Les rhinocéros font l'objet de synthèses régionales en Chine (Deng Tao) et en Europe (F. Lacombat), tandis que V. Eisenmann montre que la divergence des grands groupes d'Equidés actuels ne remonte guère qu'à 1 Ma. Le mystérieux Cryptomastodon semble définitivement relégué parmi les dents surnuméraires du proboscidien Stegodon, mais la raison de leur relative abondance à Java demeure un peu mystérieuse.

Plusieurs synthèses sur des gisements fort célèbres (Senèze, Tegelen, Eppelsheim) soulèvent, une fois de plus, le problème des anciennes collections, d'origines stratigraphiques obscures, laissant soupçonner des mélanges de niveaux ou des remaniements aujourd'hui difficiles à démontrer comme à écarter. Remarquons la proposition de révision de l'âge du site de référence d'Eppelsheim (l'un des rares sites miocènes traités), qui pourrait bien en fait appartenir à la seconde moitié du Vallésien, et non au tout début du Miocène supérieur (J.-L. Franzen).

Parmi les analyses paléoclimatiques et paléoenvironnementales, on peut noter une louable tentative d'interpréter objectivement la structure pondérale des communautés de mammifères par les cénogrammes (M.R. Palombo & C. Giovinazzo). Enfin, la biogéographie n'est pas oubliée, avec l'éternel problème de Gibraltar (H. O'Regan et al.), et une intéressante synthèse sur les ressemblances des faunes d'Europe du Sud (M.R. Palombo et al.).

Ce premier volume servira sans aucun doute de référence, pendant de nombreuses années, à tous les vertébristes du Pliocène et du Quaternaire européens et son coût raisonnable (74,80 Euros) devrait lui permettre de figurer dans la bibliothèque de beaucoup d'entre eux.

D. GERAADS

Review: Zentralblatt Geol. Pal. Teil II Jg. 2007 H. 3/4 top ↑

This first volume of the Proceedings of the 18th International Senckenberg Conference (VI International Palaeontological Colloquium) held in Weimar in April 20-25, 2004, consists of 25 individual articles which deal principally with the European Late Cenozoic (mostly, but not only) vertebrate palaeontology. A synthesis of knowledge on the global Cenozoic palaeoenvironmental changes (ZACHOS et al. 2001) as well as some present regional studies in North America (GRAYSON 2006) and Southeast Asia (LOUYS et al. 2007) demonstrate intriguing interactions between these changes and the evolution of vertebrates, including perturbations in their diversity. RUDDIMAN (2005) in his present book also addresses to the responses of the terrestrial “Ice Age” fauna to the post-glacial global warming. Moreover, we need clear imaginations on how the faunistic evolution depends on environmental changes to predict and, consequently, to avoid the further biodiversity loss. Therefore, such a discussion of data as expected from this volume seems to be very urgent.

This volume starts with Foreword, Preface, and an introductory paper entitled Deer, Pleistocene interregional correlations, Linear Pottery Culture and East- West mediation - 80th birthday of HANS-DIETRICH KAHLKE (by H. HEMMER). The latter is addressed to the biography of the famous German specialist, who made the greatest efforts in the Quaternary vertebrate palaeontology. The further papers deal each with its specific subject.

SOTNIKOVA describes a find of Nurocyon chonokhariensis gen. et sp. nov. in the Lower Pliocene lacustrine deposits of northwestern Mongolia. This species demonstrates sharp differences from the other Canini, and it is considered as a representative of their separate lineage. SARDELLA discusses briefly the evolution of the Eurasian Pliocene-Pleistocene jaguars with the data collected at the Monte Argentario locality in Italy. The presence of leopard remains at this locality is not confirmed. VAN ESSEN et al. address to the “Cryptomastodon problem“. A detailed examination of the supernumerary teeth of proboscideans, subdivided into three categories, is given, and the presence of Stegodon trigonocephalus MARTIN, 1887 in the Pleistocene of Java is argued. DENG presents a good synthesis on the Neogene rhinoceroses from the Cenozoic strata of the Linxia Basin in China. Besides a detailed taxonomic synopsis, five stages in the regional evolution of the mentioned group are recognized. Another good feature of this paper is all fossil finds are justified stratigraphically. The earliest record of the woolly rhino is pointed out. The reviewer is just curious, why did this woolly animal appeared at that time, and why in Gansu? Perhaps these questions are explained in the other article by DENG &DOWNS (2002), but to present some brief remarks in the current paper would be not less important. LACOMBAT continues the discussion on this topic, and his paper deals with the European Pleistocene rhinoceroses. Four studied species demonstrate intriguing changes in their sizes through time. It is possible to agree with the author, that such changes can be useful for the biostratigraphical developments. EISENMANN suggests against the early separation of the caballine branch of Equids, i.e., against the biomolecular interpretations. The “Sussemiones“, which were descendants of Caballines, wide spread over the continents in the Pliocene446 Paläontologie allgem. Pleistocene. They went to be extinct together with the rise of the Caballines. The author hypothesizes that the extant equids appeared simultaneously somewhen in the early Middle Pleistocene. It would be intriguing to know, whether there was any environmental control of events recorded in the evolution of this fossil group. CROITOR gives a taxonomic synthesis on the Pleistocene cervid genus Praemegaceros PORTIS, 1920. Three parallel lineages, namely Praemegaceros, Orthogonoceros and Neoleipoceros are framed herein as subgenera. Changes in humidity was an important force of cervid evolution and migrations. VAN DER MADE analyses the evolution of the Pleistocene giant deer Megaloceros giganteus, which populated a large territory of Northern Eurasia. The original population of this taxon was divided into two particular subgroups, lived in Western Europe and Eastern Europe- Western Asia respectively. They differed by the robusticity of limb bones. The Western European population went to be extinct around 20 Ka, and Western Europe was re-populated by the Eastern European population around 13 Ka. The author hypothesizes only little changes in body weigth during the entire evolution of this species. VAN DER GEER et al. describe the endemic Pleistocene deer Candiacervus sp. II from Liko Cave of Crete. A skeleton of this taxon was mounted. It is noted that this animal might have occupied a niche of goat-like bovids in the rocky environment.

CRÉGUT-BONNOURE et al. provide a taxonomic synopsis on the Late Cenozoic Caprinae, included Ovibovini, Ovini and Caprini. Their morphological and metrical characters are summarized. Diversity of Caprinae rose from the Pliocene by the end of the Early Pleistocene. The beginning of the Middle Pleistocene is characterized by a climatically-induced turnover, when the earlier-existed taxa disappeared. Further immigration supported the diversity rise. BUKHSIANIDZE & VEKUA describe a new fossil, i.e. Capra dalii nov. sp., which was found in the Upper Villafranchian strata at the Dmanisi Locality in East Georgia. This fossil occurs together with the human remains, and former is linked phylogenetically with the Caucasian turs. TAKKEN BEIJERSBERGEN deals with the genus Lemmus. Its Middle Pleistocene representatives from Schöningen (Germany) and Boxgrove (UK) localities allow to conclude a more complicated history of lemmings than imagined previously. An important evolutionary event (it is not clear enough of what kind) is hypothesized to have occurred at the end of the Pleistocene. MARCOLINI et al. present some interesting conclusions from their studies of the morphological variability in the first lower molars of Ogmodontomys from the Early-Middle Pliocene of the Meade Basin (U.S.A.). An application of Fourier Analysis permitted to recognize the occurrence two species, namely O. sawrockensis and O. poaphagus.

MASINI&ABBAZZI review a record of the small mammals of Italy. The authors measured some abundance and diversity patterns, which are well justified against the available biostratigraphic framework. The factors controlled the number of sites (both open environment and cavity environment sites are considered) are sampling and preservation biases, and the “environmental preferences of owls”. The regional taxonomic diversity of small mammals changed significantly during the Pliocene-Pleistocene. It is concluded that only the Toringian (late Middle-Late Pleistocene) diversity is estimated correctly, whereas the diversity of the earlier Lehrbücher, zusammenf. Darstellungen, Bibliographien 447 time intervals is underestimated. In fact, this article is a true pearl of the reviewing volume, and it gives us an example of how to deal with the measurements of the mammalian fossil record. The reviewer just would like to suggest more carefully work with those diversity estimations, which involve calculations per absolute time units. 1 Ka in the Pliocene and 1 Ka in the Holocene bring a different “quantity” of information on the changes in the geosphere, and, consequently, they are incomparable. PALOMBO & GIOVINAZZO discuss the cenogram analysis, which deals with the body mass distribution in the ancient faunas, with the data from the Late Cenozoic of Italy. Although this method provides some uncertainties, it seems to be a useful tool to evaluate the changes in local humidity. FRANZEN addresses his paper to the mammalian and palaeoenvironmental records in the Mainz Basin. An examination of available (very rich!) fossil localities permitted to establish the interrelations between the palaeoecosystems, sedimentation, tectonics, and taphonomic processes. Fig. 4 (p. 240) illustrates, in particular, the regional Oligocene- Miocene changes in salinity. Fig. 9a and 9b (p. 243-244) document faunal turnover in the middle Vallesian-early Turolian at two important localities, namely Eppelsheim and Dorn-Dürkheim. The formation of the Rhine River Canyon is explained by the overflow of the earlier existed lake at about 800 Ka. NADACHOWSKI et al. present a review of the Pliocene vertebrate localities of Moldova. The recognized Moldavian Faunal Complex is brought in correspondence with the Ruscinian (MN 15). The presence of MN16a and MN17-Q1 assemblages is also established. All localities are described in a single manner, and they are accompanied by detailed taxonomic lists, illustrations of the most intriguing fossil remains, and also by a pretty lithologic sections, which together make this paper very important. The authors emphasize on the bird remains. SABOL et al. provide new knowledge on the early Late Pliocene Hajná􀃾ka I site in Southern Slovakia, where MN16a assemblage is established. The evolution of local ecosystems was linked with the volcanism. The mammalian assemblage was dominated by forest taxa like tapirs, mastodons, rhinoceroses, and cervids, whereas open-land and aquatic as well as semi-aquatic taxa make only 37% of this assemblage. The strong feature of this paper is a successful integration of palaeobotanical and palaeozoological data. DELSON et al. give a detailed characteristics of the Senèze Locality in France, whose age is evaluated as a Late Villafranchian, although such dating is debated. 34 mammalian species, which include representatives of Primates, Proboscidea, Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, Carnivora, Lagomorpha and Rodentia, several taxa of birds, Anapsida, Amphibia, Actinopterygii, Mollusca and Crustaceamorpha as well as palynological data make an exceptional fossil record. Important are the present finds of Dicerorhinus etruscus etruscus (FALCONER, 1859), Eucladoceros ctenoides ctenoides (NESTI, 1841) and Acinonyx pardinensis (CROIZET & JOBERT, 1828).

VAN DEN HOEK OSTENDE & DE VOS summarize a knowledge on the Tegelen locality in Netherlands. This site is explored for about a century, and many remains of fishes, amphibians, reptilians, birds, mammals (Soricomorpha, Rodentia, Lagomorpha, Chiroptera, Primates, Proboscidea, Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla and Carnivora) have been found there. However, the lack of good excavations and complicated taphonomic patterns do not permit to make a clear decision on the age of the Tegelen fauna. The authors hypothesize a “mixture of ages”.

O’REAGAN et al. evaluate the possibilities of the early hominin movements with the mammalian migrations. Analyses of modern biogeographic patterns, phylogeography (based on mitochondrial DNA analyses), and palaeobiogeography permit to favour the dispersal route through the Levantine Corridor, whereas dispersal across Gibraltar appears unlikely. MAZZA documents responses of the Late Cenozoic evolution of the Italian large land mammals to the environmental changes. Decline in temperature and humidity caused drops in primary productivity and replacement of smaller browsing taxa by gregarious taxa and of carnivores by social predators. An expansion of steppes since 0.9 Ma provoked a major turnover in faunistic communities as well as an increase in biodiversity and biomass. Alternatively, an expansion of woodlands at the end of the Last Glacial led to the decline in both plant and animal communities. This paper is undoubtedly an important contribution. However, it would be better if to present the changes both in diversity and climate not qualitatively, but at least semi-quantitatively. All conclusions are very important, and, therefore, they should be strongly supported by the numerical calculations.

SALA & MARCHETTI discuss briefly the importantce of the Po Valley floodplain for the connection of south-western and central-eastern Europe, which were zoogeographically distinct regions. The so-called Central Slovenian Corridor functioned since the Middle Pleistocene, but it was unavailable in the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. PALOMBO et al. attempt a careful analysis of similarity between the Pliocene-Middle Pleistocene large mammalian communities of Southern Europe. A total of 286 taxa are considered. The similarity was evaluated quantitatively with the Jaccard Coefficient and cluster analysis. Two clusters have been established, namely the Pliocene-early (pre-Jaramillo) Early Pleistocene and the late Early- Middle Pleistocene. A significant gap between them marks a transition from Villafranchian to Galerian faunas. Some other faunal renewals are also reported. All of them were evidently resulted from the climatic changes. Somewhat strange happened on the Fig. 2b (p. 335), which illustrates fossil localities in Eastern Europe. Eight sites (numbered as 42-44, 46-48, 50 and 54) are listed as Russian. But they are evidently located in southwest Ukraine and possibly Moldova! Inspite of explanations in the text, such uncertainty on figure may bring a confusion for those, who will operate with this very important paper.

All information presented in this volume is, undoubtedly, of great interest. A large number of taxa are described and illustrated. Besides to give taxonomic descriptions, four tasks (numbered below) would be solved in this volume as one may conclude from its whole title. This edition presents a good illustration of the vertebrate fossil heritage of Europe. However, just few articles are directly addressed to biodiversity and its particular patterns (1). The questions considered diversity changes, rates of origination and extinction are discussed only occasionally. A good example of a paper, which is addressed to palaeobiological matters, is that of MASINI & ABBAZZI. However, taxonomic palaeontology stays at the first plan in the whole volume, and, thus, specialists in the palaeobiology, i.e., those who are specialized in fossil diversity changes and mass extinctions, may be slightly disappointed reading it. Evolutionary processes (2) are better considered as well as palaeoenvironmental context (3). However, the reviewer would like to note the Lehrbücher, zusammenf. Darstellungen, Bibliographien 449 lack of appropriate number of palaeogeographical and even palaeobiogeographical maps, and a little amount of figures, which will precisely illustrate the palaeoenvironmental changes. Available palaeonvironmental remarks often sound too general. Interregional correlations (4) are considered widely in this volume, and, particularly, in a review paper by PALOMBO et al. As a whole, such syntheses as those published by GRAYSON (2006) and LOUYS et al. (2007) would benefit these proceedings. But as it becomes clear from the Preface, more synthetic papers will be included into the second volume of the proceedings. On the reviewer’s opinion, this is an interesting volume, which presents many new and important results, and it will be of interest for the specialists in the Late Cenozoic vertebrate palaeontology.

D.A. Ruban

Zentralblatt Geol. Pal. Teil II Jg. 2007 H. 3/4

Contents top ↑

HEMMER, H.: Deer, Pleistocene interregional faunal correlations,
Linear Pottery Culture and East-West mediation - 80th birthday of
HANS-DIETRICH KAHLKE 1
SOTNIKOVA, M.: A new canid Nurocyon chonokhariensis gen. et sp. nov.
(Canini, Canidae, Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Mongolia 11
SARDELLA, R.: The Late Villafranchian Panthera ex gr.
toscana-gombaszoegensis from Monte Argentario (Grosseto, South
Tuscany, Central Italy) 23
VAN ESSEN, H., VAN DEN BERGH, G. & DE VOS, J.: The final solution of
the Cryptomastodon problem. Morphological correlations between
supernumerary teeth in stegodonts and elephants (Proboscidea,
Mammalia) 29
DENG, T.: Neogene Rhinoceroses of the Linxia Basin (Gansu, China) 43
LACOMBAT, F.: Pleistocene Rhinoceroses in Mediterranean Europe and in
Massif Central (France) 57
EISENMANN, V.: Pliocene and Pleistocene Equids: palaeontology versus
molecular biology 71
CROITOR R.: Taxonomy and systematics of large-sized deer of the genus
Praemegaceros PORTIS, 1920 (Cervidae, Mammalia) 91
VAN DER MADE, J.: The evolution and biogeography of the Pleistocene
giant deer Megaloceros giganteus (Cervidae, Mammalia) 117
VAN DER GEER, A., DE VOS, J., LYRAS, G. & DERMITZAKIS, M.: New data on
the Pleistocene Cretan deer Candiacervus sp. II (Cervinae, Mammalia)
131
CREGUT-BONNOURE, E.: European Ovibovini, Ovini and Caprini (Caprinae,
Mammalia) from the Plio-Pleistocene: new interpretations 139
BUKHSIANIDZE, M. & VEKuA, A.: Capra dalii nov. sp. (Caprinae, Bovidae,
Mammalia) at the limit of Plio-Pleistocene from Dmanisi (Georgia)
159
TAKKEN BEIJERSBERGEN, L. M.: The Middle Pleistocene Lemmus
(Arvicolidae, Rodentia, Mammalia) in North- Western Europe 173
MARCOLINI, F., MARTIN, R. A., SIEFKER, A. & NAJDECK, C.: Morphometric
variability in the first lower molars of North American Ogmodontomys
(Arvicolidae, Rodentia, Mammalia) determined by Fourier Analysis
193
MASINI, F. & ABBAZZI, L.: A preliminary quantitative taxonomic
evaluation of the Pliocene and Pleistocene small mammal record in the
Italian Peninsula 201
PALOMBO, M R. & GIOVINAZZO, C.: What do cenograms tell us about
mammalian palaeoecology? The example of Plio-Pleistocene Italian
faunas 215
FRANZEN, J. L.: Late Neogene and Early Pleistocene mammal localities
from the Mainz Basin (Southwestern Germany) and their significance for
reconstructing the development of the Rhine River System 237
NADACHOWSKI, A.,MIROSLAW-GRABOWSKA, J., DAVID, A., TOMEK, T.,
GARAPICH, A., PASCARU, V., OBADA, T. & SZYNDLAR, Z.: Faunal
assemblages and biostratigraphy of several Pliocene sites from
Moldova 249
SABOL. M., KONECNY, V., VASS, D., KOVACOVA, M., DURISOVA, A. & TUNYI,
I.: Early Late Pliocene site of Hajnácka I (Southern Slovakia) -
geology, palaeovolcanic evolution, fossil assemblages and
palaeoenvironment 261
DELSON, E., FAURE, M., GUERIN, C., APRILE, L., ARGANT, J., BLACKWELL,
B.A.B., DEBARD, E., HARCOURT-SMITH, W., MARTIN-SUAREZ, E., MONGUILLON,
A., PARENTI, F., PASTRE, J.-P., SEN, S., SKINNER, A.R., SWISHER III,
C.C., & VALLI, A.M.F.: Franco-American renewed research at the Late
Villafranchian locality of Senèze (Haute-Loire, France) 275
VAN DEN HOEK OSTENDE, L.W. & DE VOS, J.: A century of research on the
classical locality of Tegelen (province of Limburg, The Netherlands)
291
O'REGAN, H., BISHOP, L., ELTON, S., LAMB, A. & TURNER, A.:
Afro-Eurasian mammalian dispersal routes of the Late Pliocene and
Early Pleistocene, and their bearing on earliest hominin movements 305
MAZZA, P.P.A.: Response of Italian Late Neogene and Quaternary large
land mammals to climatic and vegetation change 315
SALA, B. & MARCHETTI, M.: The Po Valley floodplain (Northern Italy): a
transitional area between two zoogeographical areas during the Late
Neogene and Quaternary 321
PALOMBO, M.R., VALLI, A.M.F., KOSTOPOULOS, D.S., ALBERDI, M.T.,
SPASSOV, N. & VISLOBOKOVA, I.: Similarity relationships between the
Pliocene to Middle Pleistocene large mammal faunas of southern Europe
from Spain to the Balkans and the North Pontic Region 329