The Record of Prodeinotherium in the Iberian Peninsula: New Data from the Vallès-Penedès Basin

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Mammalian Evolution
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Proboscidea; Deinotheriidae; Prodeinotherium cuvieri; Prodeinotherium bavaricum; Miocene; Europe
Description Deinotheres (Proboscidea, Deinotheriidae) are a clade of non-elephantiform proboscideans that originated in Africa and dispersed into Eurasia by the early Miocene. In Europe, deinotheres are first recorded in Greece during MN3, although they did not become a common faunal element throughout Europe until MN4. Early Miocene (MN3–MN4) deinothere remains from Europe are generally assigned to a different species (Prodeinotherium cuvieri) than those from the early middle Miocene (Prodeinotherium bavaricum; MN5–MN6). In the Valles-Penedes Basin (NE Iberian Peninsula), Prodeinotherium remains are very scarce and largely remain unpublished. To clarify their taxonomic assignment, we describe the available material and compare it with that from elsewhere in Europe. Based on size and a few diagnostic occlusal details, we tentatively recognize both Prodeinotherium cf. P. cuvieri and Prodeinotherium cf. P. bavaricum in the basin. Although all the studied sites had previously been correlated to MN4, the recognition of P. cf. P. bavaricum at els Casots and les Escletxes is consistent with ongoing litho- and magnetostratigraphic studies suggesting a slightly younger age for these sites. The lack of Prodeinotherium remains in older (MN3) localities from the Valles-Penedes Basin, where Gomphotherium is already recorded, further supports the view that deinotheres dispersed into Western Europe somewhat later than gomphotheres.
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