Oldest Deinotherium proavum from Europe

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Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Web https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2020.1775624
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2020.1775624
Keywords Proboscidean; Turolian; Vallesian
Description Three species ofDeinotheriumsensu stricto (Proboscidea, Deinotheriidae), i.e., excludingProdeinotherium, generally considered to have nonoverlapping chronostratigraphic distributions, are currently recognized from the Miocene of Europe:Deinotherium levius(late Astaracian/Aragonian, MN7+8),Deinotherium giganteum(type species; Vallesian, MN9-MN10), andDeinotherium proavum(a senior synonym ofDeinotherium gigantissimum; Turolian, MN11-MN13). Here we describe a sample of 26 cheek teeth from four roughly coeval localities of Ronda Oest de Sabadell (ROS), in the Valles-Penedes Basin, northeastern Iberian Peninsula, dated to the latest Vallesian (similar to 9.4-9.1 Ma, MN10) on biostratigraphic grounds. The remains from ROS-D3 represent all the permanent upper and lower dentition and can be unambiguously assigned toD. proavum, the largest deinothere from Europe, based on their large size (well above the range ofD. giganteum). Remains from the other localities (ROS-D2, ROS-D5, and ROS-D8) are smaller and generally overlap in size with bothD. proavumandD. giganteum. However, an assignment to the former species is more likely given that these species are not known to co-occur and that their dental size ranges were already known to overlap partially. The remains ofD. proavumfrom ROS represent the oldest record of this species, the occurrence of which in the late Vallesian had already been recorded in the slightly younger (similar to 9.1 Ma) locality of Sinap 49, Turkey. Given thatD. proavumis recorded before the Vallesian/Turolian boundary, and that smaller individuals of this species overlap in size withD. giganteumfrom the Vallesian, caution is required when making biostratigraphic correlations based on late Miocene deinothere remains from Europe.
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