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Title: Cold-climate small mammal assemblages in the Late Pleistocene of Central Iberia: new data from the Cueva de la Buena Pinta site (Pinilla del Valle, Madrid region, Spain)
Authors: Laplana, César
Sevilla, Paloma
Blain, Hugues-Alexandre
Arriaza, María del Carmen
Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Baquedano, Enrique
Pérez-González, Alfredo
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS)
Citation: XVII World UISPP Congress, 2014, p. 665-666
Abstract: The Pleistocene record of small mammals adapted to cold climates in the Iberian Peninsula concentrates mainly in two groups of sites found on either side of the Pyrenees. The species involved are Microtus oeconomus, Microtus gregalis, Chionomys nivalis, Spermophilus sp., Marmota marmota and Sicista betulina. More recently, assemblages from sites found in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula have yielded some of these taxa. The aim of this presentation is to describe a cold-climate small mammal assemblage recorded in the Cueva de la Buena Pinta site. The Cueva de la Buena Pinta is a site located in the Sierra de Guadarrama, in the Central System. It consists of a small cave at 1100 m altitude in the Lozoya Valley, surrounded by mountains over 2000m high. Digging campaigns in the cave have taken place every summer since 2003. Absolute datings performed on levels 2 to 5 in this site place these levels within the Late Pleistocene, at the limit of C14 use or slightly further. Sieve-washing and picking of the small fossils contained in the sediments excavated during these years has yielded several thousands of small mammal teeth and other remains, providing a representative sample of the small vertebrate fauna preserved in these levels. The Late Pleistocene levels of the Cueva de la Buena Pinta contain an assemblage of small mammals where Microtus arvalis dominates. Smaller numbers of other cold-climate taxa have been identified, such as Microtus oeconomus, Chionomys nivalis, Marmota marmota, Ochotona pusilla and, possibly, Microtus gregalis. This faunal composition resembles the Late Pleistocene assemblages found in the Cantabrian region, but differs from them in the presence of Ochotona, presently the single record of this taxon in the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, the small mammal record of the Cueva de la Buena Pinta site provides evidence that cold-climate adapted species reached the centre of the Iberian Peninsula during the mid-Late Pleistocene, distinctly earlier than the LGM. Furthermore, most of them are, to the moment, the southernmost records these taxa attained in the Iberian Peninsula, and even some of them, in Europe.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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