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Title: How far into Europe did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) go during the Pleistocene? New evidence from Central Iberia
Authors: Laplana, César
Sevilla, Paloma
Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Arriaza, María del Carmen
Baquedano, Enrique
Pérez-González, Alfredo
López Martínez, Nieves
Keywords: Pleistocene epoch;Pikas;Pinta;Caves;Mandible;Mammals;Dentition;Fossils
Issue Date: Nov-2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS ONE, 2015, 10 (11): e0140513
Abstract: This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe’s alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140513
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Geocronología y Geología

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