Bollettino SPI Vol. 53 - Issues 1, 2, 3

Issue 1

Published in September 2014

  • Marzola M. & Dalla Vecchia F.M. (2014)

New dinosaur tracks from the Dolomia Principale (Upper Triassic)
of the Carnic Prealps (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, NE Italy)

pp. 1-18


Ten new track-bearing boulders discovered in the Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Friulane area (Carnic Prealps, NE Italy) during the last 15 years demonstrate that bipedal dinosaurs with a functionally tridactyl, digitigrade pes, within the size-class of the ichnogenus Anchisauripus Lull, 1904, were the most common trackmakers in the carbonate tidal flats of the Dolomia Principale during the latest Triassic. If the footprint morphology actually reflects the functional tridactyl condition of the trackmakers’ feet, theropods are the most suitable trackmakers. The ichnoassociation of the Parco delle Dolomiti Friulane area differs from coeval ichnoassociations in the dominance of mid-sized tridactyl footprints and the rarity of small tridactyl (Grallator Hitchcock, 1858; length <15 cm) and chirotheriid tracks. Tracks potentially produced by basal sauropodomorphs, which were the most common European dinosaurs in the late Norian-Rhaetian interval, are underrepresented.

  • Holland C.H. (2014)

Biostratigraphy of British Silurian nautiloid cephalopods

pp. 19-26


Distribution of nautiloid cephalopods in the Silurian of England, Wales, and Scotland is reviewed stratigraphically and geographically. Genera are considered first and then species. Seven orders are present: Endocerida (one genus), Actinocerida (three), Orthocerida (17), Ascocerida (one), Oncocerida (at least ten), Discocerida (three), and Tarphycerida (seven). Wenlock and Ludlow faunas are more abundant than those of the Llandovery. Records from the Pridoli are very rare.

  • Afsari S., Yazdi M., Bahrami A. & Carnevale G. (2014)

A new deep-sea hatchetfish (Teleostei: Stomiiformes: Sternoptychidae) from the Eocene of Ilam, Zagros Basin, Iran

pp. 27-37


The deep-sea hatchetfish clade includes some of the most bizarre stomiiforms, which are characterized by a deep and strongly compressed body, with vertically flattened silvery sides. This peculiar group of mesopelagic fishes consists of three extant and three extinct genera that appeared in the record in the Middle Eocene. A new genus and species of deep-sea hatchetfish, Eosternoptyx discoidalis n. gen. et sp., is described from the Middle to Late Eocene deposits of the Pabdeh Formation exposed a few kilometres east of the city of Ilam, Zagros Basin, Iran. The new deep-sea hatchetfish taxon from Ilam is based on a partially complete specimen in part and counterpart characterized by a remarkably discoid physiognomy of the body and a unique combination of features, including: 28 (13+15) vertebrae; eight pairs of pleural ribs; two posteriormost pleural ribs shortened not reaching the ventral margin of the abdominal keel; six supraneurals; dorsal blade absent; dorsal fin contains 18 rays; first dorsal-fin pterygiophore very large and protruding externally beyond the dorsal profile of the body; possession of two preanal spines; anal-fin origin opposite to dorsal-fin origin; posttemporal and supracleithrum not fused; posttemporal spine absent; body naked. The comparative osteological analysis suggests that Eosternoptyx n. gen. appears to be intermediate between the basal genus Polyipnus and the more derived deep-sea hatchetfish genera Argyropelecus, Discosternon, Horbatshia, Polypnoides, and Sternoptyx.

  • Vinuesa V., Madurell-Malapeira J., Ansón M. & Alba D.M. (2014)

New cranial remains of Pliocrocuta perrieri (Carnivora, Hyaenidae) from the Villafranchian of the Iberian Peninsula

pp. 39-47


The hyaenid Pliocrocuta perrieri is one of the commonest large carnivoran species in the European Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene, being recorded from more than 20 sites across the Old World. In spite of this, adult and fairly complete crania of this species have been only recovered from the French locality of Saint-Vallier (Early Pleistocene, MN17). Here we describe three new crania of this bone-cracking hyena from the classic Iberian localities of Villarroya (Late Pliocene, MN16a) and La Puebla de Valverde (Early Pleistocene, MN17). The morphology of the new crania is compared (both qualitatively and metrically) with that of previously known craniodental remains of P. perrieri, as well as with that of other extinct hyaenids, including its closest relative (Pachycrocuta brevirostris) and the contemporaneous Chasmaporthetes lunensis. The described skulls display many morphological and morphometric similarities with previously-known specimens of P. perrieri, including the relatively long muzzle, the triangular, slender and long nasals, the relatively short P2, and other occlusal details. In contrast, the new specimens display significant differences compared with both C. lunensis (the shorter muzzle, the more anterior orbits and more posterior infraorbital foramen, the triangular nasals, and the broader premolars with a relatively shorter P2) and Pa. brevirostris (smaller craniodental size, longer muzzle, and various dental occlusal details). The new skulls of P. perrieri reported here enable a more complete evaluation of intraspecific variability in this taxon, and the study of their internal anatomy might provide, in the future, new data on the paleoecology of P. perrieri and its phylogenetic relationships with other bone-cracking hyenas, both extant and extinct

  • Dell’Angelo B., Giuntelli P., Sosso M. & Zunino M. (2014)

Notes on Fossil Chitons. 6. A new species of Stenoplax (Mollusca: Polyplacophora) from the Miocene of NW Italy

pp. 49-54


A new species of Stenoplax from the Miocene (Tortonian) of Rio di Bocca d’Asino (Alessandria, Piedmont) is described in this paper. Valves of Stenoplax paviai n. sp. are frequent in the fossiliferous deposit in the lower part of the Marne di Sant’Agata Fossili at Rio di Bocca d’Asino. The new species is characterized by the depressed and elongate tail valve and the characteristic sculpturing of the head valve, lateral areas of intermediate valves, and postmucronal area of tail valve, which all have close-set, irregularly undulate concentric grooves. S. paviai n. sp. differs from the four Stenoplax species known from Eocene/Oligocene deposits of Europe and represents the last occcurrence in Europe of this genus, that is presently documented in the tropical eastern Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indo Pacific, Japan, and the western Atlantic (Brazil).

  • Vaiani S.C. & Pennisi M. (2014)

Tracing freshwater provenance in palaeo-lagoons by boron isotopes and relationship with benthic foraminiferal assemblages. A comparison from late Quaternary subsurface successions in Northern and Central Italy

pp. 55-61


In order to evaluate for the first time the application of boron isotope δ11B composition as a proxy for freshwater provenance in transitional environments, measurements taken from mollusk shells from palaeo-lagoonal deposits are presented herein. The mollusk specimens were sampled from late Quaternary lagoonal successions observed in the cores 187-S1 and Vignarca, respectively from drill- sites south of the Po River delta (Northern Italy) and the Cornia River plain (Central Italy). The latter locality occurs nearby the Larderello boron-rich geothermal area. A freshwater influence in the palaeo-lagoons has been highlighted by benthic foraminiferal analyzes, revealing two main assemblages: the first, dominated by Ammonia tepida (Cushman, 1926) and Ammonia parkinsoniana (d’Orbigny, 1839a), is consistent with high freshwater discharge into the palaeo-lagoon, whereas the second assemblage includes large numbers of Miliolacea, considered as reflecting low freshwater discharge. The inferred salinity variations are possibly constrained between 22‰ and 41‰, based on comparison with modern assemblages observed in various lagoons of the north Adriatic Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea coastal areas. Additional Sr isotope data, comparable with coeval marine values, are consistent with the salinity range inferred by the fossil assemblages. Boron isotopes clearly record a continental-dominated provenance source of boron in the lagoonal mollusks collected from the Vignarca core. The low δ11B and boron-rich component currently observed in the continental water deriving from the geothermal area, was possibly also present in the freshwater feeding the palaeo-lagoon and gives a unique isotopic imprint to the analyzed samples. Conversely, in the lagoonal mollusks collected from core 187-S1, the δ11B component reveals a dominant provenance source of boron from seawater. In the analyzed successions, boron isotopes have proved useful for recognizing the provenance of the freshwater feeding the palaeo-lagoon, especially in areas characterized by continental water enriched in boron and showing remarkably different δ11B values with respect to marine values.

Issue 2

Published in June 2014

  • Manganelli G., Cianfanelli S., Barbato D. & Benocci A. (2014)

Aciculid land snails (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda, Cyclophoroidea) from the Zanclean (early Pliocene) of Balze di Caspreno (central Italy).

pp. 67-80


Five species of aciculids are reported herein from the Zanclean (early Pliocene) of Balze di Caspreno (Tuscany, central Italy): one belongs to the genus Acicula Hartmann, 1821, three to Platyla Moquin-Tandon, 1856 and one to Renea Nevill, 1880. Statistical analysis (PCA and RDA) was performed on ten shell variables to test the taxonomic assignment of four of the taxa, in order to compare them with relevant recent species. Caspreno Acicula differs from similar taxa by virtue of its more evident external peristomal varix, smaller size and lower H/D ratio; RDA confirmed its distinction from other congeners: it is therefore assigned to a new species: Acicula kadolskyi n. sp. The largest taxon, Caspreno Platyla, represented by only a few very fragmentary shells, is tentatively assigned to P. dupuyi (Paladilhe, 1868) by virtue of shell size and shape and structure of the external peristomal varix. The other two taxa of Caspreno Platyla are assigned to P. gracilis (Clessin, 1877) and P. similis (Reinhardt, 1880); RDA confirmed that no significant statistical difference exists between recent and fossil populations of the two species. Caspreno Renea, represented by only very fragmentary shells, is tentatively identified as R. veneta (Pirona, 1865) due to its conical shape and dense ribbing. This conclusion is not supported by RDA, possibly due to the fragmentary state of the material which made it impossible to measure some important shell variables. Apart from A. kadolskyi n. sp., the other species are still extant. Two of these (P. gracilis and R. cf. veneta) are reported for the first time as fossils and the other two (P. cf. dupuyi and P. similis) for the first time from the Pliocene of central Italy, although one of them (P. cf. dupuyi) had previously been recorded from the Fossil Forest of Dunarobba, based on misidentified material of P. similis.

  • Bona F. & Sardella R. (2014)

Co-occurrence of a sabertoothed cat (Homotherium sp.) with a large lion-like cat (Panthera sp.) in the Middle Pleistocene karst infill from nuova «Cava Zanola» (Paitone, Brescia, Lombardy, Northern Italy)

pp. 81-88


Early in the second half of the 19th century, during excavation of the nuova «Cava Zanola» (Paitone, Brescia, Lombardy, Northern Italy), numerous remains of large mammals were collected from the karst fill deposits. Eight of these specimens are referable to large felids, in particular four may be attributed to the sabertoothed cat Homotherium and two to a primitive form of large lion-like felid (Panthera sp.). The relevance of these remains is related to the fact that they are currently the westernmost finds of Homotherium of Northern Italy and testify the coexistence of these two large felids.

  • Delfino M., Zoboli D., Carnevale G. & Pillola G.L. (2014)

The rediscovered holotype of Palaeopython sardus Portis, 1901 from the Miocene of Sardinia belongs to a fish, not to a snake

pp. 89-92


Erected on the basis of an incomplete skull bone, Palaeopython sardus Portis, 1901 is the only specimen referred to this species. The holotype, from the Middle Miocene of Monte Albu (Sardinia) and identified as the palatine-pterygoid of a snake, was never revised as the specimen had not been traced by the various authors who had discussed the validity of this taxon. The holotype was recently found by the authors in the collections of the Museo Sardo di Geologia e Paleontologia “Domenico Lovisato” (Cagliari, Italy) where it is now housed under accession number MDLCA 14402. The preservational status of MDLCA 14402 does not differ from the description and figures by Portis but according to our revision, it is actually the premaxilla of an undetermined acanthomorph fish. The name Palaeopython sardus Portis, 1901 is here considered as a nomen dubium since the holotype is incomplete and on the basis of the preserved features it is not possible to diagnose a fish taxon or to refer the specimen to an extant or extinct species. The booid snakes of Italy are therefore represented only by erycine snakes that so far have been described in localities with an age ranging from the Late Miocene to the Late Pliocene.

  • Bagnoli G. & Yuping Q. (2014)

Ordovician conodonts from the Red Petrified Forest, Hunan Province, China

pp. 93-104


The Ordovician conodont fauna recovered from the National Geological Park of the Red Petrified Forest in Guzhang County, Hunan Province, South China, consists of fifteen genera and twenty species. The most relevant genera are Baltoniodus, Pygodus, Scabbardella and Yangtzeplacognathus. The presence of the eponymous taxa allows the assignment of the investigated interval to the Yangtzeplacognathus jianyeensis-Pygodus anserinus Zone established for South China. This zone correlates with the Pygodus anserinus Zone, which spans the Middle-Upper Ordovician boundary.

  • Ferretti A., Bergström S.M. & Sevastopulo G.D. (2014)

Katian conodonts from the Portrane Limestone: the first Ordovician conodont fauna described from Ireland

pp. 105-119


The Portrane Limestone, which crops out in a small inlier about 17 km north of Dublin, is one of the few significant carbonate units in the Ordovician of Ireland. Samples from this formation, which has long been famous for its diverse silicified shelly fauna, have produced a biostratigraphically diagnostic conodont fauna of more than 2200 specimens representing a total of 26 taxa. The Amorphognathus superbus and A. ordovicicus zonal conodont species have been documented. Our study, the first one illustrating diverse assemblages of Ordovician conodonts from Ireland, shows that this fauna, which represents the Hamarodus brevirameus-Dapsilodus mutatus-Scabbardella altipes biofacies, is strikingly similar to middle Katian (Stage Slice Ka3) faunas from Wales, England, and continental Europe. This age dating is consistent with that advocated based on shelly fossils. The Portrane Limestone was deposited in a volcanic arc environment off the Avalonian microcontinent and is now located southeast of the Iapetus suture across Britain and Ireland. The fact that the Portrane area was placed on the southeastern side of the Iapetus and relatively close to Wales and northern England but probably widely separated from North America, may at least partly explain why the Portrane conodont fauna differs in important respects from broadly coeval faunas from eastern North America and has much closer affinities with European faunas.

  • Sciuto F. (2014)

Initial report on ostracod fauna from the Messina Straits (Ionian Sea, northeastern Sicily)

pp. 121-134

  • Schindler E. , Uhl D. & Amler M.R.W. (2014)

GeoArchive Marburg moved to Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

pp. 135-136

Issue 3

Published in December 2014

  • Dominici S. & Kowalke T. (2014)

Early Eocene Cerithioidean gastropods of mangrove-fringed coasts (South-central Pyrenees, Spain)

pp. 137-162


The biodiversity of early Eocene cerithioidean gastropods from a marine littoral environment, including mangroves with Nypa palms, is documented from the Figols group (FG) and the overlying Castigaleu group (CG), of the Ager and the Tremp-Graus basins (south-central Pyrenees, Spain). The stratigraphic interval includes the middle and upper Ypresian, encompassing the early Eocene climatic optimum (EECO). A lower Ypresian assemblage from the Tremp-Ager group (TA) is also discussed. The malacofauna comprises a rich association of intertidal to shallow subtidal species, dominated by Potamidiidae, Batillariidae, Pachychilidae and Cerithiidae, with subordinate Melanopsidae, Thiaridae and Diastomidae. The subtidal fauna is dominated by Turritellidae. The new taxa Peraubium n. gen. (middle-upper Ypresian), Cerithium agervallensis n. sp. (middle Ypresian) (Cerithiidae), Granulolabium pyrenaicum n. sp. (upper Ypresian), Melanopsis cuisiensis n. sp. (upper Ypresian), Pseudobellardia muttii n. sp. (middle-upper Ypresian) (Pachychilidae), Trempotamides n. gen. (middle Ypresian), Cerithideopsis roselli n. sp. (upper Ypresian), Cerithideopsis harzhauseri n. sp. (upper Ypresian), Potamides isabenense n. sp. (upper Ypresian), Tympanotonos morillensis n. sp. (upper Ypresian) (Potamididae) and Melanoides vidali n. comb. (lower Ypresian) (Thiaridae) are introduced. The Cerithioidea fossil record is interpreted according to their local palaeoenvironmental gradients, and by considering their genus-level global stratigraphic distributions in the light of molecular phylogeny, ecology and geographic range of Recent relatives. The study suggests that Potamididae were adapted to intertidal bottoms of mangrove settings since their radiation in Western Tethys. Some early Eocene genera survive in Recent mangrove-fringed coasts. The Batillariidae were adapted to shallow subtidal settings. Their species richness is high, but within genera unrelated to modern forms. Some early Eocene genera attributed to the Pachychilidae lived in marine habitats, contrary to purely freshwater Recent species of that family. Turritellidae were abundant, but not diversified, and occupied a seaward position with respect to all other cerithioidean families.

Supplementary Online Material
  • Bonci M.C., Dagnino D., Mazzini A. & Piazza M. (2014)

The mollusk type material of Gaetano Rovereto in the “BTP Collection” (Museo di Paleontologia – DISTAV – Università di Genova): history of the Collection and the Oligocene bivalve types from the Pareto area

pp. 163-177


These taxa are part of the “Collezione BTP” (BTP Collection, housed at the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e della Vita – DISTAV – Università di Genova), the troubled history of which is here reconstructed. The complete list of the mollusk taxa described by Rovereto, in which taxa so far recovered are emphasized, is given. The Pareto area collecting sites reported in Rovereto’s papers and/or recorded on the maps realised in the frame of the project “Palaeontological Map of Liguria” have been verified in the field. The taxa described by Rovereto herein considered are the following: Arca (Parallelepipedum) Isseli Rovereto, 1898 (new name = Trisidos isseli [Rovereto, 1898]), Chlamys (sect. Aequipecten) Adelinae Rovereto, 1900 (= Aequipecten adelinae [Rovereto, 1900]), Chlamys (Aequipecten) apenninica Rovereto, 1898 (= Aequipecten apenninicus [Rovereto, 1898]), Chlamys (sect. Chlamys s. strict.) bormidiana Rovereto, 1898 (= Chlamys bormidiana Rovereto, 1898), Cyprina? Paretoi Rovereto, 1898 (= Glossus paretoi [Rovereto, 1898]), Diplodonta aliena Rovereto, 1898, Ixartia subpraesterga Rovereto, 1914 (= Tapes subpraestergus [Rovereto, 1914]), Modiola incompta Rovereto, 1898 (= Modiolus incomptus [Rovereto, 1898]), Ostrea (sub gen. Gryphaea) (sect. Pycnodonta) Brongniarti var. bisimpressa Rovereto, 1900 (= Pycnodonte brongniarti [Bronn, 1831]), Ostrea (sub gen. Gryphaea) (sect. Pycnodonta) Brongniarti var. rostrata Rovereto, 1900 (= Pycnodonte brongniarti [Bronn, 1831]), Ostrea paretoi Rovereto, 1914 (= Crassostrea paretoi [Rovereto, 1914]), Spondylus ligustinus Rovereto, 1900.

  • Bahrami A., Zamani F., Corradini C., Yazdi M. & Ameri H. (2014)

Late Devonian (Frasnian) conodonts from the Bahram Formation in the Sar-e-Ashk Section, Kerman Province, Central-East Iran Microplate

pp. 179-188


The study of the conodont fauna from the Bahram Formation in the Sar-e-Ashk section provides new data on the stratigraphy of this unit in the Kerman Province, Central-East Iran. The study area is located in the southwestern part of the Central-East Iran Microplate. The fauna consists of thirteen species and four taxa in open nomenclature, mainly belonging to the genera Icriodus and Polygnathus, and allows to date the Bahram Formation in the studied section as Frasnian. The shallow water conodont biofacies confirms an inner shelf to foreshore depositional environment for the unit.

  • Rassegna dell’Attività Sociale (2014)

Adunanza generale annuale 2014 – Bari (BA), 13 Giugno 2014

pp. i-iii