Bollettino SPI Vol. 60 (1)

Published in June 2021


  • Cherin M., Cirilli O., Azzarà B. & Bernor R.L. (2021)

Equus stenonis (Equidae, Mammalia) from the Early Pleistocene of Pantalla (Italy) and the dispersion of stenonine horses in Europe
pp. 1-18
doi: 10.4435/BSPI.2020.21

Stenonine horses roamed across Eurasia for a long-time interval between the Early Pleistocene and the early Middle Pleistocene. These forms probably derived from North American Equus simplicidens and recent research suggests that they can be at the basis of the radiation of the extant African zebras. Equus stenonis is the most widespread stenonine horse in the Early Pleistocene of Europe. Here we describe the Equus record from Pantalla (Italy) and we refer it to E. stenonis based on a combination of morphometric analyses of metapodials and tibia. In particular, our comparisons show remarkable similarities between the Pantalla horse and E. stenonis from Saint Vallier (France). The studied sample allows suggesting an age close to the beginning of the late Villafranchian (~2 Ma) for the Pantalla assemblage, thus representing one of the earliest records of E. stenonis in Italy. Furthermore, our analyses highlight a substantial morphometric homogeneity in European E. stenonis samples, supporting that they may represent intraspecific variation of a single long-lasting widespread species.

  • Koufos G.D. (2021)

The late Miocene middle-sized ictitheres (Mammalia: Hyaenidae) of Greece
pp. 19-48
doi: 10.4435/BSPI.2021.03

The late Miocene ictitheres of Greece have been recognised since the beginning of the 19th Century and include several species. The small-sized Plioviverrops and Protictitherium are well-known, but those of middle-size, Ictitherium, Hyaenictitherium and Lycyaena are poorly understood. The aim of this article is to study a significant sample of material of the middle-sized taxa from Greece in order to summarise their morphological characters, providing new measurements and an updated photographic documentation. The studied material originating from several localities is dated as being from early Vallesian to late Turolian in age.
Three confirmed middle-sized species are described herein, Ictitherium viverrinum, Hyaenictitherium wongii and Lycyaena chaeretis, as well as another questionable species referred to as cf. Ictitherium pannonicum. The overall stratigraphic distribution of Greek ictitheres ranges from the middle to the late Miocene. The earliest occurrence is recorded from the early/middle Miocene (MN 4/5) locality Antonios with the species Protictitherium gaillardi and Protictitherium cf. crassum. The latter species is certainly recognised in the Vallesian and Turolian of Greece and disappeared at the end of the Miocene. Plioviverrops orbignyi is well known from the Turolian (MN 11-13). Ictitherium viverrinum occurs in the early-middle Turolian (MN 11-12) and possibly late Turolian (MN 13). Hyaenictitherium wongii has a longer chronologic distribution being recognised from the late Vallesian to the middle Turolian (MN 10-12). Finally, L. chaeretis is documented from the middle Turolian (MN 12).

  • Pillola G.L. & Zoboli D. (2021)

First occurrence of Arthropleura armata (Myriapoda) in the Moscovian (Carboniferous) of SW Sardinia (Italy)
pp. 49-54

Arthropleura armata Jordan, 1854 (Myriapoda) is herein described for the first time from Sardinia (Italy). The sample, represented by a large isolated fragment of a paratergite, was collected in the fluvio-lacustrine sequence of the Upper Pennsylvanian San Giorgio formation (Iglesias, southwestern Sardinia). To date, the Sardinian find represents the southernmost report of this taxon in Europe and is unique in the Italian record. Arthropleura represents a classical taxon of the Euro-American palaeo-equatorial biota that lived in rainforest habitats in late Westphalian times (i.e., late Moscovian of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart).

  • Stefanelli D., Mecozzi B., Francescangeli R., Girone A., Marino M., Montenegro V., Sardella R. & Breda M. (2021)

The fallow deer from Contrada Monticelli (Bari, southern Italy): the southernmost occurrence of a large Dama in the early Middle Pleistocene
pp. 55-60

Among the fossils coming from the Contrada Monticelli site (Castellana Grotte, BA), preserved at the Museum of Earth Sciences of the Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, some cervid fossil remains have been studied. The site was discovered during the 1970s, but the fossil material was never studied, except in a few cases, which do not include the cervid remains: in fact they have never been previously studied or classified. Although the scarcity of the sample and the lack of antler remains suggest caution, a morphological analysis has allowed us to recognise the presence of a large Middle Pleistocene fallow deer, here provisionally classified as Dama cf. roberti Breda & Lister, 2013. The presence of D. cf. roberti in the Contrada Monticelli site would represent the southernmost presence of this species in Europe, and its occurrence is consistent with the biochronological attribution of Contrada Monticelli site to the Isernia Faunal Unit.

  • Nam G.-S., Nazarkin M.V. & Bannikov A.F. (2021)

First discovery of the genus Auxis (Actinopterygii: Scombridae) in the Neogene of South Korea
pp. 61-67

A new species of frigate tunas (Scombridae), †Auxis koreanus n. sp., is described based on two fragmentary, mostly disarticulated specimens found in the middle Miocene Duho Formation of the Pohang City locality, South Korea (36°03’N; 129°23’E). Such characters of the fossil scombrid as the dorso-ventral outlines of the neurocranium, diamond-shaped mesethmoid, very small teeth, shape of the hyomandibula, huge posttemporal and stout parapophyses lacking the haemal arch at their base indicate its attribution to the genus Auxis. However, some osteological details of the Miocene frigate mackerel justify its recognition as a new species. This is the first fossil find in Korea of both the genus Auxis and the family Scombridae, as well as the first reliable discovery of Auxis in the fossil record known to date. A review of the fossil record of scombrids in the western Pacific is given.

  • Dominici S. & Forli M. (2021)

Lower Pliocene molluscs from southern Tuscany (Italy)
pp. 69-98

Benthic mollusc assemblages of shallow marine successions host a large part of known biodiversity of past marine ecosystems. Important as they are to understand community assembly of the Mediterranean benthos after the Messinian Salinity Crisis and during the late Pliocene and Quaternary climatic change, onshore facies are little represented in an otherwise thick lower Pliocene record. Strata outcropping in the Val d’Orcia and Cinigiano-Baccinello Basins, in southern Tuscany, are instead rich with shell beds from brackish water and other shallow marine environments, offering a means to approach the study of the biodiversity of coastal settings and a base level to understand the macroevolutionary response of the Mediterranean biota to ennvironmental and climate change. These Zanclean-lower Piacenzian successions are here correlated based on available biostratigraphic data and on the study of the stacking pattern of nearshore and open shelf sedimentary facies. New quantitative data and the review of available literature allow to explore the composition and structure of six recurring assemblages of benthic molluscs, aligned on an ideal onshore-offshore gradient. A review of the distribution of the six facies types in different Zanclean and early Piacenzian basins across the Mediterranean, collected in the literature data and with the uncertainty deriving from the fragmentary nature of the available choronostratiphic framework, confirms that there are gaps of the record. A taxonomic review of some Gastropoda, including rare species and species never reported before in southern Tuscany, is proposed. New species Prososthenia esuegirottii and new subspecies Chicoreus (Triplex) michelottii pliotrivaricosus are described, the second compared to conspecific material from the Spanish Pliocene and other strictly allied forms. The significance of Helminthia triplicata (Brocchi, 1814) and Hexaplex (Trunculariopsis) trunculus neomagensis (Fontannes, 1882) is discussed.