A bird assemblage across the MIS 9/8 boundary: The Middle Pleistocene of Galería (Atapuerca)

Carmen Núñez-Lahuerta, Julia Galán, Gloria Cuenca-Bescós, Paula García-Medrano, Isabel Cáceres

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Quaternary faunal remains are key for the understanding of the effect of climatic changes on both animal and human populations. Here we show for the first time in Atapuerca the analysis of an avian assemblage through the MIS9/8 boundary, a moment of climatic deterioration that coincides with the spread of Neanderthals and the adoption of Levallois technology. A total of 603 bird remains belonging to 17 taxa have been identified in the Middle Pleistocene units GIII and GIV (Galería site, Atapuerca, Spain). The assemblage is dominated by the extinct raven Corvus corax antecorax, followed by other cave-dwelling taxa. The palaeoenvironmental reconstruction points to the presence of open landscapes and water bodies in the lower units. Both the number of remains and the taxa diversity decreases dramatically towards the upper unit. This general decreasing concurs with the beginning of the MIS8 stage, and it is observed in other faunal groups in Atapuerca, pointing to a MIS8 glacial stage in the Iberian Peninsula stronger than previously described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107708
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Charadriiformes
  • Corvus corax antecorax
  • Iberian peninsula
  • MIS8 climatic deterioration


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