Taxonomy, chronology, and dispersal patterns of Western European Quaternary hippopotamuses: New insight from Portuguese fossil material

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Abstract

The taxonomy, chronology and dispersal patterns of hippopotamuses in Western Europe are still a matter of debate, despite the long history of researchers on these topics. In this framework, the Portuguese material has never been investigated or recently revised, and it can contribute to increasing our comprehension about Quaternary hippopotamuses. The material considered in this work, collected from sites dated between 1 Ma and 0.13 Ma, is compared with fossil Pleistocene hippopotamuses from the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Germany and Greece, in order to contribute into the discussion on evolutionary and dispersal patterns of these large semi-aquatic mammals in Europe during the Pleistocene. Portugal deposits recorded the presence of H. antiquus, starting from 1 Ma up to 0.4 Ma, and H. cf. amphibius during the late Middle Pleistocene. In particular, the occurrence of H. antiquus in Condeixa, dated around 0.4 Ma, can be considered as the LAD of this species in Europe. The paleobiogeography and dispersal patterns of European hippopotamuses are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary International
Volume674-675
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Biochronology
  • Hippopotamidae
  • Morphology
  • Morphometry
  • Paleobiogeography

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