Insectivore mammals from the Late Miocene of the Republic of Moldova
Remains of Erinaceidae, Talpidae, Soricidae and Heterosoricidae were found in eight Late Miocene localities with the 'Hipparion fauna' in the Republic of Moldova. The number of individuals is not high and their remains are fragmentary, however, the species composition is large. Three to six taxa of hedgehogs, four to five moles, and nine to ten taxa of shrews have been identified. Erinaceidae are represented by Schizogalerix sarmaticum, Parasorex socialis, ?Erinaceus sp., and undetermined Galericinae and Erinaceinae. The Talpidae include Ruemkelia sp., Desmanella sp., Proscapanus metastylidus n. sp., Proscapanus cf. austriacus, and undetermined species. ?Miosorex sp., Crusafontina cf. endemica, ?Crusafontina cf. kormosi, ?Amblycoptus sp., undetermined Anourosoricini, Hemisorex suchovi, Petenyia cf. dubia, ?Asoriculus sp. and "Paenelimnoecus" repenningi represent the Soricidae, whereas Dinosorex grycivensis was the only representative of the Heterosoricidae. The remains are described, measured and illustrated, and their systematic position and distribution are discussed. Both the insectivore remains abundance and their taxonomic diversity varies among the localities. The most numerous and diverse (three hedgehogs, three moles and three shrews) assemblages were found in the early Late Miocene (MN9) locality Bužor I. The younger (MN10 MN11) localities Kejnar and Čiobruči yielded respectively five (Erinaceidae and Soricidae) and four (Talpidae and Soricidae) species, and in the remaining late Late Miocene localities (MN12 MN13) only one to three species were present. Unfortunately, the small number of specimens and species in most localities do not allow for a reconstruction of the transformation of the insectivore fauna in the Late Miocene. However, the fossil assemblages found in the Miocene of Moldova are similar to assemblages found in the other European localities of that time. In general, the European insectivore fauna (especially moles and hedgehogs) was much more diversified in the Miocene than today. It is also visible in the Late Miocene of Moldova.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-06-01
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