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Insectivores (Erinaceidae, Soricidae, Talpidae; Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Capo Mannu D1 (Mandriola, central-western Sardinia, Italy)

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Capo Mannu D1 (often cited as Mandriola) is a key site to reconstruct Sardinian Plio-Quaternary faunal evolution and origin. After 35 years of the discovery of the site, the insectivore component of the Capo Mannu D1 fauna has been studied resulting in the identification of Parasorex depereti, Asoriculus gibberodon, cf. Soricini indet. and Talpa cf. minor. P. depereti and cf. Soricini indet. are not present in younger Corso-Sardinian assemblages. On the other hand, A. gibberodon and Talpa cf. minor are the oldest known possible ancestors recorded so far of the Late Pliocene-Quaternary Corso-Sardinian endemic “Nesiotites” spp. and Talpa tyrrhenica. The insectivores from capo Mannu D1 are not affected by modifications due to the permanence in an insular domain and resemble MN14-15 insectivore assemblages of SW Europe. Their arrival in Sardinia may have occurred at the Early/Middle Pliocene boundary in concomitance with R. azzarolii, a murid from Capo Mannu D1 that appears very slightly modified with respect to its continental ancestors.
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Keywords: INSECTIVORES; ITALY; PALAEOBIOGEOGRAPHY; PLIOCENE; SARDINIA; SYSTEMATICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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