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Large-sized ruminants from the Early Pleistocene of Leu (Oltenia, Romania) with remarks on biogeographical aspects of the "Pachycrocuta event"

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A description of the remains of Leptobos etruscus (Bovidae) and Eucladoceros cf. dicranios (Cervidae) from the Late Villafranchian site of Leu (Valea Graunceanului, Oltenia District, South-East Romania) is given. L. etruscus and E. dicranios are oriental faunal elements which dispersed westward during the so-called "Pachycrocuta event". L. etruscus spread westward and successfully colonized the Italian Peninsula, while the dispersal of E. dicranios has probably been slowed by the mountain chains of the Western Balkans and Central Europe. The Dinaric Mountains of Western Balkans are regarded as the zoogeographical filter that impeded the dispersal of the open-landscape species into the Italian Peninsula. E. dicranios substituted E. ctenoides in Italy somewhat later in the Tasso Faunal Unit. L. vallisarni is most probably an endemic Italian species and, apparently, resulted from the local evolutionary process of L. etruscus.
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Keywords: "PACHYCROCUTA EVENT"; DISPERSAL; EARLY PLEISTOCENE; EUCLADOCEROS; EUROPE; LEPTOBOS; ZOOGEOGRAPHICAL FILTER

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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