Pleistocene Local Faunas Assemblages of Calabria

In this paper, current knowledge about Pleistocene mammals of Calabria has been updated, critically discussed, and conformed to the biochronological framework of Italy. Since the palaeogeography obviously influenced the mammalian distribution, Pleistocene maps hav been included and discussed. In Calabria, the Pleistocene fossil record of mammals is discontinuous in time and space. 15 Local Faunal Assemblages (LFA) have been selected and located in the biochronological chart of Italy. The most representative LFAs of Calabria, attributed to the Late Pleistocene, seem to be impoverished if compared to those of the rest of Italy. They are made by ubiquitous species of warm-temperate climate. The possible insular phase of Southern Calabria at the beginning of Late Pleistocene (MIS5) is discussed and rejected on the basis of the paleogeographical reconstruction and the absence of well documented endemic mammals. the role of Calabria as a dispersal way to Sicily has a consistent relevance in the discussion about evolutionary patterns in island environment. It seems that Calabria acted as a first filter to faunal spreading to Sicily and that the Strait of Messina was a weak sea-barrier in the late Middle Pleistocene and Late Pleistocene.

Fig.1. Geographic location of the studied sites (from MARRA 2009).

Fig.2. Pleistocene Local Faunas Assemblages of Calabria correlated to the standard mammal biochronology of Italy (from Marra 2009).

MARRA, C.A. (2009): Pleistocene mammal faunas of Calabria (Southern Italy): biochronology and paleobiogeography. Bollettino della Societá Paleontologica Italiana, 48(2): 113-122

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