Middle Miocene (Late Badenian) microvertebrates from Hidas, SW Hungary

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János Hír
Márton Venczel
Krisztina Sebe


Up to the present, no terrestrial vertebrate fauna has been published from the pre-Pannonian Miocene of SW Hungary. In 2022 a microvertebrate assemblage was unearthed from a lime mud bed of the Middle Miocene Hidas Formation, in an abandoned coal mining field close to Hidas in the Mecsek Mts. The herpetofauna and the rodent material are described here. Fossil findings point to the Late Badenian MN 7+8 Zone, which, together with the earlier results based on the marine mollusc fauna, narrows the age of the unit to ~13.5–13.3 Ma. The amphibians and reptiles are aquatic, semiaquatic or periaquatic forms. Sedimentary features and the accompanying freshwater gastropod fauna are indicative of a shallow pond or a paludal depositional  environment. Crocodylian finds reported earlier from the Hidas Formation indicate a subtropical climate, just  before the end of the Miocene warm period in Central Europe. Among the rodents, glirids and flying squirrels as well as Democricetodon and Megacricetodon indicate the presence of humid arboreal vegetation around the  site. The rodent taxa are well known from the Middle Miocene faunas of northern Hungary, western Romania  and from the Upper Freshwater Molasse of southern Germany and Switzerland. The rodent material does not  show characteristics of an insular fauna, e.g. gigantism or endemism. Consequently, although the coeval  palaeogeography of the region has been described as an archipelago in the Central Paratethys, with the Mecsek  Mts. being one of the islands, the area must have had ecological connections towards the northern and eastern parts of the Pannonian Basin, and the marine areas within the archipelago did not form a barrier  against the distribution of microvertebrates. The corridor could have been located towards the NE from the Mecsek Mts., across the elevated basement blocks of central Hungary. 


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