First record of Dicrostonyx (Rodentia, Mammalia) in the Late Pleistocene/?Holocene sediments of Croatia

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Jadranka Mauch Lenardić


The fossil remains of lemmings (Dicrostonyx sp.) have been discovered for the first time in Croatia. The small sample of 11 teeth (M1-3 and M1) originate from the Late Pleistocene/?Holocene sediments from the Romuald's Cave (western Istria). The resemblance has been observed in morphological data, while some metrical parameters differ slightly in comparison to the findings from some other European localities, for example from Poland and Austria. The lenght of M1s from Croatian sample is bigger than from Austrian ones (Nixloch and Merkenstein Caves), while is the same like in specimens from Polish Late Glacial, but smaller than the Polish Holocene findings, respectively. The differences in A/L and C/W1 indices have been also observed between samples from the Romuald's Cave and Polish samples of the Late Glacial and Holocene age. As good indicator of cold and dry climate, the lemmings from the Romuald's Cave give support to the conclusion that this part of Europe was refugial region for this and some other small mammal species during the expansions of the ice cover, and reflect Quaternary environmental fluctuations, which were frequent and pronounced at the end of this period.


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Original Scientific Papers
Author Biography

Jadranka Mauch Lenardić, Zavod za paleontologiju i geologiju kvartara (Institute for Quaternary paleontology and geology) Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti (Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts)

Institute for Quaternary paleontology and geology, scientific associate


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