Spadefoot toads (Pelobatidae, Anura) are rare in the Italian fossil record, being previously recorded only in the late Pliocene of Arondelli (Piedmont Region, northwestern Italy) and in the early Pleistocene of Pirro Nord P21 (Apulia, southeastern Italy). Here we describe for the first time abundant fossil remains of Pelobates syriacus from the lower Pleistocene fissure of Pirro Nord P13 (Apulia, southeastern Italy). These fossils shed new light on the palaeobiogeographical history of Pelobates in the Apennine Peninsula and are the first fossil evidence in Italy for P. syriacus, which currently lives in the southeastern Balkan Peninsula, Caucasus and the Middle East. This extralimital Italian occurrence suggests that P. syriacus has good dispersal abilities, when favourable conditions exist. Dispersal routes to reach the Apennine Peninsula during the early Pleistocene may have been favoured by a low level of the Adriatic Sea during a cold interval, furnishing a new habitat suitable for P. syriacus.

First record of Pelobates syriacus (Anura, Amphibia) in the early Pleistocene of Italy

BERTO, Claudio
Penultimo
;
ARZARELLO, Marta
Ultimo
2016

Abstract

Spadefoot toads (Pelobatidae, Anura) are rare in the Italian fossil record, being previously recorded only in the late Pliocene of Arondelli (Piedmont Region, northwestern Italy) and in the early Pleistocene of Pirro Nord P21 (Apulia, southeastern Italy). Here we describe for the first time abundant fossil remains of Pelobates syriacus from the lower Pleistocene fissure of Pirro Nord P13 (Apulia, southeastern Italy). These fossils shed new light on the palaeobiogeographical history of Pelobates in the Apennine Peninsula and are the first fossil evidence in Italy for P. syriacus, which currently lives in the southeastern Balkan Peninsula, Caucasus and the Middle East. This extralimital Italian occurrence suggests that P. syriacus has good dispersal abilities, when favourable conditions exist. Dispersal routes to reach the Apennine Peninsula during the early Pleistocene may have been favoured by a low level of the Adriatic Sea during a cold interval, furnishing a new habitat suitable for P. syriacus.
Blain, Hugues Alexandre; Delfino, Massimo; Berto, Claudio; Arzarello, Marta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/2340202
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