A nearly complete fallow deer skeleton from the lower levels (early Middle Pleistocene) of Valdemino Cave (northwestern Italy) is attributed to the recently described Dama roberti Breda and Lister. The dental and postcranial anatomy of this specimen is analysed in detail. Some anatomical elements show a mosaic of characters of living D.dama and Cervus elaphus, but with only a minor part resembling the latter. Each element is compared with other representatives of the fallow deer lineage, in particular to the type series of the early Middle Pleistocene D.roberti from the British Cromer Forest Bed Formation and from the French locality of Soleilhac, with its possible descendant D.dama (both the late Middle Pleistocene D.d.clactoniana and modern D.d.dama) and with its possible parent species (several representatives of the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene 'Pseudodama' group). The variability of selected characters has enabled a better morphological characterization of the species. The skeleton from Valdemino matches very precisely the morphology of the few existing postcranial elements of the D.roberti holotype and paratype. This will allow future identification of isolated postcranial bones from other localities. The Valdemino skeleton also perfectly matches the size of the type populations and confirms that D.roberti is larger than the living fallow deer D.dama.

The early Middle Pleistocene fallow deer Dama roberti: New insight on species morphology from a complete postcranial skeleton from Valdemino (northwestern Italy)

BREDA, Marzia
2015

Abstract

A nearly complete fallow deer skeleton from the lower levels (early Middle Pleistocene) of Valdemino Cave (northwestern Italy) is attributed to the recently described Dama roberti Breda and Lister. The dental and postcranial anatomy of this specimen is analysed in detail. Some anatomical elements show a mosaic of characters of living D.dama and Cervus elaphus, but with only a minor part resembling the latter. Each element is compared with other representatives of the fallow deer lineage, in particular to the type series of the early Middle Pleistocene D.roberti from the British Cromer Forest Bed Formation and from the French locality of Soleilhac, with its possible descendant D.dama (both the late Middle Pleistocene D.d.clactoniana and modern D.d.dama) and with its possible parent species (several representatives of the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene 'Pseudodama' group). The variability of selected characters has enabled a better morphological characterization of the species. The skeleton from Valdemino matches very precisely the morphology of the few existing postcranial elements of the D.roberti holotype and paratype. This will allow future identification of isolated postcranial bones from other localities. The Valdemino skeleton also perfectly matches the size of the type populations and confirms that D.roberti is larger than the living fallow deer D.dama.
Breda, Marzia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2501045
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