The fossil record of the Neogene Carnivore Mammals from Spain

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Jorge Morales, Juan L. Cantalapiedra, Alberto Valenciano, Daniel Hontecillas, Susana Fraile, Blanca Ana García-Yelo, Plinio Montoya, Juan Abella


Carnivore mammals (Carnivora, Mammalia) constitute a significant component of the Spanish Neogene faunas, not so much due to their fossil abundance, which is generally low, but rather because of their high degree of taxonomic diversity. We assessed their evolutionary dynamics from the fossil record of Iberian carnivores using per-taxon rates of origination, extinctions and turnover combined with a recent approach for removing the sampling signal from diversity curves. Our analysis interval covers most of the Neogene and the early Pleistocene (MN 2 to MN 17), spanning from around 21.6 to 1.8 Ma. We identified six carnivore associations by applying factor analysis to our data. The diversification pattern shows four origination episodes: MN4, MN7/8, MN12 and MN14. We also identified four extinction episodes. The first two are coincident with the onset of the MN 4 and MN7/8 faunas. The last two extinction episodes take place during MN9, coinciding with the Mid Vallesian Crisis (MVC), and MN13, co-occurring with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). Two major turnover pulses are recognised during MN4 and MN14, the turnover rate remaining moderately high between MN6 and MN13. We suggest that the pattern observed might be primarily triggered by the biogeographic and climatic shifts that took place during the Neogene.



Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences



Published: 2024-01-25 08:34


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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