Crocodylian remains are collected in 39 fossil-bearing localities but only in seven localities specimens with reliable taxonomic attributions, at least to genus level have been collected. Three species have been reported from the early Lutetian Purga di Bolca site: Pristichampsus cf. Pristichampsus rollinati, Asiatosuchus sp., Hassiacosuchus sp. ( = Allognathosuchus sp.). The three crocodilians discovered at Purga di Bolca have been reported also from Geiseltal and Messel (Middle Eocene, Germany). Bolca at that time was part of a Tethysian archipelago and no mammals have been found there till now. Crocodilians and turtles clearly arrived from the European mainland across a marine water barrier. Among the other fossiliferous localities of Veneto, very interesting is the Monte Zuello site, of late Middle Eocene age, yielding a longirostrine crocodilian, Megadontosuchus arduini, a tomistomine species. Tomistomines are known in contemporaneous sediments of both Europe and Africa, but the European forms Dollosuchus and Kentisuchus seem the closest taxa. Remains of Oligocene age have been collected in Veneto and Liguria, but the fossils discovered in the second region are teeth or fragmented bones. The fossil crocodilians of Monteviale (Veneto), of Early Oligocene age, have been assigned to two species but they have been recently all identified as Diplocynodon ratelii, known from several European sites of Late Eocene, Oligocene and Miocene age. This species arrived in the Monteviale area from the European mainland across a narrow sea. Several crocodilian fossils of Miocene age are very fragmentary or represented by isolated teeth. In the Middle and Late Miocene of Sardinia, a well-established species, Tomistoma calaritanum is present. Remains of Tomistoma of the same age have been reported in some localities in Tuscany, Apulia, Sicily and Malta. In the Mediterranean area, the genus is known from European and African sites (of older age). The colonisation of Europe by this genus is the result of a dispersion from Africa (or less probably from Asia). During Late Miocene Sardinia and Tuscany belong to the same palaeobioprovince characterized by the Oreopithecus–Maremmia fauna. In Tuscany, a crocodilian identified as Crocodylus bambolii is present in the late Miocene site of Monte Bamboli. If the generic attribution of this form is correct, its ancestors must have arrived from Africa. Another fossil assemblage of Late Miocene age characterizes the Apulia–Abruzzi palaeobioprovince (Hoplitomeryx–Microtia fauna) and testifies complete isolation between the two palaeobioprovinces. In this last area, remains of Crocodylus sp. have been collected in coastal sandstones at Scontrone (Abruzzi) and in several fissure fillings of Gargano of slightly younger age. The ancestors of this species arrived from Africa while no African elements are present among the mammalian fauna. The dispersion of the genus Crocodylus in the Italian palaeoislands may have taken place once, with allopatric differentiation of the two populations (Tuscany–Sardinia and Apulia–Abruzzi) or twice with independent colonisation of each area.

Kotsakis, A., Delfino, M., Piras, P. (2004). Italian Cenozoic crocodilians: taxa, timing and palaeobiogeographic implications. PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, 210, 67-87 [10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.03.013].

Italian Cenozoic crocodilians: taxa, timing and palaeobiogeographic implications

KOTSAKIS, Anastassios;
2004-01-01

Abstract

Crocodylian remains are collected in 39 fossil-bearing localities but only in seven localities specimens with reliable taxonomic attributions, at least to genus level have been collected. Three species have been reported from the early Lutetian Purga di Bolca site: Pristichampsus cf. Pristichampsus rollinati, Asiatosuchus sp., Hassiacosuchus sp. ( = Allognathosuchus sp.). The three crocodilians discovered at Purga di Bolca have been reported also from Geiseltal and Messel (Middle Eocene, Germany). Bolca at that time was part of a Tethysian archipelago and no mammals have been found there till now. Crocodilians and turtles clearly arrived from the European mainland across a marine water barrier. Among the other fossiliferous localities of Veneto, very interesting is the Monte Zuello site, of late Middle Eocene age, yielding a longirostrine crocodilian, Megadontosuchus arduini, a tomistomine species. Tomistomines are known in contemporaneous sediments of both Europe and Africa, but the European forms Dollosuchus and Kentisuchus seem the closest taxa. Remains of Oligocene age have been collected in Veneto and Liguria, but the fossils discovered in the second region are teeth or fragmented bones. The fossil crocodilians of Monteviale (Veneto), of Early Oligocene age, have been assigned to two species but they have been recently all identified as Diplocynodon ratelii, known from several European sites of Late Eocene, Oligocene and Miocene age. This species arrived in the Monteviale area from the European mainland across a narrow sea. Several crocodilian fossils of Miocene age are very fragmentary or represented by isolated teeth. In the Middle and Late Miocene of Sardinia, a well-established species, Tomistoma calaritanum is present. Remains of Tomistoma of the same age have been reported in some localities in Tuscany, Apulia, Sicily and Malta. In the Mediterranean area, the genus is known from European and African sites (of older age). The colonisation of Europe by this genus is the result of a dispersion from Africa (or less probably from Asia). During Late Miocene Sardinia and Tuscany belong to the same palaeobioprovince characterized by the Oreopithecus–Maremmia fauna. In Tuscany, a crocodilian identified as Crocodylus bambolii is present in the late Miocene site of Monte Bamboli. If the generic attribution of this form is correct, its ancestors must have arrived from Africa. Another fossil assemblage of Late Miocene age characterizes the Apulia–Abruzzi palaeobioprovince (Hoplitomeryx–Microtia fauna) and testifies complete isolation between the two palaeobioprovinces. In this last area, remains of Crocodylus sp. have been collected in coastal sandstones at Scontrone (Abruzzi) and in several fissure fillings of Gargano of slightly younger age. The ancestors of this species arrived from Africa while no African elements are present among the mammalian fauna. The dispersion of the genus Crocodylus in the Italian palaeoislands may have taken place once, with allopatric differentiation of the two populations (Tuscany–Sardinia and Apulia–Abruzzi) or twice with independent colonisation of each area.
Kotsakis, A., Delfino, M., Piras, P. (2004). Italian Cenozoic crocodilians: taxa, timing and palaeobiogeographic implications. PALAEOGEOGRAPHY PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY PALAEOECOLOGY, 210, 67-87 [10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.03.013].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/143439
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