Paleontological and molecular data suggest that the divergence of the European and Asian badgers (Meles meles and Meles leucurus, respectively) from their ancestor Meles thorali might have taken place in the Middle to Late Villafranchian boundary (ca. 1.8 Ma). However, the available record of Late Villafrachian European badgers is scanty and poorly known, and this hypothesis needs more paleontological data in order to be tested. The badger hemimandible from the Iberian locality of Fuente Nueva 3, a locality placed in the beginning of the Late Villafranchian, supports the idea of an early divergence between European and Asian badgers.
Carnivora, Mustelidae, Meles, Late Villafrachian, Orce, Europe