First occurrence of the extinct deer Haploidoceros in the Iberian Peninsula in the Upper Pleistocene of the Cova del Rinoceront (Castelldefels, Barcelona)

Montserrat SANZ, Joan DAURA & Jean-Philip BRUGAL

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 13 (1) - Pages 27-40

Published on 31 January 2014

The Cova del Rinoceront is the first site in the Iberian Peninsula where the genus Haploidoceros has been documented. This discovery of abundant remains is also its first recorded occurrence in Europe during the Upper Pleistocene. The new fossil record strengthens claims that this genus was widely distributed during the Pleistocene, occupying a longer time span at least until MIS 5. Cranial and post-cranial skeletal remains ascribed to this species were recovered from the uppermost layers of the Cova del Rinoceront. The diagnostic features that allow these remains to be unequivocally assigned to H. mediterraneus, include their cranial morphology and antler shape, comprising two sickle-shaped beams, curving backwards and laterally, and a long frontal basal tine. This paper highlights the problems of deer systematics and identification given the high degree of fragmentation of the genus, their relatively homogeneous morphology, a virtual absence of reliable characters and the overlap of measurements between species.


Cova del Rinoceront, Cervid, Haploidoceros, Upper Pleistocene

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