Fossil lagomorphs are very useful palaeogeographical indicators. In the last 15 years, several papers centered on fossil lagomorphs contributed to improve the Italian late Miocene–Quaternary palaeogeographical setting, solving palaeobiogeographical enigmas debated for decades, and providing new, challenging palaeogeographic data. The high number of endemic fossil lagomorphs of Italy is due in part to its complex tectonic history (insular endemisms), and in part to the semi-isolation and the physiography of the Peninsula (continental endemisms). In Italian lagomorphs, a direct causal relationship between dispersal and turnovers is not observed, except for the Toringian. Actually, species replacements are customarily due to archipelago effect (late Miocene), phyletic speciation (Pliocene of Sardinia and Italian mainland) or occur after the extinction of older congeneric species (early Pleistocene).
Ochotonidae, Leporidae, stem lagomorphs, neogene, Pleistocene, insularity, continental endemisms