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Ancestral foxes at the gates of Europe: the Pliocene fox from Çalta-1 (Turkey) and their relationships with Asian and European Plio-Pleistocene foxes

Saverio Bartolini-Lucenti & Joan Madurell-Malapeira

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 20 (29) - Pages 619-626

Published on 13 July 2021

The Pliocene record of genus Vulpes Frisch, 1775 in Eurasia is scarce, coming from few sparse localities. The lack of a comprehensive and integrated revision led to the description of numerous different taxa, often only tentatively related to extant species but not with one another. Çalta-1 is an important Pliocene site located in the Anatolian region of Turkey, dated to 4.0 Ma. In the present review, we reappraise the interesting record of Vulpes galatica Ginsburg, 1998. Morphological and morphometric evidence suggests a strong similarity between this taxon and the early Late Pliocene V. beihaiensis Qiu & Tedford, 1990, recovered from the Chinese Yushe Basin. Such evidence favors the parsimonious interpretation of synonymy between the two species, under the name V. beihaiensis. This hypothesis opens a new interpretation on the biogeography of the Pliocene-Early Pleistocene foxes of Eurasia. Vulpes beihaiensis links the Asian and European records, with its affinity to V. ­alopecoides (Del Campana, 1913) and, eventually, to the extant red fox (Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758)).


Keywords :

Carnivora, Vulpes, Pliocene, Eurasia, biogeography

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