The fossil record of turtles from the Pleistocene of Crete (Greece)

Evangelos VLACHOS

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 21 (35) - Pages 771-799

Published on 12 October 2022

The Isle of Crete contains an important endemic fossil fauna that has been studied extensively in the past. An endemic fossil tortoise, Testudo marginata cretensis Bachmayer, Brinkerink & Symeonidis, 1975, had previously been named from Pleistocene cave deposits in the island, presumably being larger than the mainland species and having some important morphological differences as well. In this paper I revise these type specimens and describe for the first time numerous additional fossil specimens from the Pleistocene sites of Gerani IV, Zourida, Koumpes, Liko, Mavro Mouri IV, and Simonelli Caves (near Herakleion), Rethymnon fissure, and from the open site of Sitia in the eastern part of the Island. These specimens belong mostly to the marginated tortoise, but the presence of a terrapin is confirmed as well. These new fossils help to refute the validity of the Cretan subspecies, and change the range of the marginated tortoise during Pleistocene/Holocene times in the southern Balkans.


Pleistocene, Crete, Endemism, Testudo, Mauremys

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