The occurrence of the genus Prolagus Pomel, 1853, in North Africa provides some of the strongest evidence for the existence of faunal exchanges between Europe and Africa. The oldest African Prolagus remains have been reported from the Messinian locality of Afoud in the Aït Kandoula Basin (6.2 Ma), identified during previous studies as the species Prolagus michauxi López-Martínez, 1975. Dental material already analyzed from the AF12-1 and AF12-2 levels and new material collected subsequently from the same levels form the basis of the current systematic study. This abundant material allows us to confirm the presence of a single Prolagus species in the Afoud locality, P. michauxi. However, this species’ attribution to P. michauxi must be considered cautiously, given its evident morphological resemblance to Prolagus sorbinii Masini, 1989. These results are consistent with scenarios implying the migration of P. michauxi from Southern Europe to North Africa. In addition to the Prolagus remains, cheek teeth of Leporidae have been found and this is the oldest occurrence of this group in Morocco.
Ochotonidae, Leporidae, Prolagus, Morocco, Aït Kandoula basin, Messinian, faunal exchanges