Diggers, gliders and runners: The squirrels from the Ribesalbes-Alcora Basin (East of Spain)

 

Authors: Crespo VD, Fagoaga A, Ruiz-Sánchez FJ, Montoya P

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 96, issue 1; pages: 83 - 97; Received 7 June 2020; Accepted in revised form 16 November 2020; Online 6 December 2020

Keywords: Sciuridae, Miocene, Aragonian, Iberian Peninsula, paleoecology, biostratigraphy,

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Abstract

The Campisano Ravine in the Ribesalbes-Alcora Basin (Spain, early Miocene, biozone C, MN 4) yielded a relatively diverse assemblage of squirrels, composed by the ground squirrels Heteroxerus rubricati, Atlantoxerus blacki and Aragoxerus sp. the marmotines Palaeosciurus cf. sutteri, Spermophilinus sp., Marmotini indet. and the flying squirrel Aliveria cf. luteyni. Heteroxerus rubricati, Atlantoxerus blacki and Spermophilinus are typical early Miocene species from the Iberian Peninsula, and in this work we increase the knowledge of the variability of them. In MN4, the genus Aragoxerus is reported for the first time in the Iberian Peninsula, and, apart from France, it is its only record in Europe. We report here the first record of the species Palaeosciurus cf. sutteri in the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the oldest in Europe. The occurrence of Aliveria cf. luteyni marks the first record of the genus Aliveria in Western Europe. Additionally, the palaeoecological significance of this assemblage is discussed.