Y vamos con el último de los resúmenes presentados en el congreso Gondwana 15 relacionados con paleontología de quelonios. Además de las intervenciones que hemos publicado por aquí estos días, correspondientes a miembros de Pleurodira, la problemática referente a un grupo de Cryptodira también fue planteada, mediante la presentación “Did the Messinian Salinity Crisis allow the migration of large tortoises from Africa to Europe?”:
Fossil testudinids are known in Europe since the Eocene. As well as relatively small taxa (usually < 30 cm in length), the European record includes several taxa of medium and large size. The largest size is achieved by several Neogene taxa, mainly early Miocene and Pliocene. The description of new specimens and a review of the previously published ones have allowed us to gain a better understanding of the morphology of the European large testudinids and to recognize that all these large taxa are part of a monophyletic lineage. However, we have identified a new European species, coming from levels near the Miocene–Pliocene limit that cannot be assigned to that lineage. This new taxon shares several characteristics with the extant African Centrochelys sulcata. The African lineage of Centrochelys has been recognized from pre-Messinian levels (Lapparent de Broin et al., 1999; Gmira et al., 2013).
The Messinian salinity crisis is one of the most important events in the history of the circum-Mediterranean area, causing major changes in the paleogeography and affecting the faunal assemblages in latest Miocene times, for example enabling the migration of representatives of the African fauna into Europe. The interaction between Europe and Africa has been demonstrated based on large and small mammal species, but so far there has been no evidence regarding the chelonian assemblages. The hypothesis proposing this new European tortoise as an African immigrant is evaluated here.
- Referencia: Pérez-García, A.; Murelaga, X., Vlachos, E. 2014. Did the Messinian Salinity Crisis allow the migration of large tortoises from Africa to Europe?. In: Pankhurst, R.J., Castiñeiras, P., Sánchez Martínez, S. (Eds.). Abstract Book of Gondwana 15, North meets South: 139.
- Imágenes: En la superior, caparazones de testudinidos gigantes del Mioceno de Europa, en la inferior, el testudinido actual africano Centrochelys sulcata.