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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
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The fossil rabbit from Valdemino cave (Borgio Verezzi,Savona) in the context of western Europe Oryctolagini of Quaternary.
Giulia Nocchi and Benedetto Sala
Keywords: Lagomorpha; Mammals; North-western Italy; Oryctolagus; Plio-Pleistocene; Savona

    The present research deals with the remains of a lagomorph found at Valdemino cave and comes to the conclusion that it is a rabbit with peculiar characteristics in comparison with the other known species Oryctolagus laynensis, O. lacosti and 0. cuniculus. We studied other fossil remains of rabbit populations from Villafranchían and middle Pleistocene deposits and compared them with data from the literature and with recent material. The analysis leads us to maintain two phylogenetic hypotheses about the history of Oryctolagini. The ñrst one, already formulated by Lopez Martinez, suggests that 0. cuniculus derives from O. laynensis,while the origin of O. lacostí is unknown; according to the second hypothesis 0. laynensis would be the common ancestor of two phyletic lineages, 0. lacosti and 0. cuniculus. In both cases the lagomorph from Valdemino would be the form derived from 0. lacosti, from which however it differs in peculiar characteristics. Since the rabbit from Valdemino survives until the beginning of Postgalerian, its disappearance may coincide with the retreat of 0. cuniculus from western Europe in Spain and, perhaps, in south-western France, before the last glaciation. O. cuniculus survived in Spain, from where it spread once again over western Europe as a result of man.


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 26, Fasc. 1-4 (1997)