The Casal de’ Pazzi mammalian fauna: biochronological and paleoecological notes, and research perspectives
Keywords:Large mammals, late Middle Pleistocene, Latium, biochronology, local faunal assemblage similarity, paleoecology
This note critically reviews the biochronological range of the mammalian taxa identified thus far in the faunal assemblage found in the musealized sector of the late Middle Pleistocene fluvial deposit of Casal de’ Pazzi (CdP), evaluates the similarity among the CdP fauna and that of some selected local faunal assemblages from Latium and surrounding area, and summarizes and updates our knowledge about the paleoecological hints provided by the herbivore remains. An attempt to compare CdP the ecological structure of the CdP large mammal fauna with that of the selected late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 11-MIS 7)sites, mainly from Latium, failed to provide any compelling results. This conceivably depends on the low richness of some faunal assemblages, some monotony of their taxonomical composition combined with the commonness of some taxa recorded in almost all local assemblages, and the lack of studies of the autecology of taxa recorded at each site. Accordingly, this note gives a synthesis of the principal studies that, in the future, could shed light on matters either not yet scrutinized or still unsolved. The potential results of integrated multidisciplinary research could contribute to enhancing our knowledge about the Latium mammalian fauna’s evolutionary dynamics in the context of the evolution of the SW European large mammal fauna during the late Middle Pleistocene.
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