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GD Koufos, DS Kostopoulos, and TD Vlachou (2005)

Neogene/Quaternary mammalian migrations in Eastern Mediterranean


Palaeogeographic and climatic changes in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Neogene/Quaternary led to extended mammalian migrations and faunal exchanges between Eurasia and Africa. At the same time, the Beringian landbridge was activated several times, and American faunal elements entered Eurasia. It appears that the main factor affecting migration potential and faunal changes/exchanges during the Neogene was palaeogeography, while after the early Pliocene migrations were mainly controlled by climatic changes. Several mammalian migrations can be distinguished, but the most important was that of the middle Orleanian at about 17.0-18.0 Ma when Africa and Eurasia were connected after a long separation and a great number of African faunal elements entered Eurasia and vice versa. Some more important faunal changes also occurred : 1. at similar to 5.5 Ma, marking the beginning of the Pliocene, 2. at similar to 2.0-1.8 Ma, marking the beginning of the Pleistocene, and 3. at similar to 1.0 Ma, defining the early/middle Pleistocene boundary and the establishment of modem mammal fauna. During the Pleistocene, oscillation of glacial and inter-glacial periods caused an alternation of cold-steppic faunas with temperate ones in the Eastern Mediterranean. Endemic late Pleistocene mammalian faunas developed in the Mediterranean islands after their isolation; ``dwarf' elephants, cervids and hippos occurred, as well as giant rodents.

eastern Mediterranean; Neogene/Quatemary; Mammalia; migration; faunal changes; paleobiogeography
9th International Congress on the Zoogeography and Ecology of Greece and Adjacent Regions, Thessaloniki, GREECE, MAY 22-25, 2002
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology