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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019 / Amphibians and Squamates from the Late Pleistocene of Caverne Marie-Jeanne (Belgium)

Annelise Folie, Almudena Martinez Monzon, Juan M Lopez-Garcia, Ivan Lozano-Fernandez, and Hugues-Alexandre Blain (2019)

Amphibians and Squamates from the Late Pleistocene of Caverne Marie-Jeanne (Belgium)

In: SVP 2019 Annual Meeting - October 9-12, Brisbane, Australia, vol. Meeting Program, pp. 101, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Archaeological sites usually provide important information about the past distribution of the small vertebrate fauna, and by extension about past terrestrial environments and climate in which human activities took place. In this context, Belgium has an interesting location in North-western Europe between the well-studied zooarchaeological record of Germany and England. The Late Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stages 3 and 2) locality of Caverne Marie-Jeanne (southeast of Belgium, Ardennes region) yielded a large collection of disarticulated bone fragments and numerous plant, mollusk, and archaeological remains. They have been collected during the first field campaign in 1943 and stored in the Quaternary collections of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. A recent revision of the rich micromammal fauna (31 taxa of insectivores, bats, and rodents among 9897 identified specimens, corresponding to a minimum of 4980 individuals) revealed the presence of the steppe lemming and the European pine vole. We present here the revision of the herpetofauna based on the 1970 Jean-Claude Rage’s study and the revision of the “indeterminate” small vertebrate specimens. It is now by far the largest Late Pleistocene collection of the Belgian institute with more than 20,500 recognized bones of amphibians and reptiles and covering the last 60,000 years. The herpetofaunal list now comprises two urodeles (Lissotriton gr. L. vulgaris and Salamandra salamandra), four anurans (Bufo gr. B. bufo-spinosus, Epidalea calamita, Rana temporaria and Rana cf. R. arvalis), three lizards (Lacerta cf. L. agilis, Zootoca vivipara and Anguis gr. A. fragilis) and three snakes (Natrix gr. N. natrix-astreptophora, Coronella austriaca and Vipera berus). This study highlights the first fossil record in Belgium for L. gr. L. vulgaris, R. arvalis, Z. vivipara, N. gr. N. natrix-astretophora and C. austriaca. This assemblage suggests a patchy humid landscape under colder and dryer climatic conditions in comparison with present ones. The study also underlines the importance to carefully reexamine old collections. Grant Information: Grant 2017-SGR-859 (Gov. of Catalonia, AGAUR), CGL2016-80000-P (Spanish Min. of Econ. & Comp.), RYC-2016-19386 (Ramón y Cajal), Synthesys BE-TAF-4385, -5469, -5468, -5708.
Proceedings, Impact Factor, Abstract of an Oral Presentation or a Poster, Peer Review, International Redaction Board