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Evidence for an African-Iberian mammal dispersal during the pre-evaporitic Messinian

Luis Gibert, Gary R. Scott, Plini Montoya, Francisco J. Ruiz-Sanchez, Jorge Morales, Luis Luque, Juan Abella and Maria Leria
Evidence for an African-Iberian mammal dispersal during the pre-evaporitic Messinian
Geology (Boulder) (April 2013) 41 (6): 691-694


The accurate timing of biogeographic dispersal can be determined by examining the age of fossiliferous strata on either side of a physical barrier. Here we show that African mammals migrated to Iberia and European mammals migrated to North Africa at the same time before isolation of the Mediterranean Sea during the Messinian. The fossil site of Venta del Moro (Spain) exhibits western Europe's most complete vertebrate fauna for the latest Miocene. Its uniquely cosmopolitan assemblage is evidence of faunal dispersals from Africa and Asia to Europe during the latest Miocene glaciation. A preliminary paleomagnetic study suggested an age of 5.8 Ma for this site, but our expanded magnetostratigraphy dates the site at 6.23 Ma. In addition, we recalibrated the paleomagnetic age of the Librilla site (Spain) and the North Africa site of Afoud-1 (Morocco) using the Astronomical Tuned Neogene Time Scale. Our results show a two-way African-Iberian mammal dispersal just before 6.2 Ma. These new ages indicate that an ephemeral land corridor existed between the two continents 250 k.y. before the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis, reflecting a tentative initial isolation of the Mediterranean Sea. This corridor developed after tectonics closed the Betic Seaway at 6.3 Ma and during the intensification of the latest Miocene glaciation at 6.26 Ma, when water circulation in the Mediterranean became very restricted.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 41
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Evidence for an African-Iberian mammal dispersal during the pre-evaporitic Messinian
Affiliation: Universitat de Barcelona, de Geoquimica, Petrologia i Prospeccio Geologica, Barcelona, Spain
Pages: 691-694
Published: 20130418
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2013-041417
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2013198
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N39°28'60" - N39°28'60", W01°21'00" - W01°21'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Berkeley Geochronology Center, USA, United StatesUniversitat di Valencia, ESP, SpainMuseo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, ESP, SpainFundacion Conjunto Paleontologico de Teruel-Dinopolis Avda, ESP, Spain
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201326
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